You may have heard a little rumour that here at Cisco we love to give back – and it’s true! Additionally, Cisco encourages us to find ways to give back that we’re passionate about, and there may be no greater passion for us Aussies than our oceans.

My role at Cisco is in digital marketing for the Asia Pacific region, but within my team I also hold the very unofficial title of “Chief CSR Officer” – I just love finding ways for our team to give back! 😊 When the global Bridge to Possible campaign was launched, I was inspired to find a way to tie in the image of our iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge with a Time2Give activity.

A teammate forwarded me the link for a local guided kayaking business that organises regular clean-up tours on Sydney Harbour – it was perfect! The chance to make a positive environmental impact with the bridge as a backdrop could not have been more ideal – and so to help mark the arrival of summer in Australia, 18 members of Cisco’s Sydney-based marketing team took to kayaks and went to help ensure our beautiful harbour stay clean.

Not only was this a great activity to give back to our environment and local waterways, but it was a fun team bonding experience as well and enabled us to take a break from our computer screens for some quality time in the fresh air.

Armed with gloves, sieves, and buckets our team paddled around Lavender Bay collecting micro-plastics and any other litter that we came across. It wasn’t long before some of our buckets were overflowing with trash. Although it was unbelievably sad to see the amount of the rubbish that ends up in our waterways, I felt uplifted to be making a small impact. Half the battle is taking action against those things that break our hearts, and at Cisco we understand that those “small impacts” add up!

While we were out on the water, one team member even filmed each paddler as they shared why it was important for them to help with the clean-up effort. All of us want to preserve our environment for future generations, and it was so amazing to know that my colleagues care about the health of our oceans and marine life as much as I do.

The day left us all with smiles on our faces as we loved the opportunity to kayak and give back. We felt accomplished in taking steps to protect a place that we’re all very passionate about. To show their support, another team member met us on the harbour foreshore with the perfect treat to replenish ourselves – homemade muffins and juice!

As we sorted through what we had collected, we took the time to chat about what we’d all be giving up to reduce our household waste, and it left me feeling so very proud of my team. We shared values beyond the work that we do together every day, and dedicated ourselves to truly making a difference. If that wasn’t enough, it was awesome that Cisco gave us the time to live these values through doing community volunteer work!

We’ve all heard the statistic that if we don’t change our habits as consumers, by 2050 there’ll be more plastic in our oceans than fish. The scale of this problem is overwhelming, and you might feel like you can’t make much of a difference, but you really can.

Here are 5 simple ways to help reduce plastic pollution:

  1. Use reusable water bottles, cups, containers and cutlery for meals on the go
  2. Refuse plastic drinking straws in cafes and bars
  3. Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store
  4. Only choose to buy unpackaged foods
  5. Pick up litter wherever you see it, even if it’s not yours

I am so grateful to have shared this moment with my co-workers and to have come together to give back in such a way where we all left feeling a renewed sense to helping our planet and environment.

Want to work for a company dedicated to giving back? Apply now.



Freya Lundgren

Regional Personalisation Specialist, APJC Digital Marketing

Marketing and Communications