Cisco is thrilled to join the European Green Digital Coalition, putting its expertise and technology at the service of the green and digital transformation.

We are now a few weeks ahead of COP26, a defining moment after this summer ‘wake-up’ call marked by terrible floods and fires across the globe. ‘In times of crisis, Europe comes together’ said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2021 State of the European Union (EU) speech. The climate crisis is no exception. And the digital industry is ready to rally. This is a responsibility we all share.

Cisco’s strategy has taken a new turn with our recent climate commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025 for scopes 1 and 2 and by 2040 for scope 3, 10 years ahead of the EU’s objective to be climate neutral. To support our pledge, we have joined the Race to Zero campaign with many corporate leaders sharing ambitious goals to reduce their emissions.

Cisco European Green Digital Coalition memberToday we are thrilled to announce that Cisco has officially become a member of the EU Green Digital Coalition (EGDC), an initiative by the European Commission to foster the EU’s green and digital transformation.

Rallying for Europe’s climate leadership

There never was a better momentum for collaboration and joining forces. The actions of companies, institutions, and individuals will always leave a footprint behind. We can – and we must – take responsibility and ensure that the footprint we do leave behind is a positive one for the people around us and for the planet. As we approach COP26, all eyes will be on global leaders to commit to effectively making our economies and businesses more sustainable.

With the recent ‘Fit for 55 package’, the European Union has presented a clear roadmap to reduce at least 55% of GHG emissions by 2030, as mandated by the new EU Climate law. The Commission also left no doubt that green and digital must be the drivers of national recovery plans as countries rebuild from the pandemic. On top of that, Europe launched the EU Green Digital Coalition (EGDC) with over 30 companies rallying to enable the green transition of all sectors thanks to digital technologies. And we are proud to be taking part in this important motion.

Because we know we cannot achieve high ambitions in isolation, Cisco’s approach is to work in partnership with industry, non-profits, and governments, building coalitions and an inclusive ecosystem to strengthen our impact. With our country digital acceleration program, we have powered more than 1000 projects throughout 40 countries, contributing to an inclusive sustainable future for all by unlocking the value of digitization.

Sustainability: a global emergency and a business imperative

Over the past years, we have moved from realization to warnings on climate change and sustainability urgency. When our CEO, Chuck Robbins, was in Europe last July, sustainability was part of every discussion he had with policy-makers and customers. It is no different for our investors and employees who want to know more about what we are doing to reduce our environmental footprint, improve the efficiency of our products and applications, and how our technologies can help reduce their own footprint.

Today, our products are the foundation of most of the digital operations happening around the world, whether it’s in a data center, in mobile network infrastructure, in administrations, offices, or stores, you can be sure to find some Cisco technology to deliver secure and efficient connectivity. Over 90% of Cisco’s carbon footprint is driven by emissions associated with the use of our products. That’s why our engineering teams are working assiduously on improving the energy efficiency of our hardware and developing the technology that we need to make a change.

For example, when designing our latest technology for the future Internet, we developed a chip that is at the heart of a networking system that uses 96% less electricity than its predecessor, while supplying 35% more bandwidth. And not only that. We condensed 2,300 elements into this single computer chip. Its much smaller size allows us to significantly reduce the packaging needed and energy required for shipping it to our customers.

Taking actions to reduce our own footprint

In many European countries (including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy), we already purchase 100% of our electricity for our facilities from renewables. By next year we will get 85% of our global electricity from renewable sources. These investments are essential to our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025 for scopes 1 and 2.

In addition, we have been designing our products to better facilitate repair and remanufacturing – with the goal to reuse products and materials rather than to throw them away when they have reached their end life cycle. We have also signed the Capital Equipment Pledge, in which Cisco committed to 100% product return, and to make progress toward our product and packaging goals, Cisco has developed Circular Design Principles.

Finally, we just ranked number 1 for the second year in a row in Gartner’s Supply chain rating for our environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and for our leadership in the supply chain community. Cisco works in collaboration with component suppliers, manufacturing partners, and logistics providers to reduce emissions and to set targets for absolute GHG emissions reductions.

Moving forward, better and together

We are convinced that the European Green Digital Coalition will be a game-changer, not only for our industry but even more so for all parts of society, from public services, utilities, buildings and construction, to manufacturing, farming, and small businesses. We can only achieve big, bold goals if we do it together, in an inclusive, creative, and tangible manner.

Last month, EU and US leaders agreed on an outline for the future EU-US Tech and Technology Council, including a scope for the Climate and Clean Tech working group tasked to identify opportunities, measures, and incentives to support technology development, transatlantic trade and investment in climate-neutral technologies.

We are fully committed to supporting their joint efforts. Earlier in 2021, the Cisco Foundation has pledged to provide €84.5 million over ten years to fund global climate projects and technologies to power a sustainable and inclusive recovery, mirroring Europe’s plans for NextGenerationEU, building back a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe. 

These are some of the many pieces of our global contribution to the green and digital transition. In a few weeks’ time, Cisco’s leaders will be in Glasgow at COP26 alongside policy-makers, partners and civil society to share our experience and our ideas and solutions to power an inclusive and sustainable future. Together, we need to scale our efforts and embrace a shared purpose.

Find out more about Cisco’s commitment to fighting climate change



Diane Mievis

Director, Government Affairs

Global Policy and Government Affairs