News Release

Cisco Networkers Leads Australian Conference Market with Landmark Environmental Initiatives

Australian-First Study at Networkers 2007 Shows Significant Reduction in Carbon Footprint
Mar 06, 2008

BRISBANE, Australia, February 28, 2008 - Cisco® today announced the results of a study on energy-saving initiatives at its annual Australia and New Zealand Networkers conference. The study highlighted how several Australian-first programs introduced by Cisco at Networkers 2007 produced significant reductions in the impact of the conference on the environment.

The research was coordinated by the corporate social responsibility advisory firm Positive Outcomes, under commission from Cisco and supported by the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC), where Networkers was held in September 2007. The systematic study was an Australian first for the information technology industry.

Cisco's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Les Williamson, said; "Clearly, there is an imperative for businesses such as Cisco to treat their environmental impact very seriously, and we are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint by implementing green initiatives. We believe networking technologies can play a critical role in reducing the impact of business on the environment."

The study was conducted before, during and following Cisco Networkers 2007. The annual convention is the biggest event of its kind in Australasia, featuring four days of keynote and breakout addresses from Cisco thought leaders, and a large exhibition with 49 vendors. The event itself caters for almost 1,800 people.

At the 2007 conference, Cisco and its partners undertook a range of industry-leading energy-saving initiatives, including:

  • Using renewable energy by investing in 100 per cent Australia Green Power for the duration of the event
  • Using low-energy lighting in exhibition halls
  • Using reusable material for exhibition stands
  • Centering all menus on fresh, seasonal, local produce
  • Choosing service methods that help ensure portion control and reduce waste
  • Distributing unused food to local charities via a food bank
  • Arranging bus transportation for delegates to and from the airport and from the convention centre to their hotels
  • Making conference information available to delegates electronically

The change to renewable energy for the conference alone was estimated by the study to have saved the equivalent of almost 208 tonnes of carbon emissions. The additional initiatives saved a further 4.3 tonnes of carbon emissions, and almost 70 per cent of waste was recycled.

The availability of electronic conference information was well received, with 52 per cent of conference delegates opting to receive conference papers via memory stick, resulting in a 45 per cent reduction in paper usage for the event. The environmental value of the exercise strengthened by Cisco's commitment to return to the BCEC for Networkers 2008.

Robert O'Keeffe, BCEC's general manager, said: "We welcomed the opportunity to work closely with Cisco on developing initiatives and implementing systems to help make Networkers 2007 a greener conference. Striving for sustainability has always been at the very core of our operations, having been a foundation member of Australia's Greenhouse Challenge, and we see our partnership with Cisco as further expanding our environmental endeavours. We look forward to achieving more positive results and an even greener event from our initiatives with Networkers 2008."

The industry-leading activities Cisco has embarked on with the BCEC are also reflected in Cisco's wider, global approach to reducing the impact of human activity on carbon emissions. Cisco's TelePresence Meeting solution is a prime example of green-friendly technology. Using the Internet Protocol network, TelePresence combines video, audio and interactive elements to provide high-definition, life-size communications via video.