Fixing huge issues requires considering huge and setting targets that appear audacious. Cisco has achieved many daring targets over its 38-year historical past by counting on sensible folks, innovation and science.

Now that I’m Cisco’s Chief Sustainability Officer, science has by no means been extra vital to me. Scientific proof reveals that local weather change is an pressing disaster. If we don’t restrict world temperature rise to lower than 1.5° Celsius in comparison with pre-industrial ranges, we are going to face dramatic penalties. Floods, extra extreme and frequent climate occasions, longer and extra extreme droughts, meals shortages. We’re already seeing proof of those occasions day by day within the information.

How can we restrict world temperature rise to 1.5 levels? The world should halve world emissions earlier than 2030 and attain zero emissions by 2050. If that sounds exhausting, it’s as a result of will probably be. However the science says it’s doable, if we act now and with urgency.

That’s the reason one 12 months in the past, Cisco dedicated to reaching internet zero greenhouse fuel emissions throughout its worth chain by 2040. Once we set our internet zero purpose, we aimed excessive. We didn’t essentially understand how we might get there, however we knew this was the one technique to make progress: by being formidable, placing the fitting folks in place, innovating collectively and trusting science.

The science behind internet zero and the journey it’ll take to attain it are each complicated and evolving. However the motive for doing it’s easy: our future is dependent upon it.

I’m happy to share with you among the developments round our internet zero purpose within the final 12 months.

Third-party validation

In July 2022, Cisco’s 2040 internet zero purpose was permitted by the Science Based mostly Targets initiative (SBTi) beneath its Web-Zero Normal. The SBTi Web-Zero Normal is the world’s first framework for company internet zero goal setting according to local weather science.

To earn SBTi validation, firms are required to cut back their emissions by at the very least 90%. This requirement means we are able to’t merely depend on carbon offsets to attain our purpose. Having SBTi validation indicators that we’re dedicated to the deep emissions reductions which can be wanted to reverse world warming.

Let me again up for a second and outline internet zero: it’s a state the place no incremental greenhouse gases are added to the environment. Corporations can obtain internet zero by a mix of lowering their greenhouse fuel emissions and neutralizing any remaining GHG emissions by eradicating (sequestering) an equal quantity from the environment (also known as utilizing offsets).

Corporations with SBTI validation can use offsets for not more than 10% of their emissions discount. Which means we should focus the majority of our efforts on deep emissions reductions over neutralizing – which is the scientifically sound technique to reverse world warming and reduce the impacts of local weather change.

Constant transparency

Cisco has a historical past of being open about our targets and our progress by public reporting. We revealed our first Company Citizenship Report in 2005, and we proceed to report our emissions knowledge yearly in our Function Report and our ESG Reporting Hub (ESG = environmental, social and governance). We do that in order that our clients, staff, traders, and others might be assured that what we are saying is actual. And we frequently search for methods to enhance the readability of our reporting and the accuracy with which we calculate our emissions.

There’s a main shift occurring in laws round ESG reporting proper now as properly. For instance, in the USA, the Securities and Trade Fee (SEC) is contemplating new necessities for the way public firms make local weather disclosures. Whether or not the SEC drives and really adopts these guidelines or not, we’re already doing the work to align to them. We imagine having standardized local weather disclosure necessities gives traders and others with extra clear, constant, comparable, and decision-useful data.

Cisco not too long ago employed a controller to focus solely on ESG, and we’ve got created a working group to assist determine areas to bolster controls; perceive SEC local weather guidelines, anticipated disclosures and different worldwide laws; and develop clear plans to handle them.

We’re selecting to reinforce our ESG governance as a result of we wish our stakeholders to have a transparent image of our progress, our challenges, and our learnings. We welcome the elevated scrutiny as a result of it pushes us to repeatedly enhance our technique and the way we report on it.

Doing what is sweet for the world

Cisco was accountable for roughly 23 million tons of carbon dioxide equal (CO2e) in fiscal 12 months 2021. That’s solely about 0.0006 % of whole world greenhouse fuel emissions (primarily based on 2021 IEA knowledge), however it’s nonetheless critically vital for us to cut back our personal emissions as a lot as doable. In doing so, we are able to have a good greater affect by enabling our clients and others to do the identical.

For instance, lowering the power consumption of our merchandise lowers Cisco’s Scope 3 emissions, but additionally helps our clients scale back their Scope 2 emissions. When you’re not aware of scopes of emissions, you may study them from this Greenhouse Fuel Protocol picture, or see our definitions on the backside of this weblog.

Growing the quantity of power generated from renewable sources like wind and photo voltaic (“greening the grid”) is one other crucial. In response to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC) report, “limiting warming to 2°C or 1.5°C would require substantial power system modifications over the following 30 years. This consists of decreased fossil gas consumption” and “elevated manufacturing from low- and zero-carbon power sources…”

Our merchandise and options may also help utility firms shift to a extra low-carbon mannequin. For instance, we’ve got labored with Enel, Italy’s largest power supplier, to create a better, extra energy-efficient energy grid. Utilizing Cisco expertise, Enel can monitor its power grid and preemptively handle any faults or failures that threaten the community, and extra successfully connect with renewable power sources.

And our efforts to extend our personal use of renewable power over the past 15 years can even assist to speed up the deployment of renewable power methods all over the world. How? As a result of longer-term, multi-year renewable power agreements present invaluable funding for power suppliers, making it extra aggressive with conventionally produced energy, and be sure that the power will likely be bought over a sure time frame.

For instance, to extend the quantity of renewable power we use in India, we signed two long-term solar energy buy agreements (PPA) in 2018 that ship roughly 85,000 megawatt hours of electrical energy yearly to the grid the place our Bangalore campus is positioned.

By our investments and management, we hope to speed up the adoption of renewable power and encourage different firms to spend money on renewables as properly.

All informed, we’ve got a number of multi-year renewable power energy buy agreements (PPAs) all over the world that collectively produce greater than 300,000 megawatt hours per 12 months. We’re actively pursuing extra PPAs and count on to extend the quantity of renewable power we buy by PPAs and long-term renewable power agreements over the following few years.

Making the journey collectively

We may also co-innovate with our clients, suppliers, companions, and others to develop new enterprise fashions that may dramatically speed up the transition to a low-carbon economic system. We all know that expertise advances quickly, and we wish to be able to seize alternatives. It is a time for considering huge, and we wish to share and collaborate like by no means earlier than. The one method we are going to reverse local weather change is by working collectively and extra brazenly sharing practices which can be working and never working, so we are able to study from one another.

Whereas we are going to dream huge, we are going to nonetheless stay grounded within the science. And we are going to proceed to evolve our strategy as extra mechanisms grow to be obtainable. We’ll use actual knowledge to grasp what is basically working, what affect we’re having, and if there are any unintended penalties. The extra we all know, the higher we are able to do.

Finally, it isn’t nearly our internet zero purpose. We should construct ecofriendly companies; promote round enterprise fashions; preserve and restore the well being of our land, oceans, and ecosystems; and create alternatives for folks to take part within the inexperienced and digital economic system. It’s about serving to to scale local weather options by investing in them now. You may see an instance of this within the Cisco Basis, and the way it has dedicated to investing $100 million over ten years in promising local weather options.

Setting a internet zero purpose and naming a Chief Sustainability Officer are vital steps ahead. However they alone will not be sufficient to reverse the affect of local weather change. We nonetheless have far more work to do within the years to come back, and as our technique grows and evolves, we’re dedicated to sharing the small print – each the accomplishments and challenges – with you.

particulars on our environmental initiatives.

Scopes of emissions

Scope 1: Emissions from fuels we purchase and burn inside our operations. For instance, pure fuel used to warmth our buildings, back-up turbines that run on diesel, gasoline utilized in Cisco-owned automobiles.

Scope 2: Emissions from electrical energy we purchase for our operations. For instance, the ability we use in our labs and knowledge facilities to energy our tools and hold the lights on.

Scope 3: Emissions associated to our enterprise, however that we don’t personal or management. For instance, the electrical energy our merchandise devour after we promote them, our suppliers’ power use, transporting our merchandise, and worker commuting of their private automobiles.

 

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