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Scoring Suppliers on Sustainability

At Cisco, we rely on more than 600 suppliers worldwide to manufacture, test, ship, and recycle the products we design. And, we expect these suppliers to meet the same high standards on ethics, labor rights, health and safety, and the environment that we apply to our people and operations.

So how do we manage that task over such a large network of suppliers?

One of our most powerful tools is our supplier scorecard. In the last fiscal year, we added sustainability criteria to the scorecard for the first time, and we are encouraging our suppliers to report their performance publicly in a Corporate Social Responsibility Report report and to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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Ending the Global Hunger Crisis on Huffington Post

Today on the Huffington Post, Tae Yoo, Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, writes about how technology is being used to help people who don’t have enough food to eat.

She writes: “In a world that currently produces enough food for the entire population, I continue to be astonished that every year 870 million people go hungry and 5 million children die from malnutrition. In today’s world of abundance, hunger is still the number 1 health risk, killing more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Although most of the world’s hungry are in developing countries, even here in the United States, one of the largest food producing countries, approximately 1 out of 6 people are “food insecure”; including 16.7 million children. Progress to reduce hunger is being made by tackling both the cause and the consequences of extreme poverty and famine.”

Read the full post on the Huffington Post.

Commemorating UN Human Rights Day

Randy Pond is Cisco Executive Vice President of Operations, Processes, and Systems

Today is the United Nations’ Human Rights Day and it was not so long ago that we witnessed the role of the social media revolution in the Arab Spring. This example of Internet-enabled communication in driving change illustrates the evolving impact of technology on human rights, and casts light on both the opportunities and the challenges the industry will face — the world celebrated the flow of information that facilitated change, while at the same time showing concern over efforts of governments to use the very same infrastructure to try to shut down and control communications. Over the past 20 years, we have transformed from a world communicating through paper and face-to-face interaction into communities that can share information within seconds — and innovation continues at a dramatic rate.

At Cisco, we embrace innovation, and the opportunity to expand use of the Internet as a positive force for human development. We do this primarily by working to build each of our products on open, global standards — standards that we believe are critical to overcoming censorship and keeping the world connected — and by developing architectures for using our products aimed at particular needs, such as healthcare, education, and energy efficiency.

We are also committed to not customizing our products in any way that aids repression or censorship. To provide a consolidated view of our approach to these issues, we have included a new human rights policy and roadmap in this year’s eighth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. With the help of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and in conformance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, the roadmap was developed to concentrate on our human rights policy, and also establish a governance model, provide training, and create an effective mechanism to review our actions on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the new policy and roadmap, Cisco’s commitment to human rights includes several additional initiatives and partnerships, such as a successful engagement with the Business and Human Rights Resource Center; our continued work with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (which we helped to found) to promote a common code of conduct among electronic manufacturers, software firms, IT firms, and manufacturing services providers; and engagement with NGOs concerned with human rights.

As we approach 2013, it will be important to continue addressing the impact of technology on human rights. Challenges to global freedom of expression through the Internet will continue, and will become more complex as innovation advances. Our long-term view and ongoing implementation of Cisco’s human rights roadmap will guide Cisco’s human rights efforts going forward and will help drive a safe Internet well into the future.

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Santa Takes Cisco Technology on Virtual Sleigh Ride Across U.K. and Ireland

For many children, visiting Santa Claus, sitting on his lap, and telling him what they want for Christmas is a highlight of the holiday season. But for a sick, hospitalized child, participating in this tradition can be impossible.

Thanks to Cisco technology and a network of Cisco volunteers, hundreds of hospitalized children in the U.K. and Ireland have a chance to visit with Santa each year – in the most high-tech way possible.

One of eight volunteer Santas in the 2012 Connected Santa program in the U.K. and Ireland

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Five Social Innovation Summit Stories That Changed My Outlook for 2013

The Social Innovation Summit (SIS) is a place where really nice people who do really nice things come together to share really important innovations on ways to improve society…really!

As a veteran of many conferences where hierarchy and title matter, I often found conversations to be stilted, led by elders pontificating on their topic of choice. At SIS, every conversation began or ended with the words “How Can I Help?”  Age, gender, and politics were irrelevant. The currency of the day was “let’s do something together to make this a better place.”  Generosity of time, a spirit of sharing, and an egalitarian approach to courtesy was pervasive.

Beyond the conversation and camaraderie, these were the topics I learned about at SIS that changed my outlook:

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