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The Path to Sustainability Travels Through the Cloud

The path to sustainability and mitigating the disruptions of climate change and achieving zero net emissions is going to include technology and innovation.

Sustainability isn’t just about doing good for the environment or society at large — it’s also good for business. Here are just a few reasons to operate a more sustainable business:

Reputation: Millennial business buyers and talent consider a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability as an important factor in deciding to move forward with business deals and job offers, according to research by organizations like Deloitte.

Regulatory frameworks: Governments and industries are implementing regulations to address dwindling natural resources and growing greenhouse gas emissions.

Cultural shifts: The world is working in a new way. With the shift to hybrid work, organizations are reimagining their workplaces. Also consumers have become more conscious of how their behaviors impact climate change and we believe that may influence their spending and investment behaviors.

Efficiency: Sustainable practices often help reduce the use of energy and other resources, which can lead to cost savings.
All of this has led to more organizations committing to sustainable practices — such as using renewable energy, reusing and recycling equipment, and making carbon reduction pledges. Setting a goal is one thing, but achieving that goal is what matters. For most organizations — even though sustainability cracked Gartner’s CEO survey top-ten list of priorities for 2022-2023 — it is still one of many priorities, and the path to getting there isn’t always clear.

We believe the path to mitigating the disruptions of climate change and achieving zero net emissions is going to include technology and innovation. We can see evidence of this across different industries — automotive with electric cars, the public sector’s push for clean energy infrastructure, carbon capture, and the growth of lab-grown meats in the food industry, to name a few examples.

A Cloud-managed network can help provide a path to sustainability for any organization. Organizations across different industries are relying on advanced technologies to drive digital transformation and accelerate innovation. At the backbone of this is cloud-based internet infrastructure. Cloud technology enables industries to leverage global networks, seamlessly connecting hardware and software. This provides the on-demand processing power, data storage, and analytics needed to scale computing — delivering the innovations needed to drive productivity and efficiency.

Cisco Meraki has a culture of pushing boundaries and innovating to make IT more intuitive, faster, and smarter for our customers. We believe applying these same principles can enable our customers to leverage digital innovations that are good for business and for the environment.

Smart spaces

By using Cloud native and AI technology to intelligently manage spaces, Cisco Meraki and our technology partner ecosystem can help customers create and maintain smart, healthy, and sustainable spaces that can help improve business productivity and performance. When cloud-first solutions enable building controls to be automated, efficiency may go up, while energy use and operating costs may go down, due to better management of functions like heating, cooling, and lighting.

Our intuitive IoT solutions can automatically adjust workspace conditions, for example by switching off WiFi and other Power over Ethernet devices outside of business hours, or by preventing water leaks and goods spoilage with temperature and humidity sensors. Cloud technology makes it easier to gather data across different devices, platforms and geographically dispersed areas to conduct cross domain analysis. The more an organization can access insights from their own data, the more overall value they can derive to manage costs, maximize resources, and improve customer and employee experiences.

Embracing hybrid work

Our new way of working has created an opportunity for organizations and their employees to reduce the carbon footprint of day-to-day business. Consolidating office space and equipment, lowering energy and water usage, and reducing the number of vehicles on the road through less commuting time can all help the environment. But making that work seamless for organizations struggling with dated technology and talent shortages isn’t easy. The Meraki Cloud Platform enables zero touch deployment that works in concert with smart cameras and IoT sensors to provide a unified experience that extends the capabilities of IT, security, facilities, and operations teams.

Building a sustainable future for all

As more organizations voluntarily make climate action pledges and move toward sustainable practices, they can look to Cloud managed technology to help them meet their goals. Whether the motivation is out of concern for the climate or a company’s bottom line, there is an opportunity for Cloud technology to help lead the way with a unified experience. When everything is connected and you have end-to-end visibility across devices and domains, your IT, facilities, physical security and operations departments can all leverage efficiencies and take small actions that can make a positive impact on the environment.

Previously published on the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Blog and in the 3BL Media newsroom.

Image credit: Sigmund via Unsplash

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