Cisco pledges net-zero emissions by 2040 in latest ESG goals

By Blaise Hope
Technology giant and LAN pioneer Cisco Systems has set net-zero goals for its emissions by 2040 as part of its ambitious and accomplished ESG commitments

A pioneer of the concept of local area networks to connect computers over a multiprotocol router system, San Jose-based multinational technology conglomerate Cisco Systems, Inc. is also known for its energy-efficient supply chain.

Cisco has set long-term goals to address the environmental impact from its products and operations. In the last five years, the company has implemented over 440 energy efficiency projects that reduce costs and emissions and currently is developing more efficient thermal systems. These new systems are expected to reduce power loss while maintaining higher efficiency. Much of this is laid out in its 2021 purpose report

“Twenty years ago, Cisco signed the UN Global Compact, which encouraged businesses to focus on sustainability and social responsibility while reporting on their progress. In doing so, we aligned our operations and strategies to the UN’s Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption, and began taking strategic actions to advance societal goals,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco Chair and CEO.

“Most recently, we’ve been especially focused on environmental sustainability, which is reflected in our recent commitment to reach net-zero for all scopes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.”

Cisco including Scope 3 in its net-zero emissions and ESG targets

Cisco uses up to 85% clean electricity from renewable resources. It has also reduced 60% of its both Scope 1 and 2 direct and indirect emissions, including company vehicles and cooling or heating systems — a number it hopes to reach net zero, including Scope 3 emissions.

It also focuses on building more environmentally friendly products, such as its latest 1RU fixed system Cisco 8201, based on a single Cisco Silicon One Q100 device

Net-zero emissions goals added to Cisco/s sustainability, ESG accolades

SG Analytics, a leading ESG research and analytics company, ranked the company as its 10th most sustainable company in 2021.

Cisco employees are encouraged to engage with ESG goals with programmes including the Earth Aware campaign, SustainX internal thought leadership forum, sustainability projects hub Cisco Green Team, and interactive sustainability platform Cisco GreenHouse.

The company also recently announced the launch of its fifth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, a competition that awards cash prizes to early-stage technology startups that offer the most comprehensive solution in solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems, with prize money of US$1 million. Cisco has also pledge US$100 million over 10 years to fund nonprofit grants and impact investing in climate solutions through its CSR wing, The Cisco Foundation. 

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