Top Ten Cleantech Initiatives of Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems is a multinational corporation based in the United States. Cisco Systems designs, manufactures, and sells consumer electronics and voice, communications, and networking services and technologies. The headquarters of Cisco Systems is in San Jose, California. Cisco Systems is often cited as the biggest technology corporation in the world. Green is about doing the right thing and providing customers with solutions and products that assist them in achieving their “green goals.” As part of their commitment to the environment, Cisco pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 25 percent by 2012. Here are just a few of the things Cisco Systems provides to their customers to become much more energy efficient and environmentally conscious.

1) Green Strategies. Cisco implements a number of green strategies in their office and promotes what they do online so that other businesses can do the same. This includes activating sleeps settings on all idle monitors and computers because it can save $75 annually per computer in power costs. Other things to do is replace CRT monitors with efficient LED monitors, converge multiple networks into a single infrastructure in an effort to decrease the quantity of devices and energy used, and purchasing IT products that provide several functions instead of just one, for example the Cisco platform offers the router, VPN, firewall, Power over Ethernet switch, telephony gateway, WiFi access point, and voice messaging in one compact product.

2) One Million Acts of Green. Cisco’s One Million Acts of Green shows how easy it is for anyone to better utilize resources provided by the planet. Launched in 2008, acts can include changing a light bulb to something that is more energy efficient, like an LED bulb, turning off the kitchen faucet when between dishes or even adding solar panels to a home or office. Small and large acts are accepted because every act will someone improve the environment. On the website, individuals “pledge” to complete the act and once completed, Cisco calculates the amount of greenhouse gases that was saved by doing that act. Every small act adds up to a lot of greenhouse gas emissions saved!

3) Green Wireless Strategies. With the evolution of mobility technologies, Cisco has created their own wireless design and product development to ensure that all products are eco-friendly. Cisco Mobility Solutions assist businesses in optimizing their resources and decreasing their carbon footprint through a number of measures, including reducing the need to travel and compute, creating flexible work spaces, lowering energy consumption, and providing ways for employees to be productive at their home and not have to come into the office.

4) Cisco TelePresence. The Cisco TelePresence acts upon the need for businesses and organizations to communicate cross borders without having to necessarily travel, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions with flying. Cisco TelePrensence allows businesses to increase global impact without increasing their carbon footprint. It enables “in-person meetings” without the necessary traveling. With the program, businesses can, “Reduce the need for flying; lessen your organization’s impact on the environment through reduced travel; meet with more locations more frequently at a fraction of the cost; solve problems faster by connecting people in multiple locations at one; [and]accelerate your corporate green initiatives.”

5) The Cisco EcoBoard. The Cisco EcoBoard looks at how Cisco can reduce the effects of all operations and products on the environment. The EcoBoard was established in 2006 to lead new company environmental sustainability initiatives and to set a number of goals and priorities throughout all the departments. The objective is to not only decrease Cisco’s carbon dioxide emissions, but also provide new opportunities to customers who want to behave in a more environmentally sustainable fashion. The EcoBoard’s commitment is highlighted in three actions – “Operations: Lessen our emissions of greenhouse gases; Products: Maximize product functionality and performance while optimizing and reducing power consumption; [and]Architecture: Deliver networking architectures and solutions that enable customers to achieve environmental goals.”

6) Waste Management Incentives. From the product design to its use, Cisco is always looking at viable ways to reduce waste. Cisco engineers, supply chain teams and manufacturers look at the increasing problem of waste to locate new solutions, including new designs, materials, and processes. Cisco has been instrumental in designing products that can easily disassemble to make recycling the components a lot easier. Cisco also uses recyclable packaging to encourage consumers to recycle.

7) Take Back and Recycle Program. The Cisco Take Back and Recycle Program provides assistance to businesses that want to properly return and recycle old Cisco products that they no longer need in their offer. All equipment and associated brands can be included in this program. Cisco gets the returned equipment and then recycles it in a manner that exceeds all current environmental regulations. If a business requests, Cisco will provide a “Certificate of Destruction” to prove that the equipment has been returned and recycled properly.

8 ) Cisco Unified Communications Redefine the Mall Experience. Everyone sees signs at malls for new products and news about the malls. Malls and shopping centers can now serve all the needs of the customers and tenants by delivering all the necessary information in real time. Through the Cisco Digital Mall Media solution, the malls can maintain intelligent media distribution network throughout the premises. The digital signage not only promotes brand awareness and information on new products, but it has lower operating and energy management costs. Not only that, but it also decreases the need to plaster paper signs on the mall.

9) Cisco EnergyWise. Cisco EnergyWise allows companies to manage their power. The Cisco EnergyWise technology allows companies to measure, report, and reduce their overall energy consumption throughout their entire corporate infrastructure. It will positively impact the company’s energy budget for the entire facility. EnergyWise is part of Cisco’s Borderless Networks program that looks to accelerate business innovation, protect assets while mitigating risks, maintain full business continuity, and maintain positive growth via productivity.

10) Cisco Home Energy Management. Cisco’s Home Energy Management Program offers updated energy and budgetary information to help homes and offices optimize home energy use. With this solution, individuals can gain visibility into their home and/or office energy usage and have control over the amount of energy used. The Home Energy Management Program allows individuals to save energy as well as money with demand response, manage their energy budget based on the peak pricing and the time of use, protect the environment by decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and control and view energy use of all power-consuming appliances.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at

Skip to toolbar