Cisco is proud to be named #3 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world.

Below are some excerpts from the article announcing the rankings, originally published by The Wall Street Journal on October 12, 2020.

The ranking was produced by the Journal’s environment, social, and governance research analysts, who assessed more than 5,500 publicly traded businesses on a range of sustainability metrics in such areas as business model and innovation, external social and product issues, employee and workplace issues, and the environment.

For all of the companies, transparency was key. Scores reflect the amount of publicly available information about each company’s policies, initiatives and performance metrics—all of which can be important indicators of a company’s long-term financial performance and the effects it could have on the planet and people.

At hardware companies, some of the most financially important sustainability issues are sourcing of materials and data security. Sony and Cisco Systems Inc., No. 3 in the ranking, both earned high scores in these areas.

Cisco, in addition to addressing data-security needs, has tracked the environmental impacts of select products over their life cycles since 2008: 91% of the greenhouse emissions associated with its blade servers, for example, comes from the servers’ use, while 9% comes from their manufacture, according to Cisco’s most recent 2019 sustainability report.

The company received its high WSJ ranking for supply-chain management, product design and data security.

Irving Tan, chief operating officer at the San Jose, Calif.-based network-equipment provider, says Cisco conducts an ecological assessment of targeted products, like popular desk phones, routers and servers, to learn where it can make the biggest difference.

Mr. Tan says it is important to pay attention to where a company can make an outsize impact. In Cisco’s case, that is sourcing materials and making its products more circular—that is, how resource-efficient, durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable they are. By 2025, Cisco says, it will have standards in place to make sure all of its new products are made with circular design principles.

Cisco has also required 80% of its suppliers—determined by its spending—to set emission-reduction targets by 2025 as part of its goal to cut 30% of its emissions from its supply chain, which fall under so-called scope 3 emissions, those coming from both the products a company sells and companies in its supply chain.

“They need to be part of the solution with us,” Mr. Tan says.


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Alexis Raymond

Senior Manager

Chief Sustainability Office