Cisco replaces its parter and competitor IBM at the top of the Leaderboard in version three, propelled to the front on the basis of its thoroughness in documenting the impact of its solutions offerings, which reduce energy consumption in areas such as building design and energy management, telecommunting, and smart grid deployment.
Cisco is aggressively positioning itself as a central player in the development of a global smart grid. Though Cisco does not have the same brand profile as IBM or an elaborate “Smart Planet” marketing campaign to peddle its green tech solutions offerings, Cisco is rapidly developing a full suite of smart grid products and services that can empower its business partners and customers to become more effective energy managers. Much in the same way it played a critical role in the development of the standards and equipment that now constitute the backbone of the internet, Cisco hopes to play a role in the creation of an energy “network”, which will leverage the massive volume of data to be generated by smart meters, censors, and other devices that will eventually make up the smart grid.
Cisco is also one of the most active companies in demonstrating leadership on climate and energy policy advocacy — particularly in the EU — and CEO John Chambers appears to appreciate the importance of the issue and the role that Cisco and others need to play in informing the policy debate. Hopefully we will see a similar jump in Cisco’s advocacy leadership as we review their solutions leadership for Version 4 of the Cool IT Leaderboard.
Cisco is the top scoring company for offering IT solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions, offering a number of solution services. The company provides various calculators, which explain the metrics and assumptions as well as calculations of emissions savings in regards to the use of Cisco services, ranging from the company’s telepresence to connected buildings and workplace.
Cisco has an aggressive absolute emission reduction targets of 25 percent by 2012, from a 2007 baseline. The company also powered 37 percent of its electricity via a combination of onsite renewables and renewable energy credits.
Cisco’s advocacy score rises, mainly due to its repetition score, from its advocacy during last year’s Copenhagen climate meetings. Cisco also gains points from it’s public speech on climate policy, and CEO Chambers’ post Copenhagen Op-Ed was among the best in capturing the fact that market opportunities and cost savings for businesses will only come with policies to reduce emissions and drive clean energy solutions, and corporations need to start making themselves vocal and politically relevant in order to push governments to take action.