The following is an excerpt from the 2022 Cisco Purpose Report, published on December 8, 2022.
Encouraging Cisco employees to contribute to their local and global communities is one way we bring our purpose to life.
In fiscal 2022, for the third year in a row, we maintained over 80 percent employee participation in community impact. We measure impact by employees’ actions, including advocating for causes they care about; environmental sustainability actions; hybrid volunteering (virtual and in-person); donating; digital give-back experiences; survey sharing; and participating in programs that positively impact people, society, and the planet. The fact that we have engaged four out of every five Cisco employees, representing 95 countries, for the past three years—even throughout a global pandemic—is proof of a purpose-driven culture where small acts of kindness can add up to incredible impact.
Principles of behavioral science and economics and data-forward insights drive our strategy and allow all employees to contribute, no matter where they are. For example, we use nudges like giving all new hires a credit to donate to a nonprofit of their choice and integrating easy give-back actions into digital spaces, meetings, and business events. Now, we are leveraging the power of Webex to increase engagement and help create positive habits. By communicating with a chat bot, employees can make donations and pledges directly in chat. With a digital widget, anyone can more easily track Cisco’s and their team’s participation, anytime, anywhere.
Community impact continues to be an integral part of Cisco’s Conscious Culture. Our ELT integrates community impact into their business operations, reinforcing their commitment to supporting communities in need and setting the expectation that community impact is a business imperative. In addition, many of our Global Inclusive Communities have their own impact goals and participate in giving. As we’ve transformed our approach to giving back over the years, we are uniquely positioned to share strategies and outcomes with others through forums like the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. This allows us to accelerate and multiply impact for good.
Engaging employees in supporting equal rights for all
As part of Social Justice Action 1, Influence Ecosystem, which seeks justice and equal rights for AA/B people by supporting nonprofits and policy change, community impact partnered with Cisco’s Connected Black Professionals (CBP) Inclusive Community to create the Power to Empower Campaign. The campaign encouraged CBP members and other employees to nominate racial equality and social justice nonprofit organizations that were meaningful to them. Through this campaign, over 100 new nonprofits were added to our matching gifts portal so our employees could have their volunteer time and donations matched by Cisco.
Additionally, Cisco’s Black Equity Grant program (BEG) awards US$500,000 in cash grants each fiscal year to Black-serving and/or Black-led nonprofit organizations who support social justice and racial equity. Through the BEG program, community impact partnered with CBP to identify organizations and distribute US$75,000 in cash grants to five organizations they were passionate about.
A journey for a cause
The Camino de Santiago extends for more than 500 miles across northern Spain, attracting tens of thousands of hikers each year. In 2022, 425 Cisco employees, friends, and families from 21 countries came together to train, prepare, and hike the trail—while raising funds for global charities battling cancer. Many employees made use of Time2Give, the 10 days of time off each employee receives to volunteer, to take part. In total, employees raised more than €100,000 for cancer charities in nine European countries. The experience was an opportunity for colleagues to connect after an extended time apart—as well as to make a positive impact on people and the environment throughout the journey. Watch a video of the event:
Engaging employees on sustainability
Cisco encourages employees to contribute to environmental sustainability. We have numerous programs and platforms through which people can access resources, get inspiration and share ideas (learn more in the ESG Reporting Hub). In fiscal 2022, we launched Sustainability Central, an internal site that provides information on Cisco’s commitment to sustainability, resources for sales teams, and sustainability news and highlights from across the business. We also began a new Sustainability Ambassadors program to train employees to represent Cisco’s global sustainability strategy and portfolio internally and to customers, partners, and other external stakeholders. Over 60 employees became Cisco Sustainability ambassadors during the initial launch of the program.
Employees continue to participate in 24 Green Team Networks (Global Inclusive Communities focused on driving sustainability impacts) and join in our annual Earth Day celebration, Earth Aware, that culminates in SustainX each year. And for the first time since the pandemic began, we were able to host an in-person Recycle IT Day for the 25th anniversary of this event, during which employees brought in used electronics for recycling. During the event, we collected 128 metric tonne of equipment from 100 sites around the globe.
To grow awareness and inspire employees to contribute to Cisco’s circular economy transformation, we publish a quarterly circular economy newsletter (which is now a sustainability newsletter), manage a circular economy Webex space, and have embedded trainings across key groups at Cisco. In fiscal 2022, our newsletter readership grew by 20 percent, and over 5500 employees in the design community were trained on incorporating Circular Design Principles into their roles.