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“Pack It Green” Saves Nearly 2 Million Pounds of Packaging and Over $6 Million

August 27, 2014 at 9:57 am PST

The growing amount of solid waste being added to landfills from product packaging is an environmental concern to Cisco. To address this, we strive to design packages that protect against shipping damage while minimizing material usage.

Our employee-led “Pack It Green” Initiative, which promotes optimized packaging and order fulfillment, is a big part of this commitment.

In fiscal year 2014* we eliminated 1.9 million pounds of material and the equivalent of 3.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions through 30 Pack It Green projects. These included bulk-packed products, integrated product shipments, the reuse of packaging materials, and expanding opportunities for customers to “opt out” of physically delivered products.

These efforts also saved Cisco US$6.1 million – proving that what’s good for the environment is also good for our business.

Before and after cable packaging

Before (left) and after (right) cable packaging

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CyberPatriot Prepares Students to Protect the Internet of Everything

Students arrive in Washington, D.C. wearing embroidered leather jackets with logos and names stitched in bright colors on their sleeves. They’re members of different teams, but not sports teams. They are at the nation’s capitol for CyberPatriot’s National Youth Cyber Defense competition, the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States.

By volunteering as mentors, we as Cisco employees can impact the future generations of network professionals who will protect the Internet of Everything from breaches and threats that are becoming more common as people, processes, data, and things become more connected.

CyberPatriot’s competition was created by the Air Force Association (AFA) in 2009 to inspire high school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity. Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National commissioner, stresses the importance of cybersecurity training as the number of breaches become more common on the Internet.

“There are 15,000 attacks per second in the United States,” he said. “We have a dire need for cybersecurity professionals in the United States, but we frankly aren’t drawing enough young men and young women” to the field.

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Student Entrepreneurs Develop Smart Device for the Visually Impaired

The city of Nancy was once the Art Nouveau capital of France. Today it is a smart city, incorporating tagging systems in its municipal infrastructure to give citizens access to data captured from traffic lights, bus systems, crosswalks, and more.

Companies are developing technologies that combine this data and location information to solve everyday inconveniences for people. A team of Cisco Networking Academy students from University of Lorraine used this connection of people, process, data, and things to improve life for visually impaired people. They created a networked walking stick that helps users move safely and independently in smart cities like Nancy.

Handisco Stick users will be able to use data from tagged locations to move independently and safely around cities

Handisco Stick users will be able to use data from tagged locations to move independently and safely around cities

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Connections Matter in Mexico’s Northern Border Region

August 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm PST

In Monterrey, Mexico, deep economic and social gaps separate rich from poor, educated from uneducated, legal from illegal. In 2008, the city started experiencing violence related to turf battles between warring drug cartels. Drug use and high murder rates continue to steal the lives of youth, tempting those who lack the skills for traditional jobs into much higher-paying, high-risk careers of narcotics and crime.

To help young people withstand the pressure of crime and violence in cities near the United States-Mexico border, Cisco has partnered with World Learning and the United States Agency for International Development to provide information and communications technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship training at high schools. Cisco Networking Academy courses are offered as part of the program. In the first year, almost 500 students participated.

Students in Monterrey, Mexico celebrate completion of the Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials course.

Students in Monterrey, Mexico celebrate completion of the Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials course.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Sparks Cisco Employees to Reduce Carbon Footprint

James Lynch’s Nissan Leaf bolts down a shady street in San Jose, California, hardly making a noise as it zips between lanes at 40 miles per hour. With the quick flick of the transmission and a forceful press of a foot, the powder-blue car jumps ahead on the smooth pavement with the force of a small sports car. This isn’t a Mustang, though.

It’s an electric car, and James Lynch is one of thousands of Cisco employees worldwide committed to reducing their gasoline consumption and carbon footprint by changing the way they drive. Cisco is supporting employees like James by installing more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on its campuses worldwide.

A row of electric cars charges at Chargepoint stations on Cisco's San Jose campus

A row of electric cars charges at ChargePoint stations on Cisco’s San Jose campus

Cisco joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge in March 2013, contributing to a national goal of achieving a tenfold increase in the number of employers offering workplace charging in the next five years. More than 55 companies have joined the Workplace Charging Challenge. According to the Department of Energy, there are 8514 public charging stations and over 20,000 charging outlets available to electric vehicle drivers in the United States.

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