Cisco celebrates Earth Day every year on April 22nd. It is a day to celebrate the planet we live on and to raise awareness about environmental issues. One critical issue facing our planet today is sustainability.

According to the United Nations (UN): Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet;  For sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. Cisco´s Purpose is to Power an Inclusive Future for All, including helping ensure a sustainable and regenerative future for our planet

Here are four ways we can contribute to sustainability.

Reuse and Recycle

By reducing the amount of waste we produce, reusing items instead of throwing them away, and recycling materials, we can help conserve natural resources and reduce pollution. At Cisco, we are evolving to a regenerative, circular model in which we reduce the resources we consume and the waste we generate. With this approach, we prioritize materials with recycled content; design products for resource efficiency; and facilitate repair, remanufacturing, and recycling to extend product life. Cisco has had programs in place for more than two decades to facilitate product returns for reuse and recycling, offer comprehensive service and repair, and remanufacture used equipment for sale through Cisco Refresh. These programs can create a second life for equipment, thereby saving the resources required for new manufacturing and reducing waste.

Support Practices contributing to Sustainability

Support businesses and organizations that are committed to sustainability. This includes companies striving for sustainability in their operations, organizations that work to protect the environment, and stakeholders who support environmental policies.

Cisco’s commitment to sustainability extends to our valued Partners by offering the Environmental Sustainability Specialization (ESS) Program, which rewards partners for supporting Cisco’s 100% product return pledge and participating in Cisco’s global initiative to responsibly repurpose or recycle end-of-use products.  ESS certified partners in participating countries are exclusively eligible for the TakeBack Incentive —an incremental discount of up to 7% on new products with a commitment to return used hardware back to Cisco.

“As part of this specialization, partners learn how they and our customers can help us make a greater difference towards sustainability.  As of April 2023, 491 partners worldwide are ESS certified”  – Andrew Sage, Cisco Global Partner & Routes to Market Executive Sponsor for Sustainability

As Cisco´s Chief Sustainability Officer Mary de Wysocki pointed out in her recent blog, Julie Boegner, a leader in our Partner Specializations organization, and Karin Surber, who leads partner incentive teams led the team launching the ESS. Through this work, Julie and Karin are helping customers with their digital and low carbon transitions.

Conserve Energy

Energy conservation is another important way to reduce our impact on the environment. By turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use, using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, and reducing our use of air conditioning and heating systems, we can help reduce energy consumption and save money on our energy bills. In July 2022, Cisco began a study with International Data Corporate (IDC) to gain insights on the current state of global sustainability maturity, including commitments, sustainability strategy, operationalization, technology, and people/culture. The study found that Energy Management is the top sustainability priority across key vertical markets including utilities, healthcare, retail, financial services, and manufacturing. Cisco is “walking the walk,” as the retrofit of Cisco’s office space at Penn 1 in New York City combines sustainable building principles, Cisco collaboration technology, and hybrid work principles to create an intuitive and inviting workspace.  Gordon Thomson, our VP of Global Enterprise Networking Sales, encourages the use of data to identify  energy-saving opportunities.

Spread Awareness

Finally, spread awareness about sustainability and environmental issues. Talk to your friends and family about ways they can reduce their impact on the environment, participate in local environmental events and activities, and support organizations that work to protect the Planet. To continue spreading awareness we’d like to highlight Cisco’s most recent Sustainability Partner Champions:

Catarina Pereira is a Cisco virtual Partner Account Manager located in Lisbon, Portugal. She has been co-leading the Lisbon Green Team for 2 years now and is passionate about leading conversations around sustainability and solutions with her partners, and our external stakeholders. In the past 2 years, Catarina has been working closely with Original Consultants, a start-up with a disruptive message where sustainability and business outcomes are the focus leveraged by Cisco solutions. Working closely with John Cox (Managing Director at Original Consultants), they have achieved over 320% growth in Fiscal Year 2023, and they are also dedicated to their purposes – with a 4-day work week, getting B-Corp certified, and growing their Original Education arm which supports the Cisco Channel by focusing on Partner enablement mainly around sustainability. 50% of Original Consultant’s revenue is directed to environmental non-profits.

Catarina says “This is the story of a Partner that saw sustainability as a business opportunity, as our very own Chuck Robbins, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco keeps mentioning, but they also found a way to drive their passion as a job. From my end, I couldn’t be prouder, and I really appreciate the opportunity to work with such a team, as we all share the same passion.”

If you are interested in getting more involved in sustainability, here are a few ways to engage as a Cisco partner:

  1. Cisco Partner Programs support sustainability and solutions for our customers. (Green Pay, Cisco Refresh)
  2. Environmental Sustainability Specialization
  3. Environmental Sustainability Black Belt
  4. Recognize your Sustainability Champions

We hope you enjoyed celebrating Earth Day. Together we can Power an Inclusive Future for All!


Learn more about IT and Sustainability in our annual Purpose Report and find supplemental information in our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Hub.



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Debbie Clasen

Director, Partner Experience & Amplification

Global Partner and Routes to Market Sales