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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 good individuals, innovation and science.
Now that I’m Cisco’s Chief Sustainability Officer, science has by no means been extra essential to me. Scientific proof exhibits that local weather change is an pressing disaster. If we don’t restrict international temperature rise to lower than 1.5° Celsius in comparison with pre-industrial ranges, we’ll 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 every single day within the information.
How can we restrict international temperature rise to 1.5 levels? The world should halve international emissions earlier than 2030 and attain zero emissions by 2050. If that sounds laborious, it’s as a result of it is going to be. However the science says it’s potential, if we act now and with urgency.
That’s the reason one 12 months in the past, Cisco dedicated to reaching internet zero greenhouse gasoline emissions throughout its worth chain by 2040. After we set our internet zero objective, 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 bold, placing the suitable individuals in place, innovating collectively and trusting science.
The science behind internet zero and the journey it’ll take to realize it are each complicated and evolving. However the cause for doing it’s easy: our future depends upon it.
I’m happy to share with you a number of the developments round our internet zero objective within the final 12 months.
In July 2022, Cisco’s 2040 internet zero objective was authorised by the Science Primarily based Targets initiative (SBTi) beneath its Internet-Zero Commonplace. The SBTi Internet-Zero Commonplace is the world’s first framework for company internet zero goal setting in step with local weather science.
To earn SBTi validation, firms are required to scale back their emissions by at the very least 90%. This requirement means we are able to’t merely depend on carbon offsets to realize our objective. Having SBTi validation indicators that we’re dedicated to the deep emissions reductions which can be wanted to reverse international 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. Firms can obtain internet zero by a mixture of decreasing their greenhouse gasoline emissions and neutralizing any remaining GHG emissions by eradicating (sequestering) an equal quantity from the environment (sometimes called utilizing offsets).
Firms 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 international warming and reduce the impacts of local weather change.
Cisco has a historical past of being open about our targets and our progress by public reporting. We printed our first Company Citizenship Report in 2005, and we proceed to report our emissions information yearly in our Function Report and our ESG Reporting Hub (ESG = environmental, social and governance). We do that in order that our prospects, workers, buyers, and others may be assured that what we are saying is actual. And we regularly search for methods to enhance the readability of our reporting and the accuracy with which we calculate our emissions.
There’s a main shift taking place in rules round ESG reporting proper now as effectively. For instance, in the US, the Securities and Change Fee (SEC) is contemplating new necessities for a 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 consider having standardized local weather disclosure necessities supplies buyers and others with extra clear, constant, comparable, and decision-useful data.
Cisco just lately employed a controller to focus completely on ESG, and we now have created a working group to assist establish areas to bolster controls; perceive SEC local weather guidelines, anticipated disclosures and different worldwide rules; 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.
Cisco was chargeable for roughly 23 million tons of carbon dioxide equal (CO2e) in fiscal 12 months 2021. That’s solely about 0.0006 p.c of whole international greenhouse gasoline emissions (primarily based on 2021 IEA information), however it’s nonetheless critically essential for us to scale back our personal emissions as a lot as potential. In doing so, we are able to have a fair greater influence by enabling our prospects and others to do the identical.
For instance, decreasing the vitality consumption of our merchandise lowers Cisco’s Scope 3 emissions, but in addition helps our prospects cut back their Scope 2 emissions. In the event you’re not acquainted with scopes of emissions, you’ll be able to find out about them from this Greenhouse Fuel Protocol picture, or see our definitions on the backside of this weblog.
Growing the quantity of vitality 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 vitality system modifications over the following 30 years. This consists of diminished fossil gasoline consumption” and “elevated manufacturing from low- and zero-carbon vitality sources…”
Our merchandise and options may help utility firms shift to a extra low-carbon mannequin. For instance, we now have labored with Enel, Italy’s largest vitality supplier, to create a wiser, extra energy-efficient energy grid. Utilizing Cisco know-how, Enel can monitor its vitality grid and preemptively tackle any faults or failures that threaten the community, and extra successfully connect with renewable vitality sources.
And our efforts to extend our personal use of renewable vitality over the past 15 years can even assist to speed up the deployment of renewable vitality techniques around the globe. How? As a result of longer-term, multi-year renewable vitality agreements present worthwhile funding for vitality suppliers, making it extra aggressive with conventionally produced energy, and be sure that the vitality will probably be bought over a sure time frame.
For instance, to extend the quantity of renewable vitality 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 vitality and encourage different firms to spend money on renewables as effectively.
All informed, we now have a number of multi-year renewable vitality energy buy agreements (PPAs) around the globe that collectively produce greater than 300,000 megawatt hours per 12 months. We’re actively pursuing further PPAs and count on to extend the quantity of renewable vitality we buy by PPAs and long-term renewable vitality agreements over the following few years.
We can even co-innovate with our prospects, suppliers, companions, and others to develop new enterprise fashions that may dramatically speed up the transition to a low-carbon financial system. We all know that know-how advances quickly, and we need to be able to seize alternatives. This can be a time for considering huge, and we need to share and collaborate like by no means earlier than. The one approach we’ll 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’ll dream huge, we’ll nonetheless stay grounded within the science. And we’ll proceed to evolve our strategy as extra mechanisms change into out there. We’ll use actual information to know what is admittedly working, what influence we’re having, and if there are any unintended penalties. The extra we all know, the higher we are able to do.
In the end, it isn’t nearly our internet zero objective. We should construct ecofriendly companies; promote round enterprise fashions; keep and restore the well being of our land, oceans, and ecosystems; and create alternatives for individuals to take part within the inexperienced and digital financial 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 objective and naming a Chief Sustainability Officer are essential steps ahead. However they alone usually are not sufficient to reverse the influence of local weather change. We nonetheless have far more work to do within the years to return, and as our technique grows and evolves, we’re dedicated to sharing the main points – each the accomplishments and challenges – with you.
particulars on our environmental initiatives.
Scope 1: Emissions from fuels we purchase and burn inside our operations. For instance, pure gasoline 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 facility we use in our labs and information facilities to energy our gear 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’ vitality use, transporting our merchandise, and worker commuting of their private automobiles.