A Letter from the Cisco EcoBoard

At Cisco, we’re committed to our vision: “Changing the Way We Work, Live, Play, and Learn.” And this extends to our ability to reduce the effects of our operations and products on the environment. Together with our customers, partners, employees, and communities, we have a unique opportunity to help organizations and individuals use technology in environmentally sustainable ways.

In October 2006, John Chambers established the Cisco EcoBoard to lead company initiatives for environmental sustainability and to set priorities and goals across all departments engaged in environmental activities. The EcoBoard is comprised of leaders from 12 key areas of Cisco’s business, ranging from engineering to operations to employee communications to government affairs.

As co-chairs of the EcoBoard, we set an ambitious agenda to not only reduce Cisco’s greenhouse gas emissions, but also to deliver opportunities for our customers to operate in more environmentally sustainable ways. In the future, the network will be the key technology enabler to manage, monitor, and better utilize energy and achieve more significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions globally.

We characterize Cisco’s commitment to environmental sustainability as three actions:

  • Operations: Lessen our emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Products: Maximize product functionality and performance while optimizing and reducing power consumption
  • Architecture: Deliver networking architectures and solutions that enable customers to achieve environmental goals

At the operations level, we helped reduce greenhouse emissions from Cisco facilities in FY07 by using renewable power. We purchased an additional 79.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power for our headquarters in San Jose, bringing our total purchase for United States’ facilities to 88.6 million kWh and globally to 115 million kWh.

Our engineering team is dedicated to reducing energy consumption by our products. The goal is to design in environmental efficiency and to design out waste. In addition, we are building and taking full advantage of new collaboration technologies—such as TelePresence, Unified Communications, and WebEx—to reduce the need for travel. In FY07 we committed $22.2 million to our collaborative technologies to facilitate a 10-percent reduction in greenhouse emissions from air travel.

Perhaps the most dramatic effect we can have with our customers is related to the architectural design of our solutions. We are working to develop more energy-efficient network architectures for the business data center and for wireless networks. At a solutions level, we have launched initiatives such as Connected Urban Development, which uses converged IP-enabled infrastructures in urban areas, and new technologies such as Radio Frequency ID and mobility to reduce urban energy consumption and to lower emissions created by traffic congestion.

As the EcoBoard leaders, we are excited about harnessing the power of the network to promote a more environmentally sustainable future. We look forward to working with our customers, partners, employees, and communities to address the serious environmental challenges—and opportunities—that face us all.


Tony Bates, SVP/GM, Service Provider Technology Group
Laura Ipsen, SVP, Global Policy and Government
Ron Ricci, VP, Corporate Positioning