Cisco’s sustainability journey took a big step forward last month with the announcement of a new goal to avoid one million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions from our supply chain operations by the year 2020, which will drive emissions reductions related to our outsourced manufacturing and logistics.

Click to expand

In March of 2016, we rolled out our Integrated Greenhouse Gas Reduction (IGR) roadmap to bring together a diverse set of initiatives aimed at further reducing our carbon footprint. We previously set targets encouraging suppliers and partners to report emissions.

What’s new about this goal is that it’s our first quantitative emissions goal to encompass the supply chain activities that Cisco directs or influences, such as sourcing strategies, product fulfillment model designs, manufacturing-related energy use and transport mode optimization executed by third parties.

Partnering closely with multi-industry organizations, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), supplier participation in CDP’s Supply Chain program is steadily improving.  So are transparency efforts around our supply chain carbon footprint.

We use the supplier data reported to CDP to gain insight into GhG emissions contributors among the major classes of components used in Cisco products. This insight then helps guide and build on our emissions reduction initiatives.

More than ever before, we are seeing new pathways to advance sustainability, especially where Cisco can have the biggest impact. The best example is digitization, which is a key enabler in our progress and is advancing sustainability by creating access to big data—helping us to measure, analyze and communicate related metrics.

We see many benefits in how digitization can accelerate our ability to integrate sustainability performance data into our day-to-day business decision-making processes.

The bottom line is that we don’t view sustainability as a trade-off that needs to be made; instead, we see it as an integrated business imperative in our global supply chain. And while this new goal gives us a solid start, we are already looking ahead.

We have some exciting opportunities on the horizon, and each step forward demonstrates how connected systems can save time, money, energy and materials, while also improving customer satisfaction and doing right by the planet.

Keep up with Cisco’s sustainability progress in our CSR Reports.


Kathleen Shaver

Director of Value Protection

Supply Chain Transformation: Sustainability