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A New Look for Corporate Social Responsibility at Cisco

For years I suppose I was just like you, pretty cynical about the whole concept of “Corporate” social responsibility. Can an organization be truly socially responsible given the bottom line is selling product? Five years ago I left an industry I loved, education technology, and entered into the amorphous world of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Thanks to my tutor Teri Treille, who is a queen among luddites when it comes to articulating the intricacies of capturing, and tracking, a corporation’s commitment to society, my level of understanding for the movement of sustainability and socially responsible corporate actions has grown deep.

What I discovered about my company is that giving back to global communities to ensure they thrive is as integrated into our culture as is building networks. Over the years Cisco leaders such as Tae Yoo, Randy Pond, Kathy Mulvany and others have refined a strategy that is unique among our peers. By tying technology, partnerships, and expertise together they have built a strong network that is flexible and allows all employees to integrate CSR into their strategic plans.

There is no doubt that managed well, CSR can create great social and environmental value, support a company’s business objectives while reducing operating costs, and enhance relationships with key stakeholders and customers. But it is no easy task for executives to reconcile various CSR programs, quantify their benefits, and articulate the connection to the business goals while securing the support of his or her business line counterparts. When you see it happen it sometimes seems spontaneous. Digging deeper though you begin to understand that CSR is more than the framework by which to measure success: It is always about the people in the organization who care about taking initiatives to improve our world.

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Cisco Launches New Corporate Social Responsibility Website

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has redesigned its external website csr.cisco.com.

The new format makes it easy to find and share impact stories that showcase how Cisco CSR is benefiting people, communities, and the planet. Bringing together technology, partnerships, and our expertise are important reasons for the success of Cisco’s CSR public/private partnerships and its flagship programs like the Cisco Networking Academy.

From the home page you can easily access blog articles by Cisco and sponsored posts on the Huffington Post Impact X section, highlighting how people and technology are converging for social good. The new News and Events page keep readers up-to-date, and our new social sharing feature makes it easy to share compelling content with your online communities.

Each Cisco CSR focus area has its own section: education, healthcare, economic empowerment, critical human needs, environmental sustainability,  ethics, supply chain, and our people.

Please check out the new site at csr.cisco.com, share a story with a friend, and let us know what you think.

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Food Bank Employee Describes the Many Faces of Hunger

December 3, 2013 at 7:00 am PST

Emily_KraftThis post is from guest blogger Emily Kraft, Food & Nutrition Services Outreach Coordinator for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, one of the hunger relief organizations Cisco employees support through the annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign. 

I’m at the library on my lunch break, searching for a good book to read in my downtime.  My concentration is broken when I hear whispers coming from a nearby table. “Is that the Food Stamp Lady?  I think it is. She’s great – helped me out a lot. You should talk with her.”

Many local shelter residents congregate at the library during the daytime, and it is here among them that I have achieved pseudo celebrity status. The beloved moniker of “Food Stamp Lady” has been bestowed upon me during the past two years after I became a Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) Outreach Coordinator for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in November 2011.

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How Can One Cisco Intern Impact the World?

When I arrived in early June for my 12-week internship in Cisco Corporate Affairs, I began to read You + Networks = Impactx everywhere on the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) website. For me, it was just a tagline – part of a marketing campaign for Cisco CSR.  I didn’t understand it, and wasn’t sure if I completely believed it.  It wasn’t until I became a part of the Cisco CSR family and plugged myself into the equation that You + Networks = Impactx became much more than a tagline; it became the heart of my work at Cisco this summer.

During my 12-week internship, I learned how human and technology networks can multiply impact on people, communities, and the planet.

During my 12-week internship, I learned how human and technology networks can multiply impact on people, communities, and the planet.

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Social Innovation Summit: Where Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation

December 3, 2012 at 5:15 am PST

The Social Innovation Summit takes place this week on December 4 and 5 in Mountain View, California. This annual gathering brings together corporate, investment, government, and nonprofit leaders to explore the strategies and business innovations that are generating social transformation.

At Cisco, we apply the same technology, expertise, and partnerships we use to help our customers to also help transform lives, communities, and the planet. Through the collective power of human and technology networks, we believe we can multiply our impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems — while strengthening our business.

This “shared value” approach is reflected in the Social Innovation Summit, where other corporations, nonprofits, investors, and government agencies will describe how business innovations and creativity are enabling social transformation.

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