Why does Cisco invest hundreds of millions of dollars around the world each year to help improve access to education, healthcare, critical human needs, and disaster relief? Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers said in a recent CNN interview that “corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a must for the future of capitalism.” He shared his insights on a panel interview at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, which aired on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live show September 26th. Fellow panelists included host Piers Morgan, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, and Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.
So here we are again – seems like only yesterday that we were going through the difficult task of picking the BIG Awards 2012 finalists…. and now over a year later we are about to announce the finalists for the 2013 competition, and have had a full year supporting last year’s winners Snap Fashion and Digital Shadows.
The BIG Awards is one of the 4 main components of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme, which forms the core of our innovation-based legacy from London 2012.
So much has happened in the last 12 months it’s hard to fathom and already both 2012 winners are moving their businesses forward in so many ways. Snap Fashion launched in Singapore and Digital Shadows received Cool Vendor 2013 status from Gartner. It seems like they are the “grown-ups” to the new talent coming through – I have to say it was great to see Jenny, CEO from Snap Fashion, and Alastair, CEO from Digital Shadows, offering their advice and experience at our recent semi-final event at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.
As a team we were wondering how we would match the quality of the 6 finalists from 2012. But when we first glanced at the early submissions for the 2013 competition we knew we had no need to be worried – the entries did not disappoint and once again the judging panel was set a very hard task to pick 20 semi-finalists and then in the last couple of weeks the finalists.
This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post
This week, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs will attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) — whose mission is to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
I am excited about the opportunity to discuss with other global leaders how we can work together to address global challenges. In preparing for the event, I sat down with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, who is also attending, to talk about the role of technology in driving positive change.
Tae Yoo: This is a busy week for business and political leaders in New York. What is on your mind as you attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting?
John Chambers: Top of mind for me is how we can all come together for a collaborative approach to solving our world’s most pressing issues, such as education, health care, and the global economy. When I think about developing solutions, I think about how we can use technology to make a difference. Let me give you an example. In Jordan we are using Cisco technology to improve health care access in communities with few or no specialists. People who might normally have to travel hours to a distant city to see a cardiologist can now do so virtually, through Cisco technology, at their local hospital or health clinic. Clinicians use technology to share patient reports and diagnostic images and collaborate on cases. As a result, doctors can serve more patients, and more patients can get care.
Today, Cisco was recognized as one of only four organizations nationwide as a “Green Power Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for furthering the voluntary green power market. EPA presented Cisco with the award at an event held at the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas.
Cisco’s use of renewable energy reflects our commitment to sustainability and is a key part of managing our impact on the environment. This is the right thing to do as a corporate citizen; it also helps us optimize the value of our operations and attract and retain best-in-class talent.
We are very proud to win this award in recognition of both our historical support of renewable energy and to continue to include renewable energy as a significant part of our global energy strategy. Today Cisco buys the majority of its renewable energy through wind-generated sources certified by Green-e. In addition, Cisco generates some of its own energy using on-site solar panels, such as 100-kW systems installed at two of our data center locations, and also participates in utility green power programs across Europe and in India.
“Receiving the Green Power Partner of the Year award is a great honor and EPA applauds Cisco’s leadership and impact on the green power market,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Cisco’s commitment to using green power and reducing its climate impacts provides a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability.”
Yesterday, CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) released its assessment of how companies in the S&P 500 did on CDP’s 2013 carbon investor questionnaire. About a week ago, CDP released a similar assessment for the Global 500, the 500 largest companies by market capitalization on the FTSE Global Equity Index. PricewaterhouseCoopers performed both assessments for CDP using information submitted earlier this year by the responding companies.
Along with six other companies, Cisco tied for the top spot on the Global 500 with a disclosure score of 100 and an “A” performance rating. We were alone in first place in the IT sector. We were also at the top of the S&P 500 assessment (tied with BNY Mellon and Entergy). “Top” is certainly a great place to be, but I think we take more pride in being on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for six years in a row. For a long-term problem like climate change, consistently high rankings over an extended period are strong evidence of a company’s commitment to improving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions disclosure and performance.