At MWC (Mobile World Congress), Cisco Systems and Orange Business have announced what they claim is a ‘first-of-its-kind MOU [memorandum of understanding] to accelerate GHG emissions reduction’ to help both their own operations and those of customers to deliver net zero goals.

The extensive agreement extends beyond the usual emissions reporting and includes the circular economy (i.e., refurbishing and recycling products). It will enable Orange Business to provide enterprise customers with an estimate of GHG emissions from the products and services they use that are based on Cisco technology – enabling customers to include these details in their own targets.

Partnerships such as this will become commonplace as tech companies look to report on their Scope 3 emissions – those that they cannot directly control themselves, but which make up the vast majority (often 70% to 90%) of emissions.

Tech companies are becoming more focused on Scope 3 and are looking for innovative and cost-efficient ways to report on them to validate and achieve their net zero journey goals. Many such targets are set for 2030 and 2040, so time is of the essence.

The seriousness with which these goals are taken is reflected in statements of commitment from the companies’ leaders. Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco, said: ‘Sustainability is woven into everything we do at Cisco, from our product development, to our operations, to our partnerships.’

Equally, Aliette Mousnier Lompre, CEO of Orange Business, noted: ‘We encourage all stakeholders to embed environmental issues as a key priority into their day-to-day processes and activities. Together with Cisco, we can drive and satisfy these ambitions to build and empower a more sustainable future for all.’

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Notably also, in a call last week, Cisco highlighted that all its top 100 customers have a sustainability commitment. The company also pointed towards the growing role of artificial intelligence in sustainability reporting.