Every April 22, Cisco joins the world in celebrating Earth Day, an annual event held in more than 193 countries each year. Historically, Cisco has used Earth Day to hold educational sessions for employees globally and virtual events around the clock, bringing speakers to discuss important issues and solutions that address environmental problems. In turn, employees are more aware than ever of Cisco’s efforts to improve environmental sustainability and make a positive impact on the planet.

This year, Cisco launched Earth Aware, a new month-long employee volunteerism and awareness campaign to support the environment and sustainability. From Monday April 4 through Earth Day on April 22, Cisco hosted global activities, events, and “green” volunteer opportunities to encourage employees to be more sustainable, both at work and at home.

Hundreds of employees around the world volunteered, and more than 425 volunteered from Cisco’s San Jose campus. They helped local charities and organizations harvest sustainable produce, maintained the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, learned how to host a Bike to Work Day, recycled electronic waste, picked up litter around Cisco, and planted trees!

Rose Gardening with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

More than 90 employees volunteered their time last Tuesday and Wednesday to weed the rose garden and prepare the plants for a fresh pour of wood chips. San Jose’s Rose Garden has the largest number of different varieties of roses of any garden in the Northern Hemisphere, and volunteers made sure they’re also the healthiest flowers!

Harvesting and Packaging Produce at Hidden Villa

At Hidden Villa, an organic, non profit organic farm in Los Altos, California, 25 Cisco employee volunteers harvested and packaged produce to be distributed to the community at local farmer’s markets. They weeded the farm’s grape vineyards, apricot trees, raspberry plants, and strawberry plants to ensure healthy crops. The volunteers also re-potted hundreds of chard, basil, and kale plants.

Christine Liu, a Cisco employee who attended the activity, said the Hidden Villa staff was “so impressed” by the group’s progress and how fast they worked. “They didn’t expect us to be done so quickly,” she said.

Walk for the World

The Coyote Creek Trail runs adjacent to Cisco’s San Jose Campus, and more than 70 volunteers took the initiative to clean up the beautiful path last week. The group grabbed trash bags and gloves, picking up litter as they walked, and some even went off on their own to clean up the smaller trails. It was a beautiful day that allowed employees to connect and make a positive impact in their own “backyard.”

Other volunteer activities in San Jose included:

  • Get Trained to Host Bike to Work Day with the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition: Each year on May 12, companies take part in Bike to Work Day, where thousands of commuters bike to work and stop at more than 130 Energizer Stations. Cisco volunteers took part in a training exercise last week and will be well prepared to staff some of the most popular stations!
  • Recycle IT Day: Employees were encouraged to bring in any end-of-life electronics from home, their office, or lab to be environmentally recycled. They were also encouraged to bring documents for shredding and items to be donated to the Good Will.

Next month, Cisco will hold the Cisco Sustainability Fair on May 4th from 11 am to 2 pm in the Building 11 Cafe in San Jose. As a continuation of Earth Aware, employees will have the chance to learn more about a variety of environmental organizations, inside and outside of Cisco! Representatives from various organizations, such as RAFT, the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, and more will be on campus to share their work.

Earth Aware is encouraging Cisco’s problem-solving employees to take personal action in environmentally responsible behaviors at work and at home. Together, we’re making Cisco a more sustainable workplace and helping keep Planet Earth clean.

Don’t forget to tell the world how you’ve been Earth Aware this month! Use the hashtags #EarthAware, #WeAreCisco, and #CiscoGreen to share your experiences on social media. Be sure to include us in your post — @CiscoLocal (Twitter), @CiscoLocal (Instagram), and the Cisco CSR Facebook Page!


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco