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Why Cisco, Why Solar, Why Now

In the past year, Cisco has significantly ramped up its use of renewable energy with a focus on solar.  We’ve been sharing these activities in press releases, blog posts, videos and our annual CSR report, but we haven’t talked about why – and these reasons are deeper than just a commitment to the environment.

Here’s a short summary of some of our recent activities with renewable energy:

  • Signed an agreement with NRG Renew LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG), to purchase the output of a 20 MW solar energy facility located in Blythe, California for our San Jose headquarters and surrounding Bay Area locations
  • Completed 4 on-site solar projects at our sites in Texas, Massachusetts, and Bangalore, India taking our total solar production capacity over 2 MW (see photos below)
  • Launched a solar discount program for employees and contractors, along with their friends and family, to simplify and reduce the cost of installing solar panels on their homes leading to over 50 installations totaling over 250 kW in less than 1 year
  • Joined the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles supporting the increase in accessibility to renewable energy along with many of our peers in the technology industry
Free standing solar PV array in the parking area of Cisco's campus in Boxborough, MA

Free standing solar PV array in the parking area of Cisco’s campus in Boxborough, Massachusetts

Solar PV array on top of Cisco’s data center in Allen, Texas

Why have we undertaken these activities?  Certainly, each of these actions are helping bring more renewable power on line, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving us toward a better environment.  But any company, in any industry, can make the same claim.  To be authentic, it has to hold a special significance related to why Cisco exists.

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5 Ways Cisco Celebrates Youth World Skills Day All Year

Today, July 15, Cisco will join the United Nations in observing the first annual World Youth Skills Day — a global conversation about youth unemployment and the importance of giving young men and women around the world the skills to thrive in any workplace.

Through social media and the power of the Internet, we can bring awareness to this critical problem, which left more than 74.5 million young people without jobs in 2013. After analyzing the data, the United Nations General Assembly established World Youth Skills Day on November 11, 2014, and today, you can be part of the conversation by using the #wsyd hashtag.

Cisco Networking Academy students in Cambodia have access to online courses and interactive activities.

Cisco Networking Academy students in Cambodia have access to online courses and interactive activities.

Although this issue won’t be solved in a day, Cisco is committed year-round to helping young people develop valuable IT skills and launch their careers in this increasingly connected world.

Every day, our programs and partners are creating social change around the world and helping to close this growing skills gap:

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#CiscoChat: UN World Youth Skills Day Drives New Conversation on IT Skills Shortage

WYSDImageWorldYouthSkillsDay

We are living in an era of an increasingly connected economy and a business landscape that constantly has to keep pace for organizations to remain relevant and competitive. Thanks in part to the expansion of the Internet of Everything (IoE) (and the millions of connective touch points it supports), heightened cyber security needs, emerging technologies like SD WANs and the growth of STEM-based jobs, people with technical “know-how” are in extremely high-demand.

Despite this need for tech talent, at current rates, the number of available technical-related positions in the future will far outweigh the number individuals qualified enough to fulfill them.

As a result, in the last couple of years, the headlines have become increasingly intense and a critical question is echoing through the halls of technology C-suites.

Where is all of the tech talent?

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Social Innovation: Good for Society and Good for Business

Cisco Executive - Sandy Walsh

Sandy Walsh

Organizations are increasingly paying more attention to two areas that are critical to business success and sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and human capital development.

Sandy Walsh, Director of the Social Innovation Group in Cisco’s Asia Pacific region, shares her perspective on how taking a “shared value” approach can help to accelerate social impact while supporting business goals. The Social Innovation Group leverages Cisco’s technology and expertise to develop innovative solutions to address social challenges throughout Asia Pacific.

Q. Why is human capital development — particularly in information and communications technology (ICT) education and entrepreneurship — vital for the community development and economic growth of this region?

ICT is a growth enabler. I saw this when I first moved to Asia. However, the real challenge is to recruit talent with the relevant skills to exploit this technology. Without the human capacity to exploit the capabilities of ICT, it won’t deliver on its transformative potential for the region, whether that is in improving Industry productivity or improving the delivery of citizen services.

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What 30 Years of History Means for the Future

Thirty years. What were you doing 30 years ago? Were you graduating from college? From high school? Were you starting your first career? Were you born yet? Thirty years is obviously going to mean different things to different people.

Here at Cisco, we’re celebrating 30 years. Thirty years of technology. Thirty years of innovation. Thirty years of growth. And while it may not have been a part of our original vision to change the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns, we’ve certainly evolved—making that mantra a part of our DNA. We’re also saying goodbye to our CEO John Chambers, who has led us through the last 20 years, and welcoming new CEO Chuck Robbins to carry the torch and lead us into our next chapter.

Our 30 years have not been without struggles or challenges. We’ve seen the rise and fall of other companies. We’ve walked among the giants and startups of the Silicon Valley, a region that has grown into an economic powerhouse for change. And, today—at this moment—we’re not only surviving, we’re thriving.

Our success means more than good things for Cisco. Ultimately, it amplifies our ability to change the world.

Cisco Networking Academy, our longest-running and largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, has helped more than 5.5 million people develop IT skills and launch careers since 1997.

Cisco Networking Academy, our longest-running and largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, has helped more than 5.5 million people develop IT skills and launch careers since 1997.

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