Earlier this week, both CDP and Corporate Knights announced the results of their 2020 assessment of thousands of global companies in the areas of climate change (CDP) and the broader topic of sustainability (Corporate Knights). At the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzerland Corporate Knights released their 2020 Global 100 ranking. This same week CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) announced its 2019 A-List companies.

CDP A-List

Cisco’s most material environmental sustainability issue is energy and greenhouse gas emissions. As such, we’ve invested in energy efficiency and low-carbon electricity to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We use CDP’s annual carbon questionnaire as a litmus test to gauge the effectiveness of our strategy, initiatives, and performance.

For 2019, Cisco again made CDP’s “A-List,” along with 179 other global companies out of more than 8,400 that reported climate change related carbon data. Cisco has reported to CDP every year of its existence, receiving more awards from CDP for our climate change submissions than any other North American company. We’ve included a table in our 2019 CSR Report (p. 33) summarizing our results.

Growth in companies disclosing to CDP since 2003

Credit: https://www.cdp.net/en/companies/companies-scores

To drive emissions reduction, we’ve established a series of energy- and GHG-related goals that address various aspects of our business:

  • 2019, was the second year of our third, 5-year Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions reduction goal, reducing our worldwide GHG emissions from operations by 60 percent absolute by FY22 (FY07 baseline).
  • We continue to invest in low-carbon electricity with a goal of 85 percent renewables by FY22. In FY19 83% of our electricity use was from renewable sources. It is a significant challenge for us to get this percentage much higher because renewables aren’t yet available everywhere in the world that Cisco has owned or leased operations. Since FY16, 100 percent of our electricity use in the United States has been from renewable sources.
  • 2019 was the second year of our 5-year product-efficiency goal to improve large rack-mounted-equipment system power efficiency—as measured from the input power from the facility to the board-mounted ASICs, memory, and other chip devices—from 77 to 87 percent by FY22 (FY16 baseline). In FY19, our average system power efficiency for large rack-mounted-equipment was 85 percent (Table 17 of our 2019 CSR Report).
  • In 2019 we announced a new goal to reduce Cisco-related supply chain GHG emissions by 30 percent absolute by FY30 (FY19 base year).

For more information on all our environment goals see Table 3 on page 33 of our 2019 CSR Report.

Corporate Knights Global 100

Corporate Knights gathers environment, employee, innovation, supply chain, and financial data for their ranking. This year, Cisco was ranked #4 by Corporate Knights, the fourth year in a row Cisco has ranked in the Top 15 out of about 7,500 companies evaluated by Corporate Knights.

The Global 100 methodology now puts a greater emphasis on a “clean revenue” metric. Based on feedback from Corporate Knights, Cisco improved how we classified our revenue from all product, software and service offerings.

“Fourth was U.S. technology conglomerate Cisco, which rose 10 places from 14th, thanks to more than $25 billion in clean revenues from products with environmental core attributes,” said Mike Scott in the Global 100 difference


In the Communications Equipment industry classification, the “clean revenue” metric counts for 50 percent of the overall score, reflecting the environmental benefit companies can contribute through the products and services they sell. Our products and solutions can help our customers be more sustainable and reduce operations expenses through building energy management, remote collaboration to reduce business travel, teleworking to reduce employee commuting (and increase office consolidation), data center equipment that enables energy-efficient cloud services, and IoT and low-power network technologies for improved asset tracking and management.

About rankings and ratings

Cisco relies on the following rankings/ratings to measure our progress on sustainability:

  1. S&P Global Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (World and North America), formerly RobecoSAM
  2. CDP Climate
  3. Corporate Knights Global 100
  4. Barron’s Most Sustainable U.S. Companies
  5. WSJ Management Top 250
  6. FTSE4Good

These rankings are a valuable resource to confirm our strengths and identify areas for improvement in performance and transparent report


Darrel Stickler

Sustainable Business Practices

Corporate Affairs