Gap Score: +19.0
  • Cisco has been steadily reducing GHG emissions from business air travel worldwide and, in 2012, met its 2008 commitment to reduce total emissions worldwide by 25%. In 2013, Cisco achieved a 28% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions worldwide from a FY07 baseline.

  • Cisco cut 634 metric tonnes of packaging and saved $7.7 million in material and freight costs by improving packaging efficiency. Cisco also has a 25 percent reuse rate on returned products. Customers returned 12,539 metric tonnes of Cisco products for reuse and recycling, and more than $360 million of Cisco equipment was reused.

  • While Cisco’s water use appears to have been generally climbing in recent years, it is working to minimize its water impacts through strategies such as irrigation controllers, recycling, and rainwater harvesting. In 2013, Cisco continued measuring its water use to better understand the impact of its programs.

  • Because cities are the largest contributor to energy consumption and climate change (consuming 75% of the world’s energy and producing 80% of greenhouse gas emissions), Cisco has launched the Smart+Connected Communities initiative to promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability to its customers around the world.

Working Together

Whether working with public and private sector leaders to build Smart+Connected communities or working with consumers to reduce waste through trade-in programs, partnership and participation are part of Cisco’s DNA. But the brand’s solutions and collaborative style often extend in a more altruistic direction. In an effort to address the growing challenges of resource scarcity, food and water security, and the impact and frequency of weather extremes, Cisco partnered with the Planetary Skin Institute (PSI). A global nonprofit organization, PSI collaborates with research and development partners across multiple sectors to identify, conceptualize, and incubate replicable and scalable big-data innovations that could significantly increase the resilience of low-income communities; increase food, water, and energy security; and protect key ecosystems and biodiversity. Cisco has also provided $680,000 in cash and product support to help Good World Solutions design, implement, and scale Labor Link, which uses mobile technology to increase transparency in global supply chains. The Labor Link initiative gives factory workers and farmers a con¬fidential channel to communicate with companies that sell what they produce. It also gives the companies that rely on these laborers a way to gain reliable information about their working conditions or quality of life. All interactions are anonymous and confidential—promoting transparency, accuracy, and participation. Since 2010, Labor Link has scaled from 100 sweater artisans in Peru to more than 95,000+ factory workers in 10 countries—from Asia, Latin America, and Africa—and through multiple sectors, from apparel and agriculture to electronics.

The Green Advantage

Cisco is committed to sustainable networking technologies that are creating value for its customers, society, and the planet. The company is currently focusing its efforts on building environmental sustainability into every business function so that the products and services it produces benefit society and the environment. Cisco prioritizes reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as well as improving energy efficiency in products. It also engages its customers in environmental stewardship by involving and rewarding them through its trade-in program. The company’s CSR efforts help to build trusted relationships with customers and stakeholders — ultimately strengthening the Cisco brand.


2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Connecting Cities Sustainability Through Innovation (white paper)
Cisco thought leadership on Cities of the Future
Smart+Connected Communities brochure
Good World Solutions Mobile technology increases transparency in global supply chains
Product Trade-In Programs Helping Customers Save Money and Reduce Electronic Waste
Partnership with the Planetary Skin Institute (PSI)
Partnership with the Planetary Skin Institute (PSI) 2