It Takes a Village to Green a City

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It Takes a Village to Green a City

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Why is it so important to cast a wide net when engaging #sustainability stakeholders? @CiscoCSR @Cleveland2019
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 10:30am

By Ali Ahmed

Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the privilege to assist the City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability in developing a city-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP). This scope of this plan is not limited to the city’s own operations, although there is a plan for that as well, but instead looks at the entire carbon and environmental footprint for the whole city, it’s inhabitants, businesses, everything!

It goes without saying that this in an enormous undertaking that very few cities have even tried. My biggest take-away from participating in and observing the process is the importance of broad stakeholder engagement when working to improve environmental sustainability. And that thought resonates when I consider the success factors for the programs that I have been a part of in private industry. The team working on the CAP included 50 individuals with sustainability expertise representing government, private companies, and community organizations in the greater Cleveland region.

Since joining Cisco three years ago, my job has been to reduce the climate impact of Cisco’s internal operations. We achieved our 2012 carbon reduction goals of 25% and are now gearing up for our 2017 goal of 40% reduction (for a 2007 baseline). As a resident of Cleveland, I was excited to take my experiences at Cisco and volunteer my time and expertise to Cleveland’s project.

So why is it important to cast a wide net when engaging stakeholders?

Keywords: Environment | Cisco | Cleveland | Volunteering | carbon reduction | cisco systems | cleveland office of sustainability | climate action plan | climate impact | environmental sustainability