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A Successful CSR Program Depends on Employee Engagement

February 11, 2013 at 3:00 am PST

This week, SmartRecruiters recognized Cisco as having one of the top 10 corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the United States.

In her assessment of Cisco’s CSR programs, SmartRecruiters blogger Lexie Forman-Ortiz acknowledged one of its key components: our employees.

Global hunger relief at CiscoA Cisco employee plants vegetables that will ultimately help feed people across northwest Massachusetts

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Cisco NetRiders Champions Inspired by Tours of Cisco and Silicon Valley

January 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm PST

The Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competition champions have been enjoying a whirlwind tour of the Cisco San Jose campus and Silicon Valley this week. Their agenda has included both technical sites and locations of scenic and cultural interest.

The 17 champions from 13 countries started out their weeklong visit with a trip to Santa Cruz and a hike at Henry Cowell Redwood park in Scotts Valley. For many, this is their first trip outside their country. In fact, 5 champions had never ridden on an airplane before.

2013_NetRiders_RedwoodsNetRiders champions at Henry Cowell State Park.

The NetRiders have toured Cisco’s Data Center and the Compliance, Cable and AST (Administrative Serviceability Tools) labs. They even got to visit Cisco CEO John Chamber’s office.  He wasn’t in, but Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s President of Sales and Development, gave everyone a tour.

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Cisco Partner Inveneo on Huffington Post: How Internet Connectivity Expands Economic and Community Development

January 31, 2013 at 3:24 am PST

Kristin Peterson, CEO of Inveneo, a key Cisco CSR partner, is a guest blogger on Cisco’s Impact X section on the Huffington Post.

In her post, Kristin talks about how Internet connectivity can impact economic and social advancement in developing communities. She describes the remote Kenyan island of Mfangano, where Internet access has dramatically increased participation in HIV/AIDS-related testing and social service programs.

Cisco has supported Inveneo’s efforts to design and deliver information and communications technology (ICT) to the most remote and underserved areas of the world with more than $US3 million in cash and product grants since 2007. For example, Cisco supported expansion of Inveneo’s Certified ICT Partner Program in Africa, and worked with Inveneo to establish Community Knowledge Centers in sub-Saharan Africa as part of Cisco’s Clinton Global Initiative commitment.

Read Kristin’s full post on the HuffongtonPost ImpactX.

Cisco Netriders Global Champions Tour Company Headquarters

January 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm PST

This week Cisco is proud to host 17 NetRider Champions from 13 countries around the globe at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California. These tech wizards are students from the Cisco Networking Academy program who competed against more than 10,000 applicants in 85 countries. They range in age from 20 to 37.

The annual Networking Academy NetRiders competition is an interactive networking skills contest. It utilizes Cisco’s Web 2.0 technologies to challenge students to achieve high standards of competence, enhance classroom learning, and motivate them to further pursue technology education and training.

NetRiders_2013_web_1 Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders winners are visiting the Cisco San Jose, California campus from 13 countries.

Cisco believes in educating people with new skills for life, as well as in providing aid to those in need. Networking Academy is Cisco’s largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility (CSR) program; it was established in 1997 to teach IT based skills to people around the world, helping them get good jobs and encouraging long-term, sustainable economic growth in communities by providing highly skilled network professionals to support local industries. The 10,000 Cisco Academies around the world teach more than 1 million students in over 165 countries each year!

Brian Forward, the NetRider Champion from Canada, was particularly attracted to the interactive element of the competition. “Participating means that I have had the chance to compete with the countries’ and continents’ finest, while showcasing my talents and skills, and enhancing them while representing my home Newfoundland,” he said. “On a forward-looking note, it has created confidence within me that propels my learning.”

The contest is such a good way to motivate students that Tracy Granlund from the Networking Academy Student Advocacy Team says, “We hope to see the competition grow to 50,000 student participants.” The winners are in California to meet with Cisco staff and tour our offices, labs and data center; the Stanford University campus; Intel Museum; coastal Redwoods and beaches at Santa Cruz; and attractions in nearby San Francisco.

We’ll keep you posted about what the NetRiders are up to throughout the week.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting: How Cisco Encourages Suppliers to Take the First Step

Yesterday, I attended the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) annual Supply Chain Members Roundtable. Cisco has hosted this meeting for several years using Cisco TelePresence rooms in our offices, this year in London, New York City, São Paulo, and San Francisco, with AT&T attending from their own Cisco TelePresence room in Denver.

Supply chain GHG emissions is a complex topic, but the biggest challenge is simple… appropriately “encouraging” suppliers to report their corporate emissions to CDP.  I put “encouraging” in quotes because throughout the typical year, we see two views on supplier reporting (or any desired supplier action).

A lot of external stakeholders see reporting as a requirement, something to be demanded, as if failure to report can simply be corrected with larger sticks. If this sounds reasonable, just imagine your boss managing your performance similarly. Not much fun and not the way to sustained high performance.

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