Corporate Social Responsibility

Focus Area: Supply Chain

Multiplying impact by setting high standards for suppliers

At Cisco, we rely on more than 600 suppliers worldwide to manufacture, test, ship, and recycle products designed by Cisco. We multiply our positive impact on people, communities, and the planet by requiring suppliers to meet the high business standards that we practice every day.

Embedding Supply Chain Sustainability

Cisco is committed to sustainable and responsible business practices with regard to ethics, labor, health and safety, diversity, and the environment. Sustainability represents as much as 8 percent of the total score on our business scorecard for suppliers, and they are required or encouraged to:

Supplier Engagement

We work closely with suppliers to communicate our requirements, monitor compliance, improve performance, and build capacity. Our goal is to increase transparency in the Supply Chain and promote real-time, continuous improvement. Cisco engages suppliers in the following ways:

Industry Partnerships

Cisco participates in global consortiums to address some of the most pressing supply chain management challenges. These forums enable Cisco to exchange ideas and pool resources with industry peers, share best practices, and influence the development of industry standards.

  • Received the 2013 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leadership Award for our efforts to manage GHG emissions in our supply chain.
  • Actively involved in task forces and work groups on issues such as transparency, conflict minerals, working hours, student labor, and environmental impacts as a member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).
  • Develop industry training, tools and standards as part of the EICC.
  • Leaders from Cisco and other organizations are supporting the Compliance Practitioners Association (CPA) to strengthen auditing of social responsibility and working conditions.
  • Partnering with the UC Berkeley Haas Center for Responsible Business, we are researching the link between traditional supply chain metrics and supply chain sustainability.

Reducing Environmental Impact

Helping suppliers reduce their impact contributes to our goals.

  • Trade-in, takeback, and recycle programs helps customers dispose of end-of-life products or upgrade to new equipment.
  • Our packaging uses as little material as possible to be easily separable and recyclable, while at the same time improving the overall customer experience.
  • By shifting transportation modes from air to ocean, we are reducing our carbon emissions and driving best practices for supply chain maps.
  • We promote e-delivery of products to reduce paper, CDs, packaging, and GHG emissions from transport.
  • For the first time in 2014, we used emissions data reported to the CDP to understand what components and manufacturing processes contribute the most emissions in our supply chain. 

Supply Chain Case Studies and Impact Stories

Our commitment to society and the environment extends to our 600+ global suppliers

2014 CSR Report: Supply Chain

Read the Supply Chain section in the 2014 Cisco CSR Report (PDF).

Supply Chain Sustainability Benefits People, the Planet, and Our Business Supply Chain Video 1 >
Scoring Suppliers on Sustainability Supply Chain Video 2 >