Feature Story

Going green can be gold

by Stephanie Chan

Going green can be gold

See how Cisco is supporting renewable energy in areas like data center.

Plenty of big tech influencers and investors are putting their money behind clean-tech ventures, showing their support for things like battery storage and fusion energy. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and other investors are a part of the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, which invests in renewable energy startups and carbon-reducing technologies. This group seeks to equip everyone with a good standard of living, including things like healthy food and transportation without contributing to climate change.

It’s crucial for the tech industry and beyond to get serious about sustainability. The United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals for the year 2030 include eliminating water waste, encouraging sanitation, using only energy efficient appliances, building sustainable communities, and educating young people on climate change. There are several reasons why companies like Cisco and venture funds like Breakthrough Energy are getting behind eco-friendliness. From a business approach, companies are able to create long-term value by implementing more of these sustainable strategies. Investing in the future of sustainability shifts perspective on what is important, and it shows that putting stake in renewable energy can pay off in the future.

Supporting sustainability is the right thing to do, and being backed by big companies help spread awareness about the future of green. But there is still change to be made with certain areas of technology. Data centers, for example, consume large amounts of energy in order to run, maintain, and cool the computer systems. One typical data center may consume as much energy as 25,000 households. These centers are on 24 hours a day, and are vital to keeping the IT industry alive.

One method that Cisco uses to reduce energy waste in data centers is the consumption model. This model provides a hybrid experience for payment, which helps deliver on-demand needs when they occur. Think of it like owning a car and also having the ability to use a cab or ride-share when you need it. In Cisco’s Allen, Texas data center, this consumption model has shown amazing results.

With the implementation of ACI, the Allen data center saw lower operating costs due to a 91 percent reduction in network power and cooling costs. It also saw  increase in data center space due to a 66 percent reduction in the overall network footprint.

Cisco has always aimed to make measurable impact on people, society, and the planet. The company already has had an overall 45 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions since 2007, and aims to reduce emissions by 60 percent by fiscal year 2022. Cisco has also positively impacted more than 209 million people, and the number continues to grow. This and more has landed the company at number two on Barron’s most sustainable companies ranking. Learn more about Cisco’s other corporate social responsibility efforts here.

 

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