Getting green with Cisco's 'footprint' tool
At the Green Legal Strategy panel in San Francisco, John Hailey, Cisco's senior manager of sustainable development, shows off the company's "Environmental Data" tool available for free on the company's Web site. He says Cisco is committed to reducing its own footprint by 25 percent by 2012, taking into account growth, which may mean up to a 50 percent reduction of its greenhouse gases.
John Hailey: We set a goal commitment of 25% absolute reduction by the year 2012 that includes growth. So if we grow 10% a year, maybe not this year, but 10% a year until we meet that commitment, that means we're gonna roughly have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. So it's a huge goal for us. One of the things we needed to do right away and I'm gonna mention this because I'm also gonna show you that we're giving this tool away for any of -- any company that's interested in using it, we created an environmental data tool that helps us measure where our greenhouse gas emissions come from. It's a relatively simple tool. It's built on a Microsoft access database. We created it in about two months and we had very little time to do this to set our goal up, but before we set our goal, we wanted to know what our greenhouse gas footprint was and where we could achieve the saving ultimately. So, we are able to update this chart on a monthly basis for every property, both owned and leased across the globe. When we had a new building, we add it to the database. When we leave a building, we subtract it from the database. And we have now about 150 participants using this tool all either direct Cisco employees or vendor organizations and we thought that it was very important to have the people who are close to the buildings, close to facilities being the one's that we're communicating with the landlord or measuring the results, communicating with the local utility that's sending them the bill. We measure the electricity and natural gas, diesel or light fuel oil, propane and inaudible fuel, but it still produces greenhouse gas emissions, so air conditioning systems for example. We wanna know what the contribution that's making to our footprint. This will only measure that first element of the data that we report. Travel emissions are measured with another tool. And then our airline emissions are measured with another tool. So, just real quickly, I'm gonna make these slides available to the group following the meeting and so you do not need to write this down, but this tool is going to be available online at Cisco, let's say for your charge that you will have to sign a disclosure agreement -- a disclaimer agreement rather, but other than that, there will be instructions for your programmers who probably are pretty efficient at programming Microsoft Office and that's really what you need to do going forward when we won't support the tool. If you wanna make enhancements to it, you can do that yourself. You can go in any direction you want to. All the fundamentals will be there. You can insert your hierarchy, your structure of the company, how you operate, all the fundamental templates are there for its use. And we decided to do this because, one is we had such a great experience ourselves, going through this process and learning about, you know how to find out what type of impact we had on the globe, but also working with the partners in the EPA program finding that many of them didn't have the resources necessarily to be able to do this quickly. We thought it was a better thing to put it out there for free than to try to build a program on it and hold it behind closed doors.