By Stacy Betts
Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.
As a Cisco channel leader, I recognize the importance of understanding our partners’ sustainability endeavors in the Americas, as collaborative efforts and mutual support are imperative in addressing the significant sustainability challenges we confront. In this regard, I had the privilege of conducting interviews with several Cisco partners to discuss their challenges, uncover opportunities, and explore how Cisco can offer support.
Throughout these discussions, a common theme emerged: the need to bring our partners together for collaborative engagement, knowledge sharing, and in-depth conversations on building sustainable business models and offerings. The aim is to ensure not only the success of our partners but also the achievement of our mutual customers’ sustainability goals.
Prioritizing sustainability is also a business imperative
A key revelation from these conversations is the recognition that prioritizing sustainability is not just an ethical choice; it’s also a vital business imperative. While there may be situations where the choices between speed and convenience conflict with what is morally right, aligning our efforts with the objective of creating an inclusive and environmentally responsible future is not only ethically sound but also central to Cisco’s overarching mission.
To help us share insights for the better good, the Americas partner sustainability community now convenes on a quarterly basis with a dedicated leadership team committed to helping customers realize their sustainability objectives. These gatherings provide valuable insights from Cisco leaders on the broader sustainability strategy. They also serve as a platform for introducing the latest Cisco programs and tools centered on sustainability, hosting industry and ecosystem partners to share their go-to-market strategies and offerings, discussing sustainability funding, and encouraging partners to share their own experiences and lessons learned.
Sustainability is a concept that calls for inclusivity. It acknowledges that no single individual or group can bring about the needed changes on their own. What we require is a concerted effort that actively engages individuals empowered by organizations to create a culture of sustainability.
At Cisco, we strongly encourage everyone to engage with their local communities in ways that hold personal significance. This can take various forms, such as participating in beach cleanups, contributing to habitat restoration, supporting wildfire prevention, or engaging in organic waste and edible food recovery initiatives, among others. These efforts must address both the current sustainability challenges our planet faces today and inspire and educate future generations to carry this work forward.
Partnering for purpose
In addition, leadership plays a crucial role in driving these sustainability efforts. Leaders must lead by example, inspire others to join the cause, and ensure that everyone participates. It is a collective endeavor, and leaders must be at the forefront of the solution, making tangible commitments, both in financial terms and in the way their businesses operate, to become more sustainable entities.
At Cisco, our objective is to facilitate collaboration, create scalable solutions, and enable the sharing of best practices with partners globally. The “Partnering for Purpose” initiative aligns perfectly with Cisco’s vision of an inclusive future. I’m thrilled to announce that in fiscal year 2024, Cisco will introduce sustainability offerings across our services portfolio in four key areas: Sustainable Data Centers, Smart Buildings and Workspaces, Internet of the Future, and Industry Solutions and Ecosystems.
Reducing our carbon footprint necessitates a shift in mindset, challenging us to think differently about how we design technologies, support our employees, and help our customers address challenges. For instance, through Cisco Refresh, we remanufacture and certify used network routers, switches, phones, and collaboration products, extending the value of our customers’ budgets while reducing the environmental impact associated with old technology. This is a win-win solution for all parties involved.
A Commitment to Sustainability
My aspiration is for all of us to lead happy, healthy lives and enjoy our planet in a way that ensures future generations can do the same. As a leader, I encourage others to integrate sustainable practices into every facet of their lives and endeavors. Building a culture of sustainability requires the commitment of all individuals to make choices today that will protect us from bearing the consequences of poor decisions tomorrow. Whether it’s protecting our oceans, nurturing emerging leaders, or running our businesses in a manner that safeguards the future, sustainability is a shared endeavor that benefits us all.
To learn more about what commitments Cisco has made to ensure a better tomorrow, read our 2022 Cisco Purpose Report.
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