Co-Authored by Marc Surplus


Cisco’s success depends on the success of all of you, our Cisco distributors and partners. And when it comes to our ambitious sustainability goals, the same holds true. Cisco is committed to moving from a linear economy, where products are used and then thrown away, to a circular economy that makes better use of our limited natural resources.

Today, we are excited to share that Cisco launched its Environmental Sustainability Specialization, a new business specialization available to all Cisco partners. Building upon the commitment made by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to have 100 percent of end-of-use hardware products returned to Cisco, this new specialization rewards partners for supporting Cisco’s sustainability pledge and participating in Cisco’s global initiative to responsibly repurpose or recycle end-of-use products.

The Environmental Sustainability Specialization will equip you with the information you need to educate your customers on the benefits of migrating to cloud-enabled solutions while updating older technologies. You will also be able to share with customers the impact they can have on the environment by participating in the circular economy. And here’s more good news: Earning the specialization takes less than 15 hours of training and completion of only two exams.

Cisco’s Takeback Incentive

Once accredited with the Environmental Sustainability Specialization, Cisco partners are eligible to participate in Cisco’s Takeback Incentive, now available in participating countries. The new incentive offers incremental discounts of up to seven percent on new products registered as part of Takeback Incentive deals on refresh or migration opportunities. By replacing older hardware with new, energy-efficient Cisco equipment, customers can reduce their carbon footprint. Partners can then take advantage of Cisco’s free takeback services so the used hardware can be responsibly recycled or repurposed, instead of ending up in landfills.

The returned equipment is an important component of Cisco Refresh, an initiative started in 2001 to offer partners and customers certified Cisco remanufactured equipment with the same warranty and support options as new Cisco products but at discounted prices. Cisco Refresh extends the useful life of Cisco products, and it features cost-effective equipment that uses less energy to remanufacture.

Generating More Opportunities through the Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialization

This initiative is an important step in creating a win-win-win opportunity for our partners, our customers and the environment. With the specialization and Takeback Incentive, partners will be rewarded for helping customers migrate to the most up-to-date technologies and responsibly dispose of the used hardware enabling them to achieve their sustainability targets.

Cisco partners can generate more opportunities by:

  • Gaining entry into new lines of business: Sustainability can open new conversations with business executives and provide access to new buying centers
  • Ensuring you meet requests for proposal requirements: Some customers will only source from responsible partners/suppliers and are increasing their expectations of supplier sustainability
  • Expanding your services offerings: Such as offering additional services for responsible disposal of unused customer hardware

Stand Out and Be Recognized for your Commitment to Sustainability

Once you have earned your Environmental Sustainability Specialization, tell the world through our free digital marketing kit that includes a specialization logo, certificate, email signature graphic and badge, copy blocks to use with customers, RFP, social media content and more.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s work together to drive toward a circular economy that makes better use of our limited natural resources.


Environmental Sustainability Specialization

Takeback Incentive

Circular Economy

Cisco Refresh

Cisco Sustainable Packaging 


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Andrew Sage

Vice President

Global Distribution & SMB Sales