Tomorrow’s Gotta Start Somewhere: CISCO System’s Sustainability
Corporate Knights, a Canada-based financial information company and magazine, just released their picks for the 2018 Report of The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Corporate Knights focuses on researching how businesses can prosper from a mutually benefitting society and environment. When creating their annual report, Corporate Knights takes into account many aspects of public data released by some 6,000 successful companies from around the world, from a variety of industries who earn an annual revenue of $1 billion and up. They also take into account the type of employee programs the company has, as far as pension and sustainability plans, as well as compensation of the CEO, taxes paid, general measurements of equality, and carbon footprint, among many other factors.
The results showed that, out of one hundred companies, the United States had eighteen companies listed, which was more than any other country. Dassault Systemes, a French firm that designs engineering software that assists organizations in waste reduction, was ranked number one as the most sustainable company in the world. The first American company to be ranked came in at number seven is Cisco Systems, which is a well known crown jewel of Silicon Valley. Cisco Systems prides itself in “building a better tomorrow” by developing and manufacturing networking hardware and telecommunications equipment to create a more connected world. They are also considered to be one of the leading companies in corporate social responsibility, which hints at their sustainability and employee programs.
When you head over to the Cisco System’s webpage for Corporate Social Responsibility, the page greets you with the quote “We empower social change agents with technology and expertise. Our goal: Accelerate global problem solving to benefit people, society, and the planet.” Cisco doesn’t limit itself to the technological industry to benefit people globally, in fact they are doing so much more to make the world a better place. The page also boasts some statistics on Cisco’s impact: 1.6 million people have obtained jobs thanks to Cisco’s Networking Academy, 154+ million people have been positively impacted by Cisco’s nonprofit grants, and their greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 41% since 2007.
Cisco also has an emphasis on transparency, as seen by its website, which has information on the Supply Chain Transparency, or a detailed report about their materials and production and how they are shipped and harvested, and can redirect you to their Trust and Transparency Center, where they release information about their products and processes to better inform their customers. They are also very clear about their priorities for the company, which is “people, society, planet.” Cisco believes in providing jobs and opportunities to people through their Academy as well as other learning, training, and employment opportunities. Cisco strives to create a better society and a community where people give back to their neighbors and to the planet. Cisco has an emphasis on the circular economy, where products are not discarded after use, and instead are refurbished and reused to prolong their total lifespan.
Cisco Systems is also very proud of their environmental work, starting with their energy efficiency. The accomplishments of 2017 included 80% of their global electricity coming from renewable resources, 103 energy efficiency projects completed in their own operations, and 11,400 metric tons of products returned to Cisco for reuse and recycling. By 2020, Cisco plans to eliminate one million tons of greenhouse gases from their supply chain. Their 150 page Corporate Social Responsibility report for 2017 included many projects and promises that Cisco is planning on keeping to their shareholders and customers, from empowering women in STEM, to reducing company’s carbon footprint, to expanding technological access to all regions of the world.
Cisco is also passionate about animal conservation efforts. Their environmental page proudly features a gorgeous picture of two African rhinos. If poaching is not stopped, South African rhinos will be extinct by 2025 and Cisco is dedicated to preventing that from happening by working with Dimension Data to track poachers through seismic sensors, drone cameras, thermal imaging and biometric scanning to protect the dwindling population of rhinos on a preserve. This type of investment in service to this endangered animal shows how dedicated Cisco is to preserving our world’s wildlife and securing this planet for future generations and shows they are willing to make partnerships with people and companies all over the world to promote many aspects of positive change.
Not only is the company doing great things all over the world, but it gives back to the people in their immediate community. Cisco has recently embarked on an initiative to end homelessness in the Silicon Valley. They announced a $50 million commitment over the next five years to end homelessness in the Santa Clara Valley with a partnership with Destination: Home, an organization that provides homes to those in need. Santa Clara is known as the home of many of the world’s multi-billion dollar tech companies and their executives, but this area also has the third highest chronic homelessness rate within the United States. Aside from all the political and public action that needs to take place, Cisco is committed to providing the assistance and resources needed to try to alleviate this issue by funding one of Destination:Home’s affordable housing projects in the area. They will also improve the technological aspects of the homelessness services sector and advance assistance practices to support families in need.
Cisco is dedicated to being a global citizen through their services and aid, and this initiative will also make CISCO a member of their local community. Cisco has also proved to have a good reputation on the stock market, being one of the only steady technological companies being traded. Many investors have been convinced that Cisco will be experiencing a long lasting growth trend, as well as boosting the dividend by 14% this year. There is no better time to be investing in a company that is doing great things both here and abroad. We should all be looking forward to their sustainability progress report, as well as the progress of many of their global initiatives as they continue upholding their promise of creating a better tomorrow.
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