Reducing our impact on the environment and taking a sustainable approach to everything we do is something we take very seriously at Cisco. As a business, protecting the world around us is both a priority and a powerful differentiator, driving value today and in the future. For our customers and partners, sustainability is also a concern that spans personal and business commitments, and we’re increasingly seeing the awareness of sustainability coming to the forefront of public awareness globally.
At Cisco, our approach to sustainability starts with the goals we set for our organization. We began setting sustainability goals in 2006 and we’ve tracked and revisited our progress ever since. In that time, we’ve learned that you need to think big if you want to make a significant impact on sustainability. So while our goals are carefully planned and strategically considered, they’re also designed to empower us to act big. And for me, the results speak for themselves.
Here are a few of sustainability goals we’ve made at Cisco, and our progress so far:
- Reduce our total of scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions worldwide by 60% absolute by FY22
- 82% of this goal has been achieved.
- Avoid 1 million tons of GHG emissions in our supply chain from FY12 to FY20
- We have smashed this goal by 115%!
- Improve large rack-mounted equipment power efficiency from 77% to 87% by 202
- We’re up to 85% power efficiency as of the end of 2019.
- Use electricity generated from renewable sources for at least 85% of our global electricity by FY22
- We’re 98% of the way to meeting our target.
Our sustainability initiatives are supported by an executive sponsorship program that inspires and empowers our people to make a difference.
Our CEO Chuck Robbins is passionate about sustainability. One of the clearest examples you can see of this commitment is the Capital Equipment Pledge he made for Cisco at the World Economic Forum in January 2018. That commitment included supporting 100% product return worldwide with no-cost product return pickup and transport, establishing alternative commercial models that promote product returns, offering warranty, replacement, service and repair for all products to extend their useful lifetime, and repurposing returned products and equipment through closed-loop return and new product manufacturing. It’s a powerful, ambitious promise which carries the full weight of Cisco behind it.
Empowering our People
Cisco people bring our initiatives to life. For example our Make it Green project empowers Sustainability Champions across the business to explore new ways to reduce Cisco’s environmental footprint with sustainable packaging ideas. We also have Green Teams; volunteers who educate other employees around sustainable change, and lead some of the simple-but-impactful programs we run across Cisco worldwide.
Our Circular Economy Team
Many of our sustainability efforts are championed internally through our Circular Economy program. Circular Economy refers to a fundamental transition in the way we conduct business. We’re moving from a linear (i.e., design, manufacture, use, disposal) to a circular model (i.e., maximizing the usable life of our products through repair, reuse, and recycle programs). We launched our enterprise-wide Circular Economy program in FY18 as a dedicated program management office under the executive sponsorship of John Kern, our head of supply chain operations. This team runs multiple levels of governance bodies and cross-functional working groups to establish and deliver strategic sustainability priorities across the company.
Our Circular Economy team centers around five core initiatives:
As we continue our journey to a more sustainable future, our most important measures of success are internal; growing, nurturing, and developing a sustainability mindset in every discipline and function of our business and we are very proud to see that this approach is being recognized:
- For 10 of the last 13 years, we’ve been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
- We are currently placed #7 on Barron’s annual list of the 100 Most Sustainable Companies
- Last year, we again made CDP’s “A-List” for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions
- In 2019, Gartner ranked Cisco as the #5 company in the world for demonstrating supply chain best practices
Cisco is investing heavily in our future as a sustainable business and we are committed to helping our customers and partners meet their own sustainability goals. We still have a long way to go, but through close partnerships with our customers, partners, suppliers, and stakeholders at every stage of the supply chain, we’re working together to engineer new, sustainable, solutions that will benefit people, communities and our environment.
Please reach out if you’re interested in discussing how we, as a partner, can help you meet your own sustainability aspirations. Take a look at our CSR website to find out more about the things we’re doing to make a difference.