The choices that we make today shape history, and this is certainly true when it comes to sustainability. March is Women’s History Month in the United States, which began as “Women’s History Week” in 1982 and evolved into a monthly commemoration in 1987 to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in a variety of fields.
In the field of sustainability, women are flourishing in leadership positions. According to GreenBiz, 58 percent of sustainability executives in large companies are female. This number is significant since, across different industries, the global share of women in leadership roles is 31 percent, according to high-frequency data from LinkedIn. But it isn’t just the women in the C-Suite; it is about the women growing into their sustainability roles who will become trailblazers in the field.
Those who work in sustainability right now are making history by helping to ensure a healthy future for our planet. I want to recognize some of the amazing unsung heroes at Cisco doing this great work in sustainability, from engineering to operations, customer experience, supply chain, and climate impact investing.
Catherine Paquette, Sustainability Manager, Global Energy Management and Sustainability (GEMS)
Catherine joined the GEMS team within Cisco’s real estate organization over eight years ago.
During that time, she’s seen sustainability dramatically increase in importance both inside and outside of Cisco.
“We’ve seen a huge shift in the amount of focus on environmental sustainability. It’s been exciting to witness.
People are increasingly aware of climate change and are pushing for action.
During my time here, our team has made great strides in embedding sustainability within our workplace strategy, and within the day-to-day operation of our facilities.
We’ve also set and achieved two Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. I’m looking forward to this new chapter as we scale up our efforts to help Cisco reach net zero across its value chain by 2040.”
Eve Richer, Sustainability Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability
Eve joined Cisco in 2017 as part of a cross-functional group shaping Cisco’s holistic circular economy strategy.
Over the last five years, she has led a range of programs, including initiatives to embed circularity into product design, increase product takeback and reuse, and accelerate progress toward our net zero goals.
“It has been really rewarding to see sustainability increasingly embedded into our business.
The Cisco culture is very collaborative, and I’ve been fortunate to partner with so many colleagues passionate about driving impact through their roles, whether they are engineers rethinking product and packaging design, supply chain managers prioritizing sustainability in their sourcing strategies, or salespeople engaging customers on sustainable technology solutions.
We are working toward some ambitious sustainability goals, and I look forward to seeing the progress we’ll make together over the coming years.”
Esther Roure Vila, Sustainability Lead, Cisco Customer Experience (CX), EMEA
The economic and technical transformation needed to transition to net zero and sustainable business models will be substantial.
Esther joined Cisco in 2007 and for the past two years has shifted her focus to capturing this market opportunity and helping our customers on their journey to sustainability.
In partnership with CX Leaders and Sales, Esther supports customers with bridging the gap between their sustainability priorities and an executable roadmap.
She works interactively to set strategy, identify and align new opportunities, implement new business models, and drive revenue. She is building and managing cross-functional relationships at all levels of the business to enable our customers on their sustainability transformation, generating sustainability-driven growth.
Esther feels most inspired when mobilizing people to tackle the task at hand. She led the organization of Camino 2022 where 425 Cisco employees, friends, and families from 21 countries came together to train, prepare, and hike the Camino de Santiago—while raising funds for global charities battling cancer.
The experience was an opportunity for colleagues to connect after an extended time apart and positively impact people and the environment throughout the journey. Esther shared: “Sustainability is a big undertaking requiring interdependencies between people, planet, and profit.”
Jocelyn Matyas, Climate Impact Investing Lead, Cisco Foundation
Jocelyn Matyas leads impact investing for the Cisco Foundation’s $100M Climate Impact and Regeneration portfolio.
Her work includes setting the initial climate impact investment strategy, creating a deal-flow ecosystem, due-diligence/vetting of potential investment opportunities, and measurement and evaluation (M&E).
She also works with the Cisco Foundation board and climate subcommittee in service to Cisco’s decarbonization and regenerative priorities.
Jocelyn recently shared:
“In order to take the necessary climate action that results in a more regenerative and sustainable future, we need to unlock entire new levels of innovation and investment.
Cisco has responded to this call and the Cisco Foundation has stepped up to the task of taking on some of the relatively higher risk, but critical, investments that will pave the way for transformative climate solutions.
In my role, I consistently hear that ‘we need more climate investors like you all’ and I feel confident that our brand and approach will inspire other foundations and corporate foundations to fill key climate finance gaps and drive forward high-impact, inclusive climate solutions.”
Beth Kochuparambil, Technical Leader, Cisco’s Common Hardware Group
Beth has been working as a hardware engineer at Cisco for over 12 years, and as part of Cisco’s Common Hardware Group (CHG) her focus is on innovation, standards, and now sustainability.
The CHG is constantly innovating to ensure our products are balancing power and performance through product energy efficiency.
She recently shared:
“Industry wide, companies have been setting goals for reducing their carbon footprint, but this is only the beginning. At Cisco, this has helped us raise the conversation in all aspects of our design.
Sustainability is discussed throughout the product lifecycle, from concept to customer, and our net zero goal has allowed us to re-evaluate our steps through that process with sustainability in mind.
For a company our size, we have a unique opportunity to make a big impact and to partner with customers to drive energy efficiency throughout the internet.
Emissions are an urgent issue for our world’s health and future generations. Starting with companies and products is a great first step.
My hope is that people take it all to heart and begin to evaluate behaviors and usage at home just as seriously. Both will be needed to combat climate change.”