Progressing towards net zero is important, but none of us can deliver a sustainable future alone.

My conversations over recent weeks with customers, partners and Cisco teams across the region have demonstrated very clearly to me that the urgency of taking action on climate change is now top of mind. A topic that was too often contained to a company’s CSR report only a few years ago has become a business imperative today, with net zero goals a priority for every sector across the globe.

This is great news, because achieving greater sustainability and reducing our environmental impact is something that we must tackle together if we’re to succeed.

Scope 3 must be a team effort

Using Cisco as an example, we’ve set ambitious net zero targets for Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and we are building on our past progress. For example, in our last fiscal year we reached a 60 percent reduction in scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, compared to fiscal 2007, with 85 percent of our energy coming from renewable sources – goals we achieved a year ahead of schedule.

Yet achieving scope 3 by 2040 requires us to go much further. As we explored in our employee education event, SustainX, last week, not only must we embed sustainability into every aspect of what we do, from every link in our supply chain to how, when and where we consume services. We must also work collaboratively and transparently with every company we partner with or purchase goods or services from. It’s the same for our customers, and their customers. Our goals and what we must do to achieve them are inter-connected – none of us can do it alone.

A great example of this is Repsol, a global energy company based in Barcelona, Spain. With a goal to be the first energy company to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 whilst remaining fully focused on the best possible customer experience, Repsol is working closely with Cisco on its digital transformation. We have three critical pillars for success – migrate to the cloud, evolve the network and renew the headquarters’ network and infrastructure and transform it into a software-defined network. This is a large scale and long-term project, however 65 percent of Repsol’s infrastructure has already been migrated to the cloud.

Working together towards a circular economy

It’s this type of connected approach that has led Cisco to develop our latest offers that support our customers’ objectives.

The Send IT Back mobile app, which is newly available in Europe, makes it simple for Cisco customers to benefit from our takeback programme and join the circular economy. They just need to download the app, take a quick photo of the kit in its box and hit ‘send.’ Cisco will then arrange for the equipment to be collected and evaluate it for its next step on the circular journey, helping avoid unnecessary waste and minimizing environmental impact. All free of charge.

Another is a new payment solution called Cisco Green Pay that supports the circular use of Cisco’s sustainable technologies. This offer enables customers to enter the circular economy and helps them meet their sustainability goals. At the end of the term, the product is recovered by Cisco free of charge.

And the first version of our Environmental Sustainability Specialization for partners is now live. The specialization offers co-branded materials, guides for conversations with customers, and training in Cisco programs, including the popular Product Takeback and Reuse, and Cisco Refresh.

Real time innovation

I frequently highlight that some of the best innovation happens at the heart of the action, where people are collaborating to overcome the challenges they are facing. Our Green & Blue Innovation Challenges have yielded simply amazing ideas from employees, and also from partners, and we’re very excited about the potential for the winning projects in particular (more to come on this!).

Also in this spirit, we recently held our annual Earth Aware month, where Cisco employees worldwide have engaged in a host of sustainability-related activities. From an Earth Aware quiz where employees have generated $6,000 in donations for environmental non-profits by testing the sustainability of their routines to 25 global ‘green teams’ who have collected 2,500 pieces of litter, our teams have been incredibly engaged. We also held our annual SustainX internal conference, with a focus on learning about Cisco’s net zero goals and taking those learnings “home.”

And we’re preparing for our global Recycle IT Day on May 3rd where our global office network will serve as a conduit for our employees worldwide to recycle their own tech.

Connecting our digital and green future

I’m genuinely inspired by the impact that we can make as a technology company when we work with our customers and partners towards a shared vision for a more inclusive future for all. The potential only builds on what we have already managed to achieve.

None of us can tackle climate change alone, but by connecting, we can make real progress together.

For information related to Cisco’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, performance, and policies, visit the

Cisco ESG Reporting Hub

Wendy Mars team
Visiting the Cisco Grove at Expo Dubai, a digital-first space designed to inspire a sustainable, inclusive future for all.



Wendy Mars

Senior Vice President

President - Cisco EMEA