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Cisco and Good World Solutions a “Hot Couple” in Sustainability

May 30, 2014 at 10:44 am PST

Today Sustainable Brands writer Dimitar Vlahov names Cisco and its nonprofit partner Good World Solutions as a Hot Couple in Sustainability for our work to develop and scale the Labor Link mobile platform that improves transparency in global supply chains.

Vlahov writes, “What if workers in a global brand’s supply chain could access a free and anonymous channel to report on working conditions, and the brand in question could get real-time data to identify and address problems quickly, before they become front-page news? Well, this is now a reality for adopters of solutions like Labor Link, and clients such as Cisco are already making good use of it.”

Read the full article at Sustainable Brands.

Read more about the relationship between Cisco and Good World Solutions.

Trainers at a garment factory in India show workers how to use mobile phones to take anonymous surveys. Photo: Arjun Kartha

A trainer at a garment factory in India shows workers how to use mobile phones to take anonymous Labor Link surveys. Photo: Arjun Kartha

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Cisco’s Doing What on Earth Day?

Nature2webOh so much!

First of all, we don’t consider Earth Day as just one day in the year when we implement a few feel-good actions that temporarily improve our environment. We consider Earth Day a great opportunity to reach out to our 68,000+ global employees to highlight today’s most pressing environmental issues — to educate them about what Cisco is doing, and to guide them in what they can do every day of the year to reduce their impact on the environment.

What_Is_Earth_Day
Ok, so now that I have that off of my chest, what exactly is Cisco doing this Earth Day, April 22, 2014?  Well, besides continuing to 1) develop technologies like Cisco TelePresence video conferencing and Cisco WebEx web conferencing, which have proven to reduce environmental impacts and 2) implement many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects (like this solar project) to meet our aggressive corporate sustainability goals, we are holding a number of Earth Day events for employees across the globe.

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Earth Day 2014: Time for Hope (and Frustration)

If you’re into sustainability, Earth Day can be a bit like New Year’s Day. A time to reflect. A time of hope. Maybe a bit of frustration with things not yet completed. But impatience can grease the wheels of change…

A time of hope. Today, sustainability isn’t just the province of non-profit advocacy groups. Unlike not too long ago, most large companies now have sustainability staff and are somewhere on a shared road of discovery, learning how to incorporate sustainability into the business model and culture of their own company and those of their customers. We’re making progress but the destination is still over the horizon.

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U.S. EPA Lauds Cisco for Meeting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

Cisco is pleased to announce that we received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2014 Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in GHG Management (Goal Achievement). This award recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and achieve aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals.

This is the second year in a row Cisco has been recognized by the EPA. Last year we won the Supply Chain Leadership Award for managing and reducing GHG emissions throughout our supply chain.

Cisco was one of 15 organizations and two individuals recognized at the Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego, California yesterday. Cisco received the award because we met our first 5-year goal, announced in June 2007 to reduce all scope 1, 2 and business air-travel Scope 3 GHG emissions* worldwide by 25% on an absolute basis from 2007 to 2012.

 

Andy Smith (right) accepts the 2014 EPA Climate Leadership Award on behalf of Cisco

Andy Smith (right) accepts the 2014 EPA Climate Leadership Award on behalf of Cisco

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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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