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Be the Bridge, Change a Life

Every day, we have the opportunity to make the world a better a place. Here at Cisco, we take that opportunity to heart and find ways to multiply the impact we can make. For the past 15 years, Cisco has helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals as part of its global hunger relief efforts. This year, we created a new employee giving program that empowers employees to provide direct aid to those with uncertain access to life’s necessities—to “Be the Bridge” for those in need.

As part of this more expansive initiative, we’ve set up partnerships with more than 400 nonprofit organizations in 99 cities and 33 countries around the world that provide not only food, but shelter, water access, nutrition, and emergency care to those most vulnerable, globally and locally. Employees can give to global organizations such as Doctors without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Water for People, Red Cross International, or CARE; or give to a homeless shelter, food kitchen, or emergency care organization in their local communities, just to name a few. And Cisco is matching any donation of US$50 up to US$10,000 to double the impact.

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2015 Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Governance and Ethics

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility strategy prioritizes the issues that are most important to our business and to our stakeholders, identified through a formal CSR materiality assessment. We use the Cisco CSR Report to communicate our approach, objectives, progress, and challenges around five high-level priorities. Today, we’ll take a look at Governance and Ethics:

Cisco is committed to creating technology solutions that solve our customers’ challenges and make the world a better place by connecting the unconnected. To bring that value to the world, it is essential that we have the trust of all our stakeholders — our employees, customers, and suppliers, and the communities in which we operate. A commitment to ethical conduct — and to the governance structures that ensure we walk the talk — provides the foundation for us to earn that trust.

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Mark Chandler, Cisco’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer, expressed the importance of earning the trust of Cisco’s stakeholders in this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility report:

“A commitment to ethical conduct—and to the governance structures that ensure we walk
the talk—provides the foundation for us to earn our stakeholders’ trust. We are focused on addressing concerns around high-priority issues such as digital rights, ethical conduct, and data security and privacy.”

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Giving Tuesday Builds a Bridge to Help Those in Need

We have a day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals. Then, we have #GivingTuesday, a day to donate to the causes that give voice to our values and contribute to a more equitable community for everyone. Cisco is a tech company that understands the power of connections, which is why we’ve developed a program that enables our employees to bridge those gaps in their local communities.

Cisco employees around the world have already raised over $2M for our Be the Bridge Campaign — a giving program that empowers our employees to give to those with uncertain access to life’s necessities — in short, to “Be the Bridge” for those in need. As part of this initiative, we’ve set up partnerships with over 400 organizations that provide not only food, but shelter, water access, nutrition, and emergency care to those most vulnerable, globally and locally. Cisco matches cash donations dollar for dollar, and donations of volunteer time, too.  

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Be the Bridge isn’t the only time of year our employees give, and generously. Last year alone, Cisco employees gave a combined $12 million in donations and matched funds, including over 155,000 hours of volunteer time, to the nonprofits and causes of their choice. This year’s Be the Bridge campaign puts an emphasis on supporting local organizations, some of them smaller and in need of amplification, to increase and expand offerings to the people and communities in need of their services.

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2015 Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Supply Chain

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility strategy prioritizes the issues that are most important to our business and to our stakeholders, identified through a formal CSR materiality assessment. We use the Cisco CSR Report to communicate our approach, objectives, progress, and challenges around five high-level priorities. First, we’ll focus on Supply Chain:

At Cisco, supply chain plays a critical role in the overall performance of the company. In a world where more and more devices are connecting to the Internet each day, we transform the technological innovations our engineers create by using our global network of capabilities to manufacture and deliver the solutions that enable our customers to harness the power of networking.

John Kern, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Operations, shared the importance of an ethical, sustainable supply chain in this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility report:

“Our supply chain continues to adapt, innovate, and transform our products and services to create outcomes that enable Cisco’s business and optimize the customer experience. The reach of our global supply chain is immense and we take seriously the responsibility of delivering superior technology products in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner.”

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Cisco Networking Academy Empowers the Disabled in Sri Lanka

This post was written by guest blogger Emma Reid, marketing manager for Cisco’s Social Innovation Group, Asia-Pacific region.

emreidIn 2001, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) launched the Network on Disability, a program designed to connect Sri Lanka’s disabled community to meaningful jobs. The EFC’s ICT Training Center, which launched in 2009 with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO), has empowered more than 160 disabled people with the IT and language skills training they’ll need to thrive in a digital world. The EFC’s objective is to develop the employability skills of people with diverse disabilities in Sri Lanka by embracing the vision of “productive employment through social harmony.”

In 2014, the training center achieved status as a Cisco Networking Academy. “This is a milestone of the ICT Training Center, as it is the only center in Sri Lanka which trains people with diverse disabilities in Cisco courses,” said Manique Gunaratne, Head of the ICT Training Centre. This year, EFC started offering Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) courses to students with disabilities. For the CCNA course, nine men and women with disabilities have been selected. Among them are three visually impaired participants, three hearing impaired participants, and three with physical disabilities. On October 23, the Commercial Bank donated millions worth of Cisco equipment to be used for the courses. Gunaratne, herself, lost her sight 15 years ago due to retinitispigmentosa, a disease for which no cure has been found.

“Cisco’s own research indicates that certified professionals often earn as much as 10% more than peers without Cisco credentials working in similar routing and networking jobs.”

 
Gunaratne was recruited as a role model to the Network on Disability in 2001 as the first employee with a disability. Trained both locally and internationally to teach, promote, and develop IT skills for individuals with disabilities, Gunaratne has been nationally and internationally recognized. In addition to winning a Gold Medal at the Assembly for Women with Disabilities in Seoul, South Korea in 2011, she also received several coveted national awards in 2007, including the Keerthi Sri Lankabhimani Desha Bandu Award, the Zonta Woman Achiever, and Most Inspirational Woman on Special Skills of the Year. Gunaratne’s commitment to the betterment of the visually impaired in Sri Lanka is exemplary.

The training center is fully equipped with more than 50 devices specially designed for individuals with disabilities as part of a collaboration with Curtin University of Technology in Australia and SLIIT (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) Malabe. The programs are also recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and within the EFC membership, which consists of 620 companies.

“The prime objective of the program is to improve the computer knowledge and networking skills of our students,” said Gunaratne. “Moreover, it aims to improve the employability of the trainees and create a group of trainers for future training needs.”

Find out how you can hire Networking Academy talent to grow your business.

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