3 Ways Business Awards Winner, Cisco, Achieves Global Impact

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, May 17, 2012 @ 01:57 PM

Cisco of San Jose, California, won a Stevie® Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, in the company awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (Final judging is now underway for the 2012 ABAs. 2012 winners will be announced at one of our two awards banquets: June 18th at the Marriott Marquis in New York City or September 17th at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. Click here to order tickets.) Here we profile the company’s award-winning efforts in 2010, and how Cisco’s tremendously successful CSR programs continued to expand in 2011.John Chambers

Cisco’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are designed to provide long-term benefits not just to its employees, customers, shareholders, and partners, but also to individuals in communities around the world. In 2010, Cisco focused on three main areas: its employees, the environment, and social investments.  In 2010, Cisco’s corporate awards-winning CSR programs covered:


  • A record 85% of employees completed Cisco's annual Pulse employee survey, up 5 percentage points from fiscal year 2009.
  • Talent Connection and CareerPath initiatives were piloted to facilitate career-development opportunities for Cisco employees.
  • Telecommuting and flextime opportunities have been long-standing and are used by 95% of Cisco employees.

The Environment

  • Nearly 20,000 Cisco employees used Cisco Virtual Office to extend Cisco's own network into their homes, permitting high-speed access to voice, video, and data applications and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by telecommuting one or more days each week.
  • To reduce air travel, Cisco installed over 800 Cisco TelePresence® units in conference rooms, customer briefing centers, and individual management offices in over 200 cities in almost 60 countries worldwide. Cisco used WebEx desktop conferencing more than 19 million people-hours in fiscal year 2010.


  • Cisco provided $138.7 million in corporate and foundation cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations worldwide in 2010.
  • Cisco employees volunteered 148,355 hours of service with nonprofits around the world.
  • The company supported the installation of networking equipment at 83 schools, hospitals, and clinics as part of Cisco's Connecting Sichuan Initiative.
  • As part of its Clinton Global Initiative commitment, Cisco helped establish more than 23 Community Knowledge Centers in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Cisco Networking Academy®, Cisco's flagship CSR initiative, offered information and communications technology education to more than 900,000 students in 165 countries.

Continuing Commitment in 2011
Cisco continuing commitment to CRS is underscored in its 2011 Cisco® Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which provides details of how the company applied its expertise, technology, and partnership strategies to address environmental, social, and governance issues in 2011—and lays out the company's 2012 objectives.

The report, published earlier this year, outlines Cisco's efforts in five areas: governance and ethics; value chain; Cisco employees; society; and the environment.  Commented John Chambers: "In a time of rapid transition for both Cisco and the communities we serve, Cisco remains deeply committed to acting responsibly, operating sustainably, and contributing to the communities in which we work and live. At Cisco, we know that an intelligent network is not only a powerful tool for doing business, but also for transforming lives, building communities, and protecting the environment. Through the network and strategic partnerships, we can increase the capacity for all of us to succeed." 
Highlights of Cisco’s 2011 CSR program included:

  • The company provided $295 million in corporate and foundation cash and in-kind contributions worldwide, including to its flagship Cisco Networking Academy® program;
  • The Networking Academy offered information and communications technology education to more than 1 million students enrolled in Networking Academy courses at approximately 10,000 academies in 165 countries;
  • Cisco employees volunteered 166,445 hours and donated more than $6.3 million to Cisco CRS programs, generating more than $5.7 million in matching funds from the Cisco Foundation;
  • Cisco installed ICT infrastructure, including Cisco HealthPresence®, in 66 healthcare facilities as part of its Connecting Sichuan initiative. More than 7,000 healthcare practitioners use these facilities, which support approximately 15,000 inpatients and 280,000 outpatients per month.

In keeping with its ongoing commitment to the environment, in 2011 Cisco conserved approximately 16.9 million kWh of energy and avoided 7,400 metric tonnes of CO2e emissions by investing $1.9 million in energy-conservation projects. Twenty-six percent of Cisco's global energy use was from renewable sources.


Cisco’s CSR reporting evolves from year to year—as does the environment in which all businesses operate. What meets the needs of certain audiences one year may not satisfy a different group of stakeholders the next year.  In response, Cisco conducts stakeholder engagement sessions to gain feedback about its annual CSR report and to stay up-to-date with emerging reporting trends.

Cisco has sought feedback from a range of stakeholders, including:

  • MBA students from Georgetown University
  • SustainAbility, a sustainable development think tank and strategy consultancy
  • Representatives of the socially responsible investment community including SAM and the Vigeo Group
  • Experts in environmental issues including Gartner, Inc.

Cisco stakeholders highlighted the need to focus on materiality and robust performance-related data, as well as the need for the company to make greater use of the web. Cisco has used their feedback as an opportunity to educate employees about the importance of focusing on the most significant issues and to track progress on its key performance indicators.

Looking Ahead
Cisco’s Chairman & CEO John Chambers recently attended the 12th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he spoke on what transformations the world will see in the coming decade.  He commented that  “solving the worlds problems takes bringing diverse people together…not just physically, but more and more through collaborative platforms.” You can view more of his comments at Cisco’s own blog, The Platform.

About John Chambers:
John T. Chambers is Chairman and CEO of Cisco. He has helped grow the company from $70 million when he joined Cisco in January 1991, to $1.2 billion when he assumed the role of CEO, to its current run rate of $40 billion. In 2006,
Chambers was named Chairman of the Board, in addition to his CEO role. Prior to joining Cisco, he spent eight years at Wang Laboratories (1982-1990) and six
years with IBM (1976-1982). He holds a BS/BA degree in business and a law degree from West Virginia University and an MBA in finance and management from Indiana University.

About Cisco:
Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate, and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com.

Topics: business awards, corporate awards, American business awards, csr awards, company awards, CSR programs, corporate social responsibility, Cisco, John Chambers