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2015 Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Environment

Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility strategy prioritizes the issues that are most important to our business and to our stakeholders, identified through a formal CSR materiality assessment. We use the Cisco CSR Report to communicate our approach, objectives, progress, and challenges around five high-level priorities. This morning, we’ll focus on the Environment:

Over the years, Cisco has built strong relationships with key global advocacy organizations and established credibility with customers who want to use Cisco solutions to improve their own environmental sustainability. Our two most important environment-related issues are energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and product end of life, as explained by Kathy Mulvany and Darrel Stickler in the video below:

Randy Pond, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Operations, shared how the company’s emphasis on environmental performance is helping to improve the business and Cisco’s reputation among industry leaders:

“We’ve found strong environmental performance and reputation enhances customer loyalty, strengthens strategic relationships with governments, and helps attract the best employee talent.”

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Cisco’s RTP Employees Give Big to Local Charities

Cisco is a great company to work for – with an even bigger heart. It is a privilege to work alongside great people who give of their time, talent, and treasure to make the world, and its local communities, a better place.

I have had the pleasure of serving as Site Executive in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, representing the wonderful employees who have contributed to Cisco’s annual employee giving campaign, Be the Bridge. Building off of our legacy Global Hunger Relief Campaign, our new Be the Bridge campaign provided employees greater choice to support one of 400+ non-profit organizations around the world focused on shelter, water access, nutrition and emergency care, in addition to hunger.

Ed Paradise, VP of engineering, presenting collective check to RTP Campus local nonprofit partners

Ed Paradise, VP of engineering, presenting collective check to RTP Campus local nonprofit partners

My local colleagues came through in a big way – over 870 donors raised $220,000 to a wide variety of organizations. And that’s before the Cisco Foundation matching funds! Special thanks to Rebecca Jacoby, SVP, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Leadership RTP Site Sponsor, who further incentivized our donors with an additional $10K match.

At our Culmination Event last week, seven grateful partners came to the RTP campus and were shocked and awed by the generosity of my fellow colleagues. Together with the matching funds, we were pleased to present checks totaling over $305,000 to our local non-profit partners, including: American Red Cross, Habitat of Humanity of Durham, Wake and Orange Counties, Interact, The Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, and Triangle Family Services.

Cisco Volunteers wrapping holiday gifts for families of Interact of Wake County

Cisco Volunteers wrapping holiday gifts for families of Interact of Wake County

The day began with a Volunteer Power Hour for employees to come together for some fun and comradery, all for great causes. Employees wrapped children’s holiday gifts for survivors of domestic violence, assembled, painted, and decorated housewarming gifts (birdhouses) for new Habitat home-owners; wrote holiday greeting cards to be sent to U.S. troops overseas; and sorted through 6,000 pounds of food to be distributed to the hungry citizens of our community this holiday season.

Cisco Volunteers building birdhouses for new home-owners of Habitat Humanity

Cisco Volunteers building birdhouses for new home-owners of Habitat Humanity

Following the Volunteer Power Hour, we had a brief program recognizing the impactful work of our seven local nonprofits in the community. The room was flooded with warmth, love and kindness as employees shared their personal involvement with our partners and powerful stories of organizational impact. Simone Hamlett shared, “I am the bridge to survivors of domestic violence. I am humbled by the labor of love that the InterAct staff performs on a daily basis and the courage of victims that seek the organization’s help.”


Simone Hamlett, HR Program Manager and Civic Council Lead for InterAct shares a touching story with the audience on the impact of InterAct of Wake County’s work in the community for victims of domestic violence.

I am fortunate to work with such generous employees. Here’s what Travis Bullard had to say about Be the Bridge: “I feel extremely fortunate to work for a company that places such value on supporting the local community! Thank you for giving me a platform to contribute to the community.”Well Travis, thank you!  I couldn’t agree more.

And Brad Giles adds: “We all need to be kind and contribute to those less fortunate. Nothing works better than setting a good example. We are privileged to be working for a company that commits itself to helping others as much as Cisco does.” Travis and Brad are only two of over 870 donors who made it possible for seven of our local partners, and the clients they serve, to have a very happy holiday.

Thank you for being the bridge! Have a wonderful holiday season.

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Cisco, Greenlight for Girls Inspire Women to Pursue STEM Careers

This blog was originally published on the Cisco Learning Network.

I’m not an engineer. I’m not technical. I didn’t pursue STEM studies in university, either.  So, why am I making so much noise and effort around getting more girls and women into STEM? Simply put, I’m an “advocate” and a “voice” willing to amplify my belief in the growing need to get more girls and women involved in STEM fields.

The bug bit me five years ago when I joined Cisco as a Technical Services Manager. Prior to working at Cisco, I was a people manager at MasterCard. I had little exposure to the technical side of the business, but shortly after starting, I found myself managing engineers for the first time. It was quite an experience, and a positive one at that! I had the chance to realize and break down all the stereotypes about engineers. I came to see each one as an incredible, intelligent, unique person that I was lucky to work with.

My teams were about 15 to 20% women, which was the complete opposite of what I was used to before my time at Cisco. Hiring women into the roles proved a frequent challenge at the time, with both a lack of female candidates and a very non-diverse team of interviewers. I began working with engineers in the Middle East and learned about their challenges in pursuing STEM studies. Some were discouraged by their family and friends, while others had trouble enrolling in classes at their local universities.

Hearing their stories fueled my interest and drive to make a difference. It was just too obvious; something had to be done, and I wanted to be part of that “something!” Not all of these women were willing or comfortable to speak up about the challenges they were facing so, I was ready to be their “voice.”

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Creating Value in Cisco’s Supply Chain through Diversity

This post was written by guest blogger Unni Nair, manager for Cisco’s Supply Chain Sustainability and Diversity.unnair

As companies seek better ways to connect with and compete in markets all around the world, having a diversity mindset plays an increasingly important role. Cisco’s supply chain is particularly relevant to this focus because, as one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the world, regions, cultures, communities and customers can be connected through our business operations. When these connections are valued and nurtured, it underscores a company’s committed path to inclusion and diversity.

To better leverage diversity across operations, an inflection point came in 2014 as Cisco began an ambitious initiative to transform its global supply chain operation. Many programs and ideas, like diversity, helped ignite this transformation. Within a year, Cisco was named #6 on Gartner’s 2015 Supply Chain Top 25. According to Gartner, the future of many companies will depend on their willingness and ability to rethink their supply chains and evolve.

Supplier diversity can play a powerful role and serve as a strong competitive advantage for businesses – especially supply chains – as it opens new channels to access skills, provides resiliency, promotes inclusiveness, broadens partnership opportunities and offers an abundance of viewpoints needed to solve today’s complex challenges. We believe business is strengthened, as diversity boosts our social license to better understand and successfully operate around the world.


Diversity programs can, and should, invigorate business simply because they obligate organizations to be bold when forming and maintaining partnerships. A strong procurement process helps to shun complacency and boost alternative methods, identify products or services that can enhance the business and breathe in new ideas. As Cisco continues to track progress, data, and trends in supplier diversity, it has become clear that digitization represents a significant opportunity that has the potential of future success.

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Giving to Cisco’s Be the Bridge Campaign through Book Sales

I love working at Cisco.

It’s a company that cares deeply about its customers and its employees, and most importantly, cares about giving back to the community. I’m proud to be part of an organization that has helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals over the past 15 years as part of its Global Hunger Relief efforts.

When I was considering giving a portion of my latest book’s profits to charity, I stumbled across a post about Cisco’s Be the Bridge campaign. This is Cisco’s latest employee giving initiative, which supports more than 400 nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide through employee donations, volunteerism, and matching from the Cisco Foundation.

I was pleased to find out that Cisco would match my donation, dollar for dollar. This means that I can easily double the total amount I can donate to charity, all because I’m a Cisco employee. How cool is that? So, I decided to donate the profits of my latest book through Cisco’s Be the Bridge campaign (for all sales from December 14 to December 18, 2015). Read More »

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