In the spirit of working together with our supply chain, industry peers, and organizations with which we have shared values, I am pleased to announce that Cisco has been named as #1 in the IT industry on the Green Supply Chain CITI Evaluation this year. This evaluation assesses brands on the environmental management of their supply chains in China. 

We know that making the world a better place with technology begins with how that technology is made. A responsibly managed supply chain upholds human rights and promotes worker health and well-being. We also work to minimize negative environmental impacts and collaborate broadly to promote healthy ecosystems on which all life depends.   

We have set ambitious public goals on greenhouse gas emissions and waste. In addition, minimizing environmental pollution is an essential part of environmentally responsible supply chain management. And like all work in supply chain sustainability, addressing pollution requires rigorous data collection and analysis, working with suppliers to drive change, and partnership with organizations to advance shared goals. 

In 2017, Cisco began our collaboration with the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) to address environmental pollution in ChinaWe leveraged their Blue Map database to screen our supplier sites for environmental violations. We then used our influence with those suppliers to drive them to correct identified issues and reduce their impact to the surrounding environment.   

To date, Cisco’s efforts have resulted in the screening of more than 500 factories in our first, second, and third tiers of the supply chain. Based on those screening results and Cisco’s influence, more than 130 factories have corrected more than 360 environmental infractions. Furthermore, in the past two years, Cisco has required more than 100 factories to complete pollutant data in IPE’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register platformAltogether, this work is reducing environmental impact and promoting transparency for environmental protection in China. 

Cisco recognizes we can extend the reach and impact of this work by cascading these requirements through our global supply chain. To this end, we have engaged our manufacturing partners in China to implement the same process of screening their suppliers and working with them to address violations. We also collaborate with our manufacturing partners to influence suppliersFor example, we identified tier two supplier site with an air pollution issue, but we had small spend with that supplier and therefore not a lot of influence.  We were able to bring in a manufacturing partner that had much more business with that site, and together we were able to drive our requirements and get the issue corrected. 

Looking ahead, we believe the focus on supply chain sustainability will continue to grow, not just for Cisco, but for all our stakeholders globallyThe interdependencies of society, the environment, and long-term prosperity have never been so clear as they have in 2020. As the impacts of climate change are increasingly visible, including the wildfires in California where Cisco is headquartered, there is an increased urgency to take action on this global challengeAnd as the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, responsible businesses work to meet customer needs and protect workers’ health and well-being, and governments are looking to transition to more sustainable economy and society. The opportunity is ours collectively to collaborate, drive progress, and make meaningful impact on these issues we care deeply about, and that affect the future of our planet and subsequent generations. 

For more information, please see our Supply Chain Sustainability website 


Edwin de Boer

Vice President, Supply Chain Transformation

Supply Chain Operations (SCO)