by Gina Narcisi

Tech leader Cisco Systems has pledged to be a leader in sustainability in addition to networking and security. The company has revealed new data center energy management features and is exposing data analytics to customers and partners to help them make more informed decisions around energy consumption.

Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins said at Cisco Live 2023 that sustainability is among the San Jose, Calif.-based company's top five customer priorities. The company has set a goal of a 90 percent reduction in Scope 1 and 2, or emissions owned or controlled by a company, by 2025. By 2030, Cisco's goal is to slice Scope 3 emissions, or emissions generated outside the company from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, by 30 percent.

"When we established a net-zero goal, Scope 3 means we have to help you achieve your goals, so we're going to have to work together on this," Robbins told the audience of partners and customers during his keynote.

Because the company can't reach its sustainability goals alone, Cisco is leaning on channel partners that can help customers more thoughtfully design and set up campuses, office environments and data centers, said Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager of collaboration for Cisco.

"They can now use this data to make decisions about how much [energy] they're using, should they be using less or more, or should they be upgrading their devices in certain cases," Khan said. "On utilization, [the customer] might have a lot of rooms sitting idle between certain hours, so maybe they should turn the power down."

Customers are increasingly gaining access to more data that can help them from a sustainability perspective, but they're struggling with how to make sense of that data. This is where a partner can come in and Cisco is making it easier for solution providers to build practices around sustainability, said Joe Berger, area vice president of digital experiences for St. Louis-based Cisco Gold partner World Wide Technology.



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