The environment is a key consideration in all aspects of our operations and in our solutions' definition, design, manufacture, support, use, and end of life. This approach is set out in our Corporate Environmental Policy.

An EcoBoard of senior executives representing key business functions steers Cisco's environmental strategy, supported by a Green Task Force that implements operational change. These groups promote innovation through cross-functional collaboration and a wide-reaching network of contacts across the business.

Environmental management system

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) provides a set of processes and practices to monitor and manage environmental impacts, including:

The EMS is used to identify the most significant impacts at each Cisco site and to set relevant local targets. Site teams monitor performance and report key metrics, and we communicate progress to employees using an EcoDashboard. For an overview of our performance in FY10, see our Report Card.

To embed environmental practices as part of our standard business operations, training on our business management system includes an explanation of our EMS and environmental policy, and what these mean to employees. In FY10, we updated the course and 14,221 employees completed the training.


Our EMS is certified to internationally recognized environmental management standard, ISO 14001. We conduct regular audits of the EMS at all our ISO 14001-certified sites. Our trained auditors use a combination of onsite and remote audits using Cisco collaboration technologies (see Low-Carbon Solutions).

The frequency of audits depends on criteria such as the size and type of site, and previous audit findings. Typically within a three-year period every site receives one onsite audit and one remote audit. In FY10, we conducted 29 audits (15 of them remotely) of sites representing approximately 43 percent of our employees. In addition to site audits, we also audit each of the workgroups under the EcoBoard annually to assess if and how their team goals have been achieved.

In FY10, 26 sites (covering approximately 68 percent of our employees) were certified to ISO 14001 following an annual audit by an independent third party. Our Hong Kong site achieved certification for the first time.

An important component of our audit process is the identification of best practices, which are shared across the business through our internal newsletter on environmental management and at ISO 14001 committee meetings. In FY10, best practices that were identified as part of these efforts included optimization of data center cooling in Bangalore, India (saving 260,000 kWh a year) and a waste management video to train employees in San Jose, California.


We monitor emerging regulations and standards, and raise awareness among our employees. Cisco works closely with suppliers to ensure that our products comply with relevant regulations through our product compliance assurance process.

We set clear specifications on the use of hazardous substances to ensure compliance with legislation such as the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH) (see Product Impacts).