Corporate Social Responsibility

Case Study: Product Trade-In Programs

Helping Customers Save Money and Reduce Electronic Waste

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When a customer is done with a product, what becomes of it? Cisco’s trade-in programs enable our customers to properly dispose of products they no longer need while earning credit toward new equipment.

The Issue: Up to 50 million tons of e-waste generated worldwide

Consumers buy and dispose of electronic products at an increasingly rapid pace worldwide, generating between 20 and 50 million tons of electronic waste, or e-waste, each year. Electronics are the fastest growing type of global waste with much of it ending up in landfills and incinerators.

  • The amount of e-waste worldwide will increase 33% by 2017 to 65.4 million metric tons, equivalent to 200 Empire State Buildings or 11 Great Pyramids of Giza, according to the Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative.
  • 68% of consumers “stockpile” unused electronics in the United States.

The Solution: Cisco customers trade in outdated products

Cisco believes that reduction of e-waste starts with the companies that create electronics. Our Product Trade-In programs incentivize customers to exchange outdated products for discounts on new equipment. Cisco considers all trade-in products for possible reuse – always our first priority.

  • 23% of traded-in products were refurbished in fiscal year 2014.
  • Cisco prevented more than 2700 metric tonne, or 6 million pounds, of equipment from being discarded.
  • Our online portal processes customer requests for product trade-in and pick-ups.
  • 30+ qualified e-waste recyclers around the world “de-manufacture” products that cannot be reused for proper mineral recycling and disposal.

Impact Multiplied

The trade-in programs are part of our strategy to adopt circular economy principles that maximize the life of our products, reduce environmental impact, and provide business value to Cisco and our customers.

  • Cisco reused $360 million of returned equipment in fiscal year 2014, calculated at standard cost.
  • Customers who use our trade-in programs eliminate the cost associated with storing excess IT equipment.
  • Customers who buy our resale products obtain high-quality equipment at a lower cost.