2016 was a momentous year for Cisco and the world. We made key acquisitions, sponsored the Olympic Games in Rio, and continued to evolve our business to meet customers’ changing needs. It was also Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins’ first full year at the head of the company, and in the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, he stated that “our CSR programs have strengthened more than ever.” We couldn’t agree more!

We can all be proud of the progress Cisco’s made to further reduce our own and our customer’s environmental impact. These accomplishments would not have been possible without help from all of our employees, partners, and teams — thank you for your hard work this past year!

Here are some of the sustainability initiatives and accomplishments we launched and achieved in 2016:

  • Released Cisco’s 12th annual CSR report, which highlights our environmental performance and shows how we’re working to build sustainability into every business function and process.
  • Implemented over 100 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in FY16.
  • Piloted and released the Cisco IP Phone 7861, which contains at least 35 percent post-consumer plastic in seven of its individual plastic components.
  • Used electricity generated from renewable sources for 77% of our electricity demand in FY16.
  • Launched an internal engagement platform called Cisco Greenhouse, on which employees can learn how to reduce their environmental footprint and inspire others to live more sustainably. Over the past six months, 1,750 employees have taken over 9,100 actions to be more sustainable.
  • Launched Earth Aware, a new month-long employee volunteerism and awareness campaign to support the environment and sustainability during the month of April, which culminated in a sustainability thought leadership forum called SustainX.
  • Launched a carpooling program for our San Jose and San Francisco locations. Employees using the program avoided 400,000 miles of driving (a carbon emissions reduction of over 145 metric tonne CO2).
  • Avoided 1,368 cumulative metric tonne of packaging and product material, and 7,432 cumulative metric tonne of CO2e in our supply chain through the Pack It Green 2.0 program in FY16. We saved $3.2 million through material and freight cost reductions.
  • Collected 238 metric tonne of e-scrap from employees at 143 Cisco sites on Recycle IT Day.
  • Recognized as a “Green Power Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Announced a new goal to avoid one million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our supply chain operations by the year 2020.
  • Saved more than $600,000 over the FY16 annual shut down by turning off lab equipment and office supplies.
  • Continued to optimize freight shipment of goods, specifically by shifting transportation from air to ocean.
  • Recognized with the 2016 Supply Chain Leadership Award for driving progress on climate change in our supply chain.
  • Honored by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.
  • Received the Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Recognized as a Duke Energy Power Partner of the Year.
  • Earned a spot on the 2016 “Climate A List” for the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) investor climate change questionnaire.

We’re only a month into 2017, but we’ve already begun building on last year’s successes. Here is a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to in the New Year:

  • Ranked 3rd on the Corporate Knights 2017 Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies.
  • Planning our 2nd annual Earth Aware, which will feature on-campus, volunteering, and virtual methods for our employees to get involved.
  • Preparing for the completed construction of NRG’s solar facility in Southern California, which will supply over 10% of the San Jose campus’s electricity from solar power.
  • Organizing the 2nd SustainX to educate more employees on how they can incorporate sustainability into their jobs at Cisco.

Learn more about these initiatives and many others by following Cisco CSR on Twitter!

Our support of sustainability is one example of how Cisco is harnessing the power of the digital revolution to accelerate global problem solving, enabling people and societies to thrive in the digital economy. Our goal is to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.


Catherine Paquette

Business Analyst

Global Energy Management and Sustainability (GEMS)