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Cisco Issues 7th Annual CSR Report

Since its inception, Cisco has aimed to leverage its expertise, technoloy and partnerships for social good. In this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, you will find compelling information about how Cisco addresses issues from the environment to health, from corporate goverance to economic development.

This year’s report is in an easy-to-read PDF format and includes a message from CEO John Chambers as well as our SVP of Corporate Affairs, Tae Yoo about how engaging human and technology networks can multiply impact.

We hope you’ll take some time to learn more about Cisco’s approach to CSR and results over the last year as well as take a look at our objectives for 2012.

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The Collaborative Buzz of Bees

November 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm PST

Rooftop hives at CiscoSometimes we forget that collaboration isn’t just something people do at work. In fact, it’s not unique to people at all. And some of the best collaborators out there in the world just ain’t people.

Bees, for instance. They don’t have fancy hardware, software, networks, and mobile devices, yet they’re amazing collaborators. I take that back, they do have networks – just not the kind with Cisco routers and switches behind them.

People are studying bees to figure out how you and I can improve our collaboration. By its own definition, The Biomimicry Institute “promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.” A pretty neat idea if you ask me. Read More »

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Sustainability 2.0 – Driving Sustainability Engagement through Social Media (Part 1/2)

October 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm PST

Sustainability 2.0 involves the employment of social media tools to initiate, maintain and monitor sustainability engagement.  Companies and institutions are increasingly turning to social media channels to grow corporate social responsibility initiatives of all categories, including sustainability.  Sustainability 2.0 involves two components for optimal engagement across any large-scale enterprise organization, or even university campus: 1. promotion and 2. analysis.

Promotion of sustainable actions via social media:

According to a 2011 study by Sustainable Life Media and Zumer, social media is used at 50 global companies to promote sustainability on various engagement levels.    Professor Nigel P. Melville of the University of Michigan delivers an action-based summary of the report’s findings on 4,000+ social web posts:

  • “76% of sustainability professionals interviewed believe that their investment in sustainability-themed social media will help gain market share, increase the size of the overall market, or, ideally, both.”
  • “Companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dell and Toyota (all profiled in case studies) have unearthed the enormous potential of combining social media and sustainability to gain market share and acquire customers in new and growing markets.”
  • “Social media is impacting the way leading corporations are planning and executing their business practices.  As an example, companies have been able to increase internal recognition of their sustainability goals, on average,  by 10-15% through the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is resulting in greater compliance with energy, waste and water efficiency strategies.”

Why select “social media” as a channel for driving environmental activism? People are influenced by social media conversations.

Read More »

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Leading by Example on Energy Reduction

October 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm PST

Cisco’s TelePresence product is helping organizations around the world reduce their carbon footprints. A perfect example is the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which just held its annual global launch through video conferencing for the first time ever.

Where once executives and speakers would have flown in from far-flung locations around the globe to attend the meeting, people from nine locations on four continents gathered at a virtual conference table to discuss the challenging environmental problems facing our planet. Read More »

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A Smarter, Connected (and Sustainable) World

Today is Earth Day, and that has me thinking green.  As I discussed this afternoon at GigaOm’s Green: Net conference, the world is changing around us in many ways, including becoming more urbanized.  Over the next five years, some 500 million people will be added to the world’s cities.  As we think about how to manage the energy and environmental challenges that will accompany these trends, what role will the network play in helping us be more efficient and more sustainable?  And what benefits will that bring to utilities and to consumers, to governments and communities at large? 

Cities consume 75 percent of the world’s energy and are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.  Utilities and the energy infrastructure are at the heart of city planning.  If we are to better manage this impact, we must transform our electrical grid into a modern and more sustainable platform for the 21st century.  Technology is the only way we can achieve balanced and sustainable growth.

Lessons in how to make our electric grids more reliable, more secure and more scalable can be gleaned from our experience in vastly revamping the telecommunications infrastructure in the ‘90s.  Here too we had somewhat proprietary, siloed networks that didn’t talk to one another.  Here too we had an industry that was highly regulated and needed to cautiously implement change.  And here too we had an emerging field of companies chomping at the bit to capitalize on making the new telecomm infrastructure everything it could be.

The lessons we learned from this transition are important:  architect the infrastructure on open, standards-based technology; build in security from the beginning; and establish public- private partnerships to align policy with infrastructure investment needs.

This transformation will rely on new technologies but also on leveraging existing technologies such as routing and switching for a utility environment.  Data centers, cloud computing and security have a role to play in managing and protecting the vast influx of usage data so that we can make better educated decisions about energy consumption.  Energy management of businesses and homes will leverage the existing networks extend their reach and impact. And given that the entire grid is the world’s largest infrastructure, integrating energy infrastructure with information technology will require a disciplined, architectural approach that we can only begin to foresee.

This transition has great implications, especially in our largest cities, where the need is most apparent.  Examples are cropping up around the world of this vision in action.  The Envision Charlotte initiative has set a goal of reducing energy use by up to 20 percent within its perimeter through greater education of citizens and use of information technology.  BC Hydro in Vancouver just announced that it will roll out 1.8 million smart meters based on Itron’s OpenWay technology, powered by Cisco, to enable a more efficient grid and foster the use of renewable energy.  And the city of Incheon, Korea is building in sustainability from the ground up.

These are but a few of the examples of how cities are changing, based on their energy and environmental goals.  As I look around today, I see a smarter, more connected world emerging with a more intelligent and efficient energy infrastructure, supporting millions of customers, and billions of watts, with one network at the core

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