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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Cisco Achieves Several Sustainability Goals

Cisco recently released its eight annual CSR report. One of the highlights of the report is the company's adoption of the code of conduct of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) as the Cisco Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct incorporates environmental standards, including the proper disposal of chemical waste. The Code of Conduct also includes content on responsible sourcing of minerals.

Cisco integrated sustainability criteria into its business scorecard for preferred suppliers. The scorecard encourages suppliers to track and disclose environmental and labor impacts, which helps Cisco make its supply chain more transparent when it comes to sustainability issues. Sustainability now accounts for between five and eight percent of the total score. In 2012, Cisco achieved a 100 percent response rate from its preferred manufacturing partners and logistics providers. However, it only achieved an 81 percent response rate from preferred component suppliers. Its focus for 2013, is to achieve a 100 percent response rate from all preferred suppliers.

Environmental achievements

In 2006, Cisco made a commitment to reduce all GHG emissions from all of its business air travel worldwide by 10 percent against a 2006 baseline, and met the goal in 2009. In 2008, Cisco made a commitment to reduce all Scope 1,2 and business air travel Scope 3 GHG emissions worldwide by 25 percent from a 2007 baseline by 2012. The company met the goal.

Cisco opened a new "green" data center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina in 2012 to replace an existing one that "was rapidly approaching its limits for space, power and cooling." The data center was designed to achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness metric of 1.35 at full load and has achieved LEED Gold certification. Features of the data center include:

  • A chimney rack hot air isolation to improve cooling efficiency

  • A 100 kilowatt solar PV array on the roof

  • LED exterior lighting

  • Low-E glass windows

  • Reclaimed water use in cooling towers

  • Non-chemical water treatment system

  • Water-efficient plumbing

  • Occupancy sensors integrated with lighting and temperature controls

This year, Cisco's sustainability measures have been recognized. Cisco was ranked the number one IT company in the world based on its June 2011 responses to the Carbon Disclosure Project 2012 investor survey. It was ranked fifth across all sectors. Cisco ranked number two on the Greenpeace Cool IT Challenge Leaderboard, which was released in February.

Other environmental achievements include:

  • Installed over 5,000 EnergyWise enabled power distribution units. The company's goal is to have over 13,000 units on line.

  • Installed its first EV charging station in 2011, and to date, installed a total of 23 stations in the U.S., U.K. and Israel.

  • Achieved an annual usage reduction of 757,000 pounds of paper and plastic for its switching product lines.

  • Through packaging improvement projects, 466 metric tons of corrugated cardboard, plastic and paper were reduced in its shipments in 2012.
"Our business innovation underpins our CSR performance and as innovation occurs, we are helping break down the barriers that stifle economic growth and stall environmental sustainability," said John Chambers, CEO, Cisco.

"Cisco has had the ability to address pressing global issues in CSR such as access to health care, improving underperforming education systems, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions," said Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Cisco.

Image credit: Wikipedia
Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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