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When Giving Gets Going: Cisco’s 48-Hour Race with Second Harvest

This week, Cisco was named the winner of Second Harvest Food Bank’s  48-Hour Virtual Race to End Hunger.  Raising money – just over $216,000 for this year’s race – to support our neighbors in need and at risk of food insecurity is now a signature part of our participation in the Cisco Global Hunger Relief Campaign – a company fundraising drive that benefits over 160 nonprofits worldwide.

After 8 years participating in the local 48-Hour Race, the Silicon Valley spirit of competition has spread to many other Cisco locations that compete in their own ways during the 48-Hour Race, including India and China.

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Cisco Employees Race to End Hunger in India

“There is no better expenditure of money and it’s really important for these kids to stay in school and learn. I love this program; this is one of the finest commitments ever made in the 10 years history of Clinton Global Initiative.”

How beautiful and true these words are from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, about the mid-day meal program of Akshya Patra, which is Cisco India’s primary benefiting organization for our Global Hunger Relief Campaign. Through this program, over 1.4 million children from 10,661 schools across 10 states in India receive a good meal each day that they are in school. This is the world’s largest mid-day meal program and it makes an incredible impact.

According to the World Food Programme, one-third of the world’s hungry live in India. “Six days I would eat, then the next six days I wouldn’t eat at all,” said 9-year-old Roshan. The tiny girl grew up on a diet of 600 calories per day, not even half as much as a child her age should receive. And across India, millions of children like Roshan suffer from severe hunger.

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Cisco Employees Race to End Hunger in China

Even before I started with Cisco, I was an active volunteer and had a focus on increasing educational access in rural China. After I joined Cisco, I quickly connected with the Civic Council to continue my passion for giving back. Civic Councils are teams of employees who plan volunteer events, develop partnerships, manage product donation programs, and make local cash donations. As our Civic Council leader, my main function is to create volunteer events and recruit employees to participate, and it has been very rewarding!

The China Research and Development Center (CRDC) Civic Council exists to identify volunteer opportunities and connect the demand to the supply of Cisco capital (employees and resources). You might be surprised as to how this helps me perform and excel in my Cisco role as an Engineering Manager. At the finish line of each volunteer program we manage and execute, I am rewarded to see how everyone benefits – not just those we served – but also the Cisco employees who volunteered. I use that momentum to fuel our next volunteer program.

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The China team volunteering for Shanghai United Foundation

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Cisco Shares Workforce Diversity Data

In Cisco’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today, you will find a more complete perspective on the gender, ethnicity, and seniority make up of our company – in the United States and globally. While we have shared information about the diversity of our workforce since 2005, the report offers greater insight into our people and their backgrounds, experiences, cultures, affiliations and points-of-view.

At Cisco we are focused on ensuring we have a culture that fosters inclusion and enables our diverse mix of talent to thrive. I became Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in June of this year and I want to make this a personal and professional priority for everyone at Cisco. I began my CHRO tenure with the August appointment of Shari Slate as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer. You will hear more from Shari as she and her team build on our existing foundation.

Our numbers are mostly consistent with our past disclosures and we recognize there are areas where we need to increase our focus and improve. Simply put – our business and people strategies require more. Enhanced reporting helps shine the light on performance against our goals – highlighting gaps, blind spots and opportunities – and intensifying accountability. We welcome that light.

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Cisco Releases Tenth Annual CSR Report

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has released its tenth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The 2014 Cisco CSR Report outlines our strategy to use our expertise, technology, and partnerships for social, environmental, and business impact.

Each day, people around the world face many challenges: access to quality education, unemployment, poverty, and climate change, to name a few. We’ve learned that when we bring people together, they find innovative solutions to address these problems. And when you add technology to the mix, we can multiply our impact and uncover even greater opportunities.

For example, in France, a team of Cisco Networking Academy students used the connections between people, process, data, and things to create a networked walking stick for the blind. Watch this video to learn more:

Our CSR Report contains many more examples like this, organized according to five pillars:

  1. Governance and Ethics: Promoting responsible business practices at every level—with employees, suppliers, distributors, and partners
  2. Supply Chain: Working closely with our 600 global suppliers to maintain our high standards for ethics, labor rights, health, safety, and the environment
  3. Our People: Attracting, retaining, and developing talented people through an inspiring workplace, engaged management, and flexibility
  4. Society: Combining technology and human creativity to solve social issues and help communities thrive.
  5. Environment: Creating new business value for our customers using sustainable Cisco technologies, products, and solutions

Here are just a few highlights from our 2014 CSR Report:

  • We updated our Human Rights Roadmap to align with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we launched an online human rights training program for our employees.
  • 58% of our key suppliers set goals to cut their greenhouse gas emissions — up from 45% in 2013.
  • We ranked number 55 on the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
  • We made $275 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community organizations worldwide; and our employees volunteered 136,000 hours to support organizations in their own communities.
  • Employee-led “Pack It Green” projects saved approximately 888 metric tonne of packaging material and are expected to save over $6 million annually through material and freight cost reductions.
  • 97% of Networking Academy students who participate in a selective internship program with local IT companies in Italy get jobs; the partnership is creating a pipeline of tech talent while combatting a youth unemployment rate over 40%.

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