Co-author: Christy Gunderson, Cisco Global Cross-Industry Marketing Specialist

Greenbuild 2021 kicked us off this year, by allowing Cisco to virtually connect with thousands of green building professionals. With Cisco’s ongoing investment in new sustainable smart building technologies and goal to have a net zero floorplate design by 2025, combined with stimulus opportunity globally, there has never been a more critical time to focus on smart buildings.  

Cisco partnered with Greenbuild to become the premier sponsor of the show and the Networking Lounge. Through this partnership Cisco was able to showcase sustainable solutions and highlight continued collaboration with our partners. Over the three day show we were able to gather key takeaways and see where Cisco is heading in the future. 

Sustainability was the main focal point for topics and sessions at Greenbuild 2021. Keynote opener, VP & CMO, Carrie Palin virtually opened for the Greenbuild keynote with her session “Building the Bridge Between Human Needs and a Sustainable Future”. 


During the keynote, Carrie virtually kicked-off Cisco’s bridge to possible sustainability campaign, highlighting our passion and commitment to providing solutions that are better for your business and better for the planet. She also mentioned Cisco’s new goal for achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 and to achieve carbon neutrality for our operational emission by 2025.  


Networking and communication were big components of the conference whether it was on-site or virtually through the online booth.  

The Networking Lounge, sponsored by Cisco, was front and center in the exhibit hall at Greenbuild. Even though Cisco was not on-site at the conference, the space was still equipped with smart building technologies, demo videos, and resources for attendees to walk through.  

Cisco’s ecosystem partners were the proud recipients of the GMEGG (Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibition Green Guidelines) award for the Innovation exhibit. This award acknowledges efforts taken to develop low-impact and sustainable building solutions. 

Partner presence  

Many of Cisco’s partners attended Greenbuild through speaking engagements and the exhibit hall. The DC microgrid was a unique opportunity to showcase the components of a resilient building-level DC microgrid. Powered by our partners, ORENgE, Sinclair Digital, DBS, Igor, MHT Lighting and Molex, the DC microgrid provided onsite-generated power to the Networking Lounge and DC microgrid booth. 

ORENgE displayed OPV (organic photovoltaic) panels to windows at the conference center, while PM Energy and EOS generating power on the loading dock for the DC microgrid and the Networking Lounge. Sinclair Digital transported the power from through Voltservers digital electricity on-site, which traveled through numerous switches and nodes to power the DC microgrid and the Networking Lounge designed by DBS.  

Cisco believes that PoE is the simplest way to create a DC microgrid while also getting the added benefit of a converged network construction, commissioning and securing the massive amount IoT in a building. The improved efficiency of the combined technologies can result in an estimated 10–18% in energy savings.1 In addition to savings, (DC) electricity has the potential to improve the resiliency, reliability, and energy efficiency of building systems.2 

Forward growth- ASHRAE deployment 

To continue the momentum after Greenbuild, Cisco is working with our same partners to deploy a fulling functioning DC microgrid pilot in partnership with ASHRAE.  

We plan to stick to our goal of net zero for all GHG emissions by 2040. With this partnership we will accelerate the use of renewable energy, increase the energy efficiency of technology that powers the internet and invest in innovative carbon removal solutions.  

In keeping our promise to a net zero future, Cisco will stay committed as a leader in providing technologies to achieve a healthy and sustainable environment for all. Between meeting human needs and building a sustainable future, there is a bridge.  

Learn more 

To learn more, request your free digital resource kit. Explore the latest resources to learn how Cisco Smart Building solutions can help you create sustainable designs for future hybrid workspaces.  


1. Gerber, Daniel & Vossos, Vagelis & Feng, Wei & Marnay, Chris & Nordman, Bruce & Brown, Richard. (2017). A simulation based efficiency comparison of AC and DC power distribution networks in commercial buildings. Applied Energy. 10.1016/j. apenergy.2017.05.179.



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