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Internet zero methodology: Sure it’s difficult, however price doing totally

Many firms all over the world have set web zero commitments, detailing the methods during which they’ll deal with the varied ranges of carbon emissions of their companies (outlined by scope). In September of 2021, Cisco dedicated to achieve web zero throughout Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions by 2040. For Cisco, this implies tackling our single largest supply of emissions, Use of Bought Merchandise (Scope 3, Class 11) which in FY21 represented an estimated 73 % of our whole greenhouse fuel (GHG) emissions.

Taking up an bold problem like this requires two issues. First, establishing a technique the place the estimated GHG emissions from using our offered merchandise could be reliably calculated 12 months over 12 months to assist guarantee the corporate is trending in the proper path. And second, having confidence within the numbers calculated. As soon as this calculation is full, we are able to goal our initiatives at our merchandise which have the biggest contribution to our general whole emissions, after which scale these initiatives throughout our firm. Potential initiatives might embody additional bettering the vitality effectivity or persevering with to scale back the general vitality consumption of our merchandise.

Class 11: Use of Bought Merchandise Calculation

GHG emissions from using our offered merchandise are calculated primarily based on the Greenhouse Gasoline Protocol Technical Steerage for calculating Scope 3 Emissions (model 1.0) methodology. Use section is outlined as “…when the patron takes possession of the product and ends when the product is discarded.” Our merchandise’ emissions are categorised as direct use-phase emissions as a result of they devour vitality throughout use. For instance, for a knowledge middle buyer, that might imply receiving considered one of our UCS C240 M6 servers, operating it across the clock for five years till the shopper takes benefit of our product takeback and reuse program to return it to Cisco for remanufacturing or recycling.

The method for calculating direct use-phase emissions is easy in principle, however harder when scaling throughout hundreds of merchandise, every of which may embody a number of configurations (for instance, our 8800 sequence merchandise could be configured with a number of sorts and portions of line playing cards, route processors, cloth playing cards and optical modules). The calculation of direct use-phase emissions requires the aggregation of the next information:

  • Portions of merchandise offered
  • Electrical energy consumption per use of product
  • Emission components for electrical energy (estimating by nation common when obtainable, or international common in any other case)
  • Complete lifetime anticipated makes use of of product(s)

As soon as this information has been collected, an estimate of the whole use section emissions for merchandise offered (kg CO2e) could be made utilizing the next method:

= ∑ (quantity offered in reporting interval × electrical energy consumed per use (kWh) × emission issue for electrical energy (kg CO2e/kWh) x whole lifetime anticipated makes use of of product )

This calculation is a forward-looking estimate. It doesn’t calculate the precise emissions a product could emit within the reporting 12 months. Quite, it accounts for emissions related to all merchandise offered in that 12 months and future emissions generated over the product lifetime. Determine 5.3 on web page 33 of the Inexperienced Home Gasoline Protocol Company Worth Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Normal lays out the time boundary for every Scope 3 class.

Key components within the use-phase calculation

Portions of merchandise offered

To calculate this worth, we take a look at the variety of merchandise we ship and monitor them by way of our companions and distributors to their finish nation use location.

Electrical energy consumption per use of product

On the whole, we assume our merchandise are used 24/7, so to estimate the electrical energy consumption per use of merchandise we should first discover a “typical” energy worth for every product. That is easy for a small desktop router or swap, however extra difficult for a big rack-mounted piece of kit that may have many alternative configurations as a result of its modular nature. Energy consumption for these configurable merchandise is decided by the construct, the options enabled, and the site visitors patterns the product manages. To search out this worth, we assemble information throughout a number of sources starting from product information sheets, product energy calculators and engineering take a look at outcomes. If this information will not be obtainable, we use the max load as listed for the product’s energy provides after which cut back that worth by a proportion to estimate its “typical” use.

Emission components for electrical energy

Up to now, we used a worldwide emission issue, however for our FY21 emissions calculations we improved our methodology to make use of country-specific emission components from the Worldwide Vitality Company each time obtainable. Emission components enable us to transform our vitality consumption right into a unit of GHG emission.

Complete lifetime anticipated use of product(s)

As a result of our merchandise have various anticipated lifetimes, we assume a median of 5 years. Genuinely, it could possibly be anyplace from 2 to fifteen years relying on the product kind.

Up so far, we’ve aligned with the GHG protocol methodology acknowledged beforehand. However when accounting for the whole lifetime anticipated use of product(s), our methodology takes a extra exact and granular method.

Comparability of outcomes from completely different methodologies

Internet zero is a state the place, as a company, we add no incremental greenhouse gases to the environment. Which means that for any given reporting 12 months, we should account for the GHG emissions of the merchandise already in use (estimated because the earlier 4 years) and what has been offered within the reporting 12 months. This method permits us to estimate “precise emissions” in a reporting 12 months, versus attempting to estimate “future emissions.”

Moreover, to attempt to estimate future emissions you need to additionally try and estimate future reductions in emission components to supply probably the most correct evaluation of projected emissions. Utilizing this kind of projection-based methodology can overstate the precise emission reductions that could be occurring every reporting 12 months and would then require updates to emissions when new emissions components can be found.  The potential of over-estimating emission reductions will not be how Cisco needs to method its GHG discount objectives, which is why Cisco’s methodology is to estimate the “precise” emissions as an alternative of “future” emissions. A comparability of outcomes from these competing methodologies could be seen in Desk 1 under.

Desk 1. Cisco’s GHG Emissions from use of offered product

Trying on the leads to the desk above, each methodologies have a declining development, however our methodology estimates a 12 % discount from FY19 to FY21, in comparison with the longer term emissions methodology which might estimate a 26 % discount. Once more, pondering within the context of web zero there are over 3 million metric tonnes of CO2e which can be unaccounted for between FY19 and FY21 when utilizing the longer term emissions methodology.We imagine our method to be extra conservative from a GHG discount perspective by estimating our emissions utilizing the “precise” emissions methodology described above offers us the power to assist drive larger reductions by persevering with to take possession of the GHG emissions from merchandise we’ve offered in earlier years.

Connection to web zero

Cisco will proceed to refine its emissions calculations as applied sciences and processes enhance, and to have interaction with its stakeholders in an effort to supply correct emissions calculations and related reporting to assist drive the best GHG emission reductions attainable in our effort to realize web zero by 2040.

As a result of the purpose is web zero, we’ll proceed to spend money on areas to not solely enhance our estimates and underlying assumptions associated to emissions, but in addition proceed to make our services and products extra vitality environment friendly and cut back their related emissions.



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