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Sustainability Case Studies

Learn how Cisco is helping businesses, communities, and countries transition to a low-carbon circular economy.

We embrace our opportunity to help our customers, suppliers, and partners decrease their environmental impacts. Our industry has an important role to play. Our digital technologies, such as collaboration, IoT, and AI, can be used to reduce emissions, improve resource efficiency and enable more circular business models.

Our technology can also be used to help the world prepare for the consequences of a changing world and a changing climate—such as to monitor grid reliability, enable grid decarbonization, monitor transportation and water systems, and support the workplace of the future. For example, through WebEx by Cisco, AnyConnect VPN, and TelePresence, Cisco is providing the tools that make it possible for millions of employees to work from home daily. These technologies also reduce GHG emissions associated with commuting and other business travel. For more than 30 years, Cisco has been helping businesses, communities, and countries transition to a digital economy. Now, we are helping them adapt to a low-carbon circular economy, as well.

Enabling smart buildings for the future of work

Cisco’s Smart Building solutions can help our customers reduce their energy use through low-voltage Power over Ethernet (PoE) smart switches that provide network-based monitoring and control of temperature, lighting, air quality and other building characteristics. Using these solutions, facilities operators can monitor systems and devices, manage energy use, track occupancy levels to protect occupants’ health and safety, and troubleshoot issues. As an example, when ASHRAE, the world’s leading building standards organization, moved to a new corporate headquarters, it partnered with Cisco and NTT to retrofit a 43-year-old building into a secure, innovative, and sustainable workspace. The building’s universal PoE foundation, powered by Cisco, allows all systems to be managed over the network through an integrated building management system. ASHRAE’s new building uses this technology to securely enable an intelligent reception system, space-specific HVAC optimization program based on occupancy, and an energy management system combined with onsite solar PV system that enables the building to consume less power than it generates.

A smarter power grid for Enel

As Italy’s largest electricity provider, Enel needs to make sure that its services are always on. We’ve partnered with Enel to make sure the lights never go out by creating a smarter, more efficient power grid. ENEL is working with Cisco to introduce innovative solutions for agile grid operation, regulation, and supervision. Using Cisco technology, Enel can monitor its energy grid and preemptively address any faults or failures that threaten the network. Cisco is also helping Enel connect its grid to renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy at scale, speeding the transition to a low-carbon electricity grid. Together, Cisco and Enel are making energy more reliable, more affordable and more sustainable.

Enabling circularity for our customers

Cisco is partnering with customers, cities, and other organizations to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. One of our partners, Intesa Sanpaolo, a major European bank, set up a dedicated credit facility of US$7.3 billion in 2018 to support companies looking for circular efficiencies and adopting circular business models. Since late 2018, Intesa Sanpaolo has financed almost 200 circular economy projects, which include investments in closed loop manufacturing, circular product design, reverse logistics, IoT, and more. In fiscal 2021, Intesa Sanpaolo and Cisco began working in partnership to provide wrap-around support, from financing to technology, for companies going into a circular transition.

Digital technology opens up a new playing field for circular business models. Cisco partner 99Bridges is leveraging Cisco IoT and networking technology to create a reusable bag system designed to eliminate single-use plastic bags. 99Bridges created a technology platform called Mosaic that reminds and rewards customers to reuse their smart-enabled resuable bags. Mosaic also enables retailers to track and manage the end-to-end circular lifecycle and environmental impact of the reusable bags. 99Bridges is piloting the solution with major retail chains across North America, including Walmart, Target, and CVS Health. Cisco is also working with customers on the application of AI-enabled subscription services, blockchain, and other solutions that will provide greater tracking and traceability.