By Sydney Frost
Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco may be well known for its innovative industry-leading technology, but there are some things you may not know about its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Here are 5 initiatives CSR at Cisco is doing to power a more inclusive future for all:
1. Connecting communities in crisis with Cisco Crisis Response
As the world faces disasters, Cisco uses advanced technologies to address and meet communications needs. The Cisco Crisis Response team has helped responders in over 60 disasters and participated in more than 35 training exercises around the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cisco Crisis Response has helped connect food banks in need of surge capacity, network ad hoc homeless shelters to prevent spread of disease, and mitigate cyber threats at emergency operating centers. As part of our commitment to technology for good, social impact grants given through the Cisco Crisis Response program help to support our goal to positively impact 1 billion people.
2. Busy Bees: Helping the planet & the RTP community
Have you heard about our team of 100,000+ honeybees hard at work at their home on the Cisco RTP campus? The bees live in colorful, hand-painted beehives to support our employees, the local community, and the planet. At Cisco, we realize that regenerative sustainability is an essential part of our goal to create a more inclusive future for all. One of our approaches to regenerative sustainability is nature-based solutions.
The beehives at Cisco’s RTP campus, in partnership with Bee Downtown, are helping the at-risk bee population survive, providing pollinator services to North Carolina’s $78 billion agricultural economy, advancing honeybee education across the region, and contributing toward the largest pollinator corridor in the country. They are creating quite the buzz around the community! Learn more about our commitment to environmental sustainability.
3. Incorporating a New Trust Standard
Our world is constantly evolving, whether it be shifting to hybrid work or tackling virtual learning, our digital needs are growing. In our increasingly digital world, we must be aware of cybersecurity risks and do our part to make sure our business is functioning in a secure, private, and responsible way. As part of our commitment to trust and responsibility, Cisco is working towards a more secure future by changing the way we do business with the New Trust Standard.
The New Trust Standard is a framework for expectations and accountability—where businesses and their customers can agree to new rules for trusted digital relationships. We’re listening to what our customers want, putting in place the technology, processes, policies, and people to deliver, and working alongside them to map out a digital future with trust at its foundation. With supporting data insights from the Cisco 2021 Consumer Privacy Survey, the New Trust Standard establishes the critical elements needed for organizations to earn, maintain, and grow customer confidence.
4. Meeting sustainability goals through Cisco’s product returns program
We have all heard of the importance behind “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but how can this sustainability mantra come into practice for innovative technologies? Cisco’s Circular Economy team is working towards resource conservation by aiming to increase product returns at end-of-use, as part of Cisco’s commitment to 100 percent product return upon request. On April 20, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Cisco relaunched its program letting Cisco equipment owners return hardware that has reached end-of-use at no cost. The program is easy-to-use, and we reuse and recycle 99.8% of what is returned to us, which helps our customers meet their sustainability goals and ensures responsible disposition of equipment.
5. Leading a Conscious Culture with inclusion
Cisco’s Conscious Culture is intentionally cultivating an inclusive work environment where employees can thrive. Conscious Culture views inclusivity as the means to bridging the gap between new and diverse perspectives to bring the most innovative and transformative ideas forward. Personally, I have experienced this firsthand as I have been actively encouraged to be an advocate at work through Cisco’s Social Justice taskforce. A part of forming a Conscious Culture is working to refine social justice beliefs and actions. At Cisco, we want to empower an inclusive future for all. When we see injustice — whether affecting everyone or specific groups — we act boldly, bravely, and deliberately to make change, remove barriers, and support communities. From researching how we can be more inclusive in hybrid work settings to directly helping communities through volunteering, it’s been incredibly rewarding to pursue purpose-driven work as an intern at Cisco.
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