Cisco: The Role of Universities in Accelerating the Transition to Net Zero

The higher education sector has a major role to play in the journey to Net Zero – both in terms of reducing its own environmental footprint and helping to develop new climate technologies through applied research and co-innovation with industry. The convergence of digital and Net Zero is a new frontier for innovation and another major driver of the digital transformation of universities. To date, the role of digital in measuring, reducing or avoiding emissions has been largely ignored or unknown, but Cisco’s latest white paper in collaboration with higher education on the subject highlights a range of ‘opportunities.

“Two of the major disruptions that are accelerating in the Australian economy are digital transformation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero” Dr. Alan Finkel AO.

The breadth and depth of the environmental threat posed by greenhouse gas emissions is widely accepted. The industry is increasingly focusing on Net Zero solutions, with companies across all industry sectors setting goals for Net Zero and moving into implementation mode. Some companies and sectors go further by setting targets for their direct emissions and requiring companies in their supply chain to be Net Zero as well.

Solving the problems at the intersection of digital and Net Zero will require collaborative action from government, academia and the private sector to harness Australia’s collective research capacity. Innovation and rapid technological development are needed across a wide range of areas, including how digital technologies will help achieve Net Zero ambitions.

The opportunity is wider than research – Smart Zero skills will be in high demand and modeling suggests Australia’s transition to Net Zero could create thousands of new jobs. If Australia is to create and fill these new jobs – while dealing with the turbulence likely to arise in existing roles – it will need to develop its skills in a range of areas, including climate modelling, digital technology, storage of batteries, heating and cooling, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), climate resilience and land use.

Institutions that embrace digital technology and advanced networks today are likely to have a competitive advantage. A digital-first approach is needed to accelerate progress towards Net Zero at every stage of the Net Zero lifecycle. This will include the use of digital technologies to optimize energy consumption on university campuses. Advanced networks – connected to sensors and supported by AI and machine learning – will help universities reduce their carbon footprint while saving money.

The Cisco white paper highlights that higher education is a sector that currently produces a low proportion of emissions but has a major role to play in the development and integration of digital solutions to accelerate Net Zero. The other is information and communication technology.

Visit us at Smart Zero to learn more about how Cisco is using advanced networking to accelerate progress towards Net Zero.

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Cisco Systems Inc. published this content on August 30, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on Aug 30, 2022 1:29:07 PM UTC.

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