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Cisco Sustainability News, Milestones, Partnerships and Net Zero Timeline

November 20, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Cisco Systems, led by CEO Chuck Robbins, expects to be carbon neutral by 2040. How will the networking company reach that long-term goal? Chief Sustainability Officer Mary de Wysocki (pictured above) shared some clues in this interview.

Among de Wysocki's key statements from that Q&A: "My primary objective as CSO is to steward environmental sustainability initiatives across Cisco. As we think about our strategy, we’re focusing on how we can decarbonize our business and embed circularity. Equally important is looking at how we can enable sustainable growth and innovation. The greatest opportunity is on helping our customers, partners, and other stakeholders decarbonize their business and embed circularity. Cisco’s technology and ecosystem can play a significant role in the twin transition to a digital and low-carbon economy." That journey toward sustainability, de Wysocki added, must be authentic, transparent, and data-driven.

Cisco Partners and Sustainability Strategy

On the partner ecosystem front, Cisco unveiled an Environmental Sustainability Specialization for partners in early 2022. That effort's lead sponsor is Andrew Sage, VP of global distribution sales.

Dig a little deeper, and you'll see that Cisco continues to promote a Takeback and Reuse Program. And the company is rolling out and activating Circular Design Principals for all new Cisco products by 2025.

The efforts don't end there. The timeline below, updated regularly, further explains Cisco's sustainability strategy, key milestones, customer engagements, partner integrations and more. Check back regularly for updates.

November 2023: Cisco Sustainability Strategy

Multiple updates...

September 2023: Sustainability Research

August 2023: Sustainability Partnerships

  • IT Distribution, Networking and Circular Economy: TD Synnex has achieved the Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialization for its business in Europe. Among the benefits: TD Synnex partners can plug into the Cisco Takeback incentive, which enables the free return of used hardware to be remanufactured, recycled or safely disposed of, and up to 7% discount for new products on qualifying deals. In addition, obtaining this specialization helps partners advance toward Cisco Select Partner status, the companies noted.

July 2023: Sustainability Research

  • Sustainable Broadband Networks: Fully 65% of consumers in EMEA are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%), Cisco Systems research found. In addition, 77% said they would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%.

June 2023: Sustainability Strategy Milestones

Multiple updates including...

Liz Centoni, executive VP, Cisco Systems
  • Cisco Live 2023 Conference - Full-Stack Observability Platform: The new platform "enables a new observability ecosystem that brings data together from multiple domains including application, networking, infrastructure, security, cloud, sustainability, and business sources," the company said. The offering includes Cloud Native Application Observability to track costs and sustainability metrics. Also, an Application Resource Optimizer allows customers to manage Kubernetes workloads, and associated financial targets and sustainability goals, the company said,
  • Cisco Live 2023 Conference - Sustainable Data Center Networking: The company announced new integrations for Cisco data center networking and Nexus Dashboard, which will allow customers to "gain real-time and historical insights for power consumption of all IT equipment in their data center and estimate the energy footprint of their data center operations," the company said.
  • Technology Strategy Investor Briefing: In prepared comments, Executive VP Liz Centoni said: "Over the last year we've added this as one of the top priorities that our customers continue to talk to us about. As they've said that, hey, sustainability is a big part of how we operate and run our businesses, right. So what we build, whether it's in Jonathan's business, the software business, and security and observability absolutely is around how do we enable our customers' sustainability goals, including with Silicon One, more efficiency, higher bandwidth. But also we have our own sustainability goals of getting to net zero by 2040 as Scope 2 and Scope 3 get a lot more challenging than Scope 1."

May 2023: Sustainability Strategy Milestones

  • Partnership - Internet of Things: NTT and Cisco Systems partnered to promote IoT (Internet of Things) as a service capabilities that help customers meet their sustainability goals.

March 2023: Cisco Sustainability and Partner Go-to-Market

Katherine Hannah, Cisco Systems Sustainability
Katherine Hannah, global sustainability lead for global partner and route to market sales, Cisco
  • Key Partner Leader: Cisco veteran Katherine Hannah shifted to global sustainability lead for global partner and route to market sales, according to her LinkedIn bio.

February 2023: Sustainability Strategy Milestones

  • Webex and Sustainability: The company launched Carbon Emissions Insights in Webex Control Hub. The software, according to the company, allows partners and customers to:
    • Estimate energy usage and related carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from Cisco collaboration devices. The calculations are based on formulas from recognized governmental authorities such as the US Environmental Protection Agency.
    • See emissions trends over time to track progress towards sustainability goals.
    • Guide IT administrators to enable features like Webex's Office Hours to reduce their energy usage.

Cisco's Overall Sustainability Strategy

Cisco's ESG reporting hub is here. And the company's corporate social responsibility report is here.

Keep checking back for more updates to this timeline.

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3 comments on “Cisco Sustainability News, Milestones, Partnerships and Net Zero Timeline”

  1. Hi Brendan: Thanks for your question. I've reached out to Cisco to see if I can find the answer for you. I will update this comment if/when I receive a reply.


  2. Hi Brendan: Cisco just replied to my inquiry. According to a spokesperson for the company: "As of last month, I can confirm we have 531 partners who have earned the ESS, certifying them for participating in Cisco’s Take Back Incentive where partners, in participating countries, are exclusively eligible for incremental discounts of up to 7% on new products, with a commitment to return customers used hardware back to Cisco."


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