Setting the Standard: Cisco Catalyst switches among the first to achieve ENERGY STAR certification

Cisco’s Catalyst family includes switches that are officially ENERGY STAR® certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We are among the first to achieve this in the Large Network Equipment category.

This certification is yet another step in our sustainability journey, which we’ve been making progress on for over two decades. These commitments are essential because sustainability is top of mind for everyone I speak to, from investors to colleagues to customers and even my children.

Our modern society relies on digital experiences and technology to function. This dependency directly correlates to the surging energy consumption across all aspects of business infrastructure. Studies show that IT accounts for 2 to 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Even more, according to the Electricity 2024 report from the International Energy Agency, electricity consumption from data centers, AI and the cryptocurrency sector could double by 2026.

Switching to Sustainability

We must innovate to reduce the IT footprint. That’s why Cisco Networking has a dedicated engineering sustainability office under Denise Lee. The work this team manages helps customers tackle long-term sustainability challenges while achieving quick wins for energy efficiency today—like earning the ENERGY STAR ecolabel for Cisco products.

The Cisco Catalyst Switches with ENERGY STAR certification offer customers:

  • Energy-efficient features
  • Active power management and monitoring capabilities
  • Power supply efficiency
  • Products that embody circular design principles

ENERGY STAR certification can prove to be a huge benefit, especially for smaller organizations where cost savings from energy can go a long way.

For example, Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) in North Wales has pledged to be carbon-net zero by 2050—quite an audacious task. They have already made inroads using Meraki devices and a custom-built application through APIs. They’ve cut energy usage by 52%, amounting to a potential savings of more than 23,000 dollars in fiscal year 2024 alone.

Now with ecolabel certifications like ENERGY STAR, organizations like WCBC can confidentially identify “environmentally preferable” products to help maximize energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, and lower energy costs. WCBC is just one small example…imagine this progress in every community around the world. Ecolabels simplify what could otherwise be a difficult task of measuring and evaluating the energy consumption of potential choices.

While Cisco is one of the first to achieve ENERGY STAR certification, we hope this will soon be the norm rather than the exception. Cisco strongly supports the work of the ENERGY STAR program and other industry ecolabels and standards. Using standardized methodologies and metrics helps to ensure generational improvements in all aspects of energy use, including the foundational data network.