In a world where nearly every public company has an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) statement, the question is why and what does it have to do with Cisco collaboration devices? ESG is a generic term used in capital markets and used by investors to evaluate corporate behavior and to determine the future financial performance of companies.
While more companies are pledging to specific sustainability targets in terms of carbon emissions, energy consumption, and sustainable operations, many are struggling to execute on these published commitments. As part of Cisco’s ESG commitment on net zero greenhouse gas emissions, we have set aggressive targets of meeting Scope 1 and 2 by 2025 and complete net zero target for all scopes by 2040, 10 years ahead of most other companies.
What does this have to do with the new Webex Room Bar, the next-generation, AI-driven collaboration video collaboration bar for huddle spaces and small meeting rooms? At Cisco, we are driving sustainability all the way from design and logistics to deployment and operation. The Webex Room Bar, announced at ISE 2022, not only replaces the Room Kit Mini but also represents a major upgrade to pack all the latest intelligence, more integrations, enhanced flexibility and a circular design approach into a compact yet powerful video bar.
It is a product engineered, packaged, shipped and deployed with a circular design approach in mind, and providing the means to be operated, reused and recycled to help you achieve your sustainability targets and reduce carbon emissions.
The outcomes achieved with Webex Room Bar are quite staggering. We’ve reduced the number of internal components of the video bar unit by 15%, allowing for a significant volume weight reduction compared to its predecessor. This equals over 35,000 pounds of material savings per year as a result of a thinner and lighter form factor, simplified architecture and reduced material usage. The mounting unit has been redesigned and consolidated, resulting in a mounting that’s more than 50% lighter. And we haven’t stopped there.
We are reducing the environmental footprint of our packaging and making progress toward our goals by improving packaging efficiency, minimizing single-use plastics and foam, reducing unwanted or redundant items in shipments, and using readily recyclable materials.
These changes led to cost savings, greenhouse gas emissions savings, and material waste reduction without compromising product protection. For example, we redesigned the regular box-in-the-box packaging used for the Room Kit Mini to a simplified, foam-free, fibre-based double-tray design. With Webex Room Bar, this new, 100% recyclable packaging is expected to eliminate up to 165,000 pounds of packaging material per year.
We remain focused on reducing use of virgin plastic, facilitating reuse of materials and increasing the use of recycled plastic by further embedding Cisco’s Circular Design principles throughout the product lifecycle. Driven by this principle, we’ve made great progress in using post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin originating from end-of-life Cisco devices and old electronics on cosmetic parts and speaker boxes to reduce the amount of single-use plastic and the carbon footprint of the solution. The PCR plastic is turned into resin pellets that are mixed with additives, molded into individual parts, and used in Webex Room Bar.
Room Bar was designed for easy repair, refurbishing, and recycling to extend the lifecycle of the product and the materials used for manufacturing. Beyond that, by working closely with our logistics partner, and continuing to optimize our current processes, we identified an opportunity for double stacking to fill up containers and reduced the volume of the packaging accordingly. This innovation allows us to stack up to 48 units of Room Bar on a pallet instead of 30, reducing energy use and allowing us to save on shipping costs.
Webex Room Bar is one of the only smart collaboration devices that has certified displays from all the major manufacturers: Samsung, LG, Panasonic and NEC. Recently, Sony has certified their displays as part of their Partner AV certification program. This means when connected to certified displays, the video bar will automatically configure the display to optimum settings for natural video conferencing, such as latency, color temp and brightness upon installation, saving time and money!
To further save energy, the video device controls the display to turn it on and off automatically. If the display is using a different input to watch TV, for example, then you will not miss an incoming call either as it will automatically turn the input back to the Webex Room Bar to take the call. This is irrespective of whether the meeting being joined is on Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google or Zoom.
The sustainability story doesn’t stop there though. Not only does the Webex Room Bar connect intelligently to displays but it has robust compute power and a powerful web engine to enable it to control the meeting room where it’s deployed using energy saving PoE (Power Over Ethernet) devices.
If you are in our New York City Cisco office at Penn1 you will see PoE everywhere. This includes lights and shades in the rooms that are controlled over the network by Webex devices. Room Bar and other Webex by Cisco endpoints can seamlessly control even the temperature based on not only if anyone is in the room but also the number of people who are actually there.
That is important to better optimize the workspace: the Webex Room Bar uses presence detection to indicate how many people are in the room and that information can be used to allow the heating and cooling system to react instantly. Therefore, you can use less energy (with smaller air handling units) and adjust fresh air to create an optimal environment focused on everyone’s wellbeing.
In summary, adding a Webex Room Bar helps you achieve part of your company’s ESG sustainability goals. It’s a device that consumes less energy and is designed and built with less material, all integrated with Cisco-certified, energy-saving smart displays. Better still, it can function as the smart control system in an energy saving PoE installation, control the environment, and finally be remanufactured and recycled in the Cisco Takeback and Reuse Program when it reaches its end of use.
If you are interested in succeeding in the new world of hybrid work, check out the full range of Webex devices that allow you to drive sustainability, engagement and wellbeing. If you are one of the 85% of customers that use more than one meeting platform such as Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google or Zoom you can use them all with Webex devices and become better positioned to reach your sustainability goals.
Experience our devices first-hand at InfoComm 2022, the flagship AV industry event of the year between June 8-10 in Las Vegas. You can join the live workspace showcase tours at the Webex by Cisco booth and engage with our certified display partners.
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