Across Europe, Middle East and Africa, we continue to see challenges and opportunities related to energy costs in our homes and businesses. The latter typically use more energy and pay a higher tariff than consumer households. So, how can we efficiently reduce energy consumption for our businesses and minimize associated costs?

I recently shared five ways your business can reduce energy consumption, and in today’s blog I will be focusing on the use of data to identify energy-saving opportunities.

Powerful ideas and innovations. Powering net-zero aspirations.How can data be used to support sustainability?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Data-driven approaches can support businesses in identifying, measuring, and implementing reduced energy consumption measures and create more sustainable workspaces. These can range from powering down or switching off equipment during periods of low use, to replacing equipment with more energy-efficient models.

Here are four innovations, including data-driven solutions, that may help your business with sustainability goals, including reducing energy costs and carbon footprint.

Implement sensors to help identify energy saving opportunities

Data from building performance can be used to dynamically adjust other systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting, and support savings. This can be typically achieved through integration with Building Management Systems.

Using Cisco Wireless and EnOcean sensors, you can identify and measure which networking and non-IT equipment is consuming high volumes of power. This can help you take action and potentially reduce energy consumption by ​5-15%.1 The same sensors can measure the savings achieved once you have switched to more energy-efficient technology. EnOcean sensors are also designed with sustainability in mind, using energy harvesting for on-board power, without the need for batteries and with low maintenance costs.

Furthermore, by taking an extra step and refreshing your network for Power over Ethernet, you can eliminate the conversion loss from AC to DC power and achieve more granular control and a potential 30-50% reduction in energy waste. 2  

Partner with an Energy Advisor to create an action plan

Cisco can help you gain insights into your energy usage​ with our Customer Experience pilot program. An Energy Advisor can partner with you to support data-driven analysis and recommend solutions that can reduce power consumption and associated costs​. Partnering with an Energy Advisor can give you insights into current power demand and help ​create a tangible plan to reduce power consumption, whilst considering feasibility ​and financial implications.

Reduce energy consumption with Computing designed with sustainability in mind

Computing accounts for most of the power needed by data centers. We estimate that, on average, every watt saved on computing results in approximately 1.75 watts saved at the facility level​.3  Beyond energy consumption, consideration of circular design principles, such as use of raw materials, transportation, upgradability and expected lifecycle, are also crucial​.

Modular computing systems, such as the M6 generation of compute nodes inside Cisco’s Unified Computing System X-Series, are designed with sustainability in mind. They include efficient 54V power distribution, intelligent fan controls, zone-based cooling, and 80 plus titanium-certified power supplies. We estimate that this can create energy savings of a fully loaded chassis by 11%* compared to the previous design.4 Moreover, the recent introduction of the M7 generation can support more promising power efficiency levels.5

Enable Power Save mode on your Cisco IP phones​

By enabling Power Save mode on your IP phones, you can turn off the display on specific days and times without disrupting user productivity.6 According to Cisco tests, we estimate that Power Save mode can result in approximately 31% power savings, enabling the phone to switch on automatically for an incoming call, and supporting the longevity of the screen display.

Engage your Cisco account team for help and further sustainability discussions. You can also Iearn more about IT and Sustainability at Cisco.com, in our annual Purpose Report and supplemental information in our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Hub.



1  Smart Buildings: Using Smart Technology to Save Energy in Existing Buildings (aceee.org)

2 https://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1701.pdf

3 How Much Energy Do Data Centers Really Use? – Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology

4 https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/m/en_us/about/csr/esg-hub/_pdf/purpose-report-2021.pdf

5 https://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/cisco-unveils-its-most-powerful-and-energy-efficient-computing-systems

6 This can be configured in the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration