Cisco Systems is out to prove that Kermit was wrong, and it actually is pretty easy being green.
In the past few months, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking powerhouse has flexed its green thumb, appointing its new "green guru" and opening its first office built to national green standards.
Cisco this week unveiled its new St. Louis regional sales headquarters in Chesterfield, Mo. The office was built in compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for clean air and energy efficiency. According to John Moses, Cisco's regional manager for the Missouri commercial region, the 17,400 square-foot office in the Chesterfield Ridge Center is the first of many LEED-certified offices Cisco will build in the coming years, the next of which will be in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Moses said the office will use sets of Cisco's collaboration tools like unified communications, videoconferencing and TelePresence high-definition IP videoconferencing to allow face-to-face real-time meetings between colleagues and partners without the need to travel, ultimately reducing Cisco's carbon footprint.
"If we can reduce one flight to Chicago and back, that will help us reduce our carbon emissions," Moses said. "These technologies really can help us cut costs, reduce air travel and reduce our overall carbon emissions."
The new office falls in line with Cisco CEO John Chambers' Carbon to Collaboration initiative, in which the Cisco head committed to reduce Cisco's greenhouse gas emissions from air travel by 10 percent during fiscal years 2007 and 2008.
Aside from technology, other green components of the new space include tracking and recycling of old materials during tear out; installing new materials with recycled content; using environmentally friendly paints and furniture; adding devices such as individual workstation task lights to reduce energy consumption; purchasing renewable energy; and installing air filtering equipment.
Keeping with the green theme, in November Cisco hired Paul Marcoux, one of the founders of The Green Grid, a non-profit consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems. Marcoux, Cisco's vice president of engineering, CDO operations, is responsible for driving green initiatives both internally and externally with customers and the market. He has been dubbed Cisco's new "green guru."
Marcoux, who has extensive experience with data center technology and "greening," joined Cisco from American Power Conversion Corp. (APC).