(By John Voket – Associate Editor)
Cisco Systems Inc. is a brand recognized around the world as a leader in developing, manufacturing, and selling computer networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products. (*2016 Cisco Annual Report)
In 2016 Cisco celebrated a banner year for its seemingly boundless “green” initiatives ranking #3 on the planet, and #1 U.S. on the corporateknights.com 2017 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index.
Corporate Knights is a media, research and financial information products company based in Toronto, focusing in part on corporate ecological costs – and stewardship.
Cisco scored an impressive 71.5% out of a possible 100 on the Corporate Knights matrix. And if you’re thinking that seems to be aiming kind of low, the index’s top ranked company is the German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG, which nudged ahead with 73.1%.
By the time Cisco learned of its impressive ranking back in January 2017, the company was already planning its 2nd annual corporate campus-wide “Earth Aware” activities, involving a month-long employee volunteerism and awareness campaign to support environmental and sustainability commitments.
The company was also poised to complete an NRG solar facility in Southern California, which was pegged to supply over 10% of Cisco’s San Jose campus electricity. That project coincided with Cisco’s 2nd SustainX initiative to educate more employees on how they can incorporate sustainability into their work.
A February company blog by Catherine Paquette looked back on just what Cisco had accomplished in the form of environmental stewardship in the previous year, including:
- Implementation of over 100 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across its facilities
- Using electricity generated from renewable sources for 77% of its demand
- Launching Cisco Greenhouse, an internal engagement platform on which employees learn how to reduce their environmental footprint and inspire others to live more sustainably. Between July and December 2016, 1,750 employees initiated over 9,100 actions to be more sustainable
- Establishing a carpooling program for Cisco’s San Jose and San Francisco locations. In 2016, employees avoided 400,000 miles of driving
- Avoiding 1,368 cumulative metric ton of packaging and product material, and 7,432 cumulative metric ton of CO2e in Cisco’s supply chain through its Pack It Green 2.0 program
- Collecting 238 metric ton of e-scrap from employees at 143 Cisco sites on “Recycle IT Day”
- Saving $600,000 and reducing electrical consumption by turning off lab equipment and office supplies during Cisco’s annual shutdown
- Continuing to optimize freight shipments by shifting transportation from air to ocean – earning a 2016 Supply Chain Leadership Award for driving progress on climate change in Cisco’s supply chain
- Capturing a spot on the 2016 “Climate A List” for Cisco’s “Carbon Disclosure Project” (CDP) investor climate change questionnaire
- Being recognized as a “Green Power Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)!Learn more at: http://csr.cisco.com/pages/environment/