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Cisco Sustainability Report: 2012 CO2 Target Smashed; Water and Energy Up

Cisco reduced its contractual scopes 1 and 2 carbon emissions by just short of 40 percent year-on-year, surpassing the company’s financial year 2012 target for a 25 percent reduction over 2007 levels, according to the company’s 2012 corporate sustainability report.

In FY 2012, Cisco’s scope 1 and 2 contractual emissions – the totals of which include reductions from renewable energy purchases – totalled 251,672 metric tons of CO2, down from 416,927 metric tons in FY 2011. This figure puts Cisco at 41 percent below its 2007 baseline year when the company emitted 429,411 metric tons of scope 1 and 2 CO2.

In FY 2012, Cisco produced 139,431 metric tons of scope 3 CO2 emissions, up 9.5 percent year-on-year, but down 32 percent on FY 2007 levels. The company surpassed its scope 3 emissions target of a 25 percent reduction over FY 2007 levels in FY 2009. There has been a steady increase in the company’s scope 3 emissions since FY 2010.

The company’s carbon intensity dropped marginally year-on-year from 15.3 metric tons of scopes 1 and 2 carbon per million dollars of revenue in FY 2011 to 15.1 in FY 2012, the report says.

In February 2012, Greenpeace rated Cisco number two in its Cool IT Leaderboard. Cisco scored well on reporting its greenhouse gas emissions, providing ICT solutions that customers can use to reduce their own emissions and calculating the impact of these solutions. The company cored lower on advocacy and thus dropped a position compared the previous year’s leaderboard.

Year-on-year, Cisco’s energy usage increased 8.4 percent from 1,613 GWh to 1,750 GWh in FY 2012. The company has been executing a global program to reduce electricity consumption in its labs in three areas:

• Improving the energy efficiency of the building infrastructure that supports its labs • Installing and utilizing power monitoring and control technologies for its lab equipment • Developing and executing a sustainable lab employee engagement program.

This $16.8-million strategy was approved for funding at the end of FY11 and is now being deployed across the labs, the report says. Cisco expects the energy program to reduce its electricity costs by about $9 million per year, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 30,000 metric tons of CO2e, and to provide a return on its investment of less than two years.

Cisco opened a new data center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., in early FY 2012 to replace an existing disaster recovery facility that the company says was “rapidly approaching its limits for space, power, and cooling.” The new data center boasts such efficiency innovations as chimney rack hot-air isolation for improved cooling efficiency, a waterside economizer, LED exterior lighting and reclaimed water use in its cooling towers. The new data center is designed to achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness metric of 1.35 at full load and has achieved LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council.

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