Cisco Corporate Responsibility Worldwide

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Governance and Ethics
Our People
The Environment
Our Value Chain

Governance and Ethics

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A collaborative approach to emerging countries

Our collaborative management model creates cross-functional councils and boards that aim to help Cisco capitalize on market opportunities to make decisions regarding our vision, strategy, and execution.

In our view, the model is particularly salient for emerging markets, where Cisco is working to build a strong market presence. Through our Emerging Countries Council, which pools the resources of Cisco's functions and major stakeholders, we have established a vision to use information and communications technology to help transform whole countries, stimulating economic growth and social development.

We have also created replicable business models that we believe will help us draw from experiences of operating in different countries at similar stages of development.

Screening for ethics

Knowing the ethical course of action for a situation is not always clear. To make sure our employees know how to act ethically, or who to ask for help if they are unsure, training needs to be engaging and informative. We regularly update our ethics training platforms to provide new content and experiences so employees understand the best way to handle concerns.

In FY10, we introduced training videos that depict real-life situations. Guided by a presenter looking through the eyes of a virtual employee, participants are shown videos of ethical problems and are asked to choose how to respond from a list of alternatives. These videos are based on real-world scenarios or questions that have been raised in the past.

The videos target managers, our first line of defense on issues related to the Cisco Code of Business Conduct, equipping them to handle questions from employees. The videos are also available to all employees via our intranet.

Several thousand users have taken the training since its launch in FY10, and feedback has shown the videos and situations to be lifelike and informative.

Refining our report

CSR reporting evolves from year to year as do our material issues and the environment in which we operate. What meets the needs of certain audiences one year may not satisfy a different group of stakeholders the next year. That's why Cisco conducts stakeholder engagement sessions to gain feedback about our annual CSR report and stay up-to-date with emerging reporting trends.

After the publication of our FY09 CSR report, we sought feedback from a range of stakeholders, including:

This year, our stakeholders highlighted the need to make our report more concise, focusing on materiality and robust performance-related data. We also heard from stakeholders that we should be making greater use of the web.

Cisco has since been working to address these concerns. We have also used the feedback as an opportunity to educate employees about the importance of focusing on the most significant issues and to track progress on our key performance indicators.

We are focused on improvement in our reporting each year. We welcome your feedback on this year's report. Contact us at

Our People

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Cisco 25th anniversary celebration

In December 2009, Cisco celebrated its 25th anniversary in style. More than 25,000 employees from around the world tuned in through Cisco TV and telepresence to hear CEO John Chambers celebrate the company's past and look to the future at a special meeting.

Chambers reflected how Cisco has grown from a five-person, garage startup to a business leader, with over 70,700 employees. He attributed Cisco's success to, among other things, staying close to its customers and fostering a culture willing to set dreams and aspirations at an almost impossible level. He went on to explain how Cisco is well positioned for the future with a structure in place that will allow it to expand into and exploit new market opportunities.

Chambers was followed by special appearances from two celebratory guests and the "Cisco's Got Talent" employee competition, where three finalists from more than 300 entries showcased their talents to be voted overall winner by their colleagues.

Cisco's response to the 2010 Chile earthquake

In February 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck southwest of the Chilean capital of Santiago, with devastating results. Cisco's incident management team and Latin American country managers rallied to support employees and customers.

Cisco first confirmed that all local employees and contractors were safe, then offered support to those who were vacationing with their families. Cisco's Santiago office suffered minor damage, so a temporary office was established to keep the team together and deliver critical support for customers affected by the quake. Once engineering tests had confirmed it was safe, the Santiago office reopened where employees, contractors, and their families were offered counseling on managing the aftereffects of a natural disaster.

A global employee giving campaign to support relief efforts raised more than $56,000 from donations and Cisco Foundation matching funds. This was a significant amount considering that it came so soon after the employee giving campaign following the January earthquake in Haiti.


Our HealthConnections program unites our various health programs and initiatives in an online portal, through which employees and their families can easily access a range of tools to stay healthy. These include:

"Who you are"

Cisco employees don't just come from different countries; they come from different backgrounds, genders, ages, and ethnicities. Each has a unique approach to life.

Since FY08, Cisco's Who You Are campaign has been showcasing the diversity of our employees. The campaign profiles employees around the world and is featured in Cisco advertisements and online at

In FY10, we expanded the campaign across our European operations to focus on the benefits and understand the opportunities diversity brings to Cisco. "More Together" emphasizes how it is increasingly important to know, understand, and be able to work with different cultures. Diversity isn't just the right thing to do, it is essential for Cisco to compete successfully in a global economy.

The Environment

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Evaluating the carbon-reducing impacts of ICT

In September 2010, the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) published a follow-up to its 2008 Smart 2020 report, which estimates that information and communications technologies could cut "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent globally.

The latest report, Evaluating the Carbon Reducing Impacts of ICT New Window, was produced in cooperation with Cisco and 17 other GeSI members together with the Boston Consulting Group. It provides case studies that more thoroughly assess the overall impact of six ICT solutions. Each case study explains how the carbon costs and benefits of a particular solution should be determined, including taking into account potential rebound effects of greater use of those solutions.

Throughout FY10, Cisco was a GeSI board member and participant on the Policy and Climate Change Working Groups that led to the study. We provided a detailed case study on the use of Cisco TelePresence to reduce air travel, helping business customers and policymakers understand the net enabling effect of this solution.

The case study was based on data from use of telepresence in Cisco's own operations since 2006 and air travel data for three years before that. It also looked at impacts of telepresence units in both use and non-use phases. This research established that an hour's use of telepresence emits 4.3 kg CO2e, with Scope 3 emissions from raw material extraction, production, and disposal (recycling) totaling 3.2 kg CO2e. Using telepresence rather than flying to an hour-long meeting saves approximately 1000 kg CO2e.

See the full case study and others hereNew Window.

University of Notre Dame uses Cisco WebEx to cut costs and CO2 emissions

The University of Notre Dame, based in Indiana, USA, has realized major cost and emissions savings by using WebEx to connect its thousands of faculty members, staff, and students around the world.

With satellite campuses across the globe, video services associate Jeffrey Miller wanted to build stronger ties with the Indiana hub and help people to collaborate. "Getting several grad school professors in the same room at the same time is almost impossible," says Miller. Cisco WebEx not only helps Notre Dame get people together, but also reduces the university's greenhouse gas emissions.

WebEx provides a single digital conferencing service across all departments and locations, making much intercontinental travel unnecessary. Professors now lecture and evaluate students remotely, and colleagues meet from their own separate labs. Miller recalls an interview with a candidate in Antarctica: "He was able to do the interview and share documents, no problem."

Miller estimates that WebEx has saved the university over $700,000 in travel expenses, and avoided over 78,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2009. It is also helping Notre Dame establish stronger ties with the global academic community and expand its distance learning program.

Duke Energy and Cisco lay Smart Grid foundations

Electric utility Duke Energy, based in North Carolina, USA, is working with Cisco to pilot and further develop a smart grid-enabled home energy management solution that will provide its customers with secure and reliable energy information and a simple-to-use tool to help them reduce the amount of energy wasted in their homes.

Duke Energy is testing the first-generation Cisco Home Energy Management Solution with customers in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the company has installed digital smart grid technologies. Through these year-long tests, Duke Energy and Cisco will gather feedback about customer interactions and build in additional functionality accordingly.

"Home energy management functionality is an important step in providing customers with an enhanced energy experience that is simply not achievable with today's analog grid," says Gianna Manes, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer.

"Customers want to save money on their energy bills, but it has to be easy. With Cisco's proven expertise in IP-based, open system networks, we're confident our collaboration with them will result in a solution that provides customers back-of-mind simplicity and real back pocket rewards," Manes says.

In addition to home energy management, Duke Energy and Cisco will work to bring together manufacturers of household products like appliances, electrical outlets, air conditioners, water heaters, and plug-in electric vehicles to create a portfolio of products that connect with the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution.

The two companies will also test a new generation of durable, weatherproof communications equipment designed for use at Duke Energy's electric substations.

Building networked cities in Songdo, South Korea and the Meixi Lake District of Changsha, Hunan Province in China

When the first residents move into apartment complexes in the new South Korean city of Songdo, they will access many community services from their homes, through portals like Cisco TelePresence screens. These services will allow them to attend classes, parent-teacher meetings or doctor's consultations without leaving home. Residents will be able to use the same portals to access and control their home's energy and security.

Songdo is being built from scratch as the first of many Smart+Connected Communities. Intelligent networking helps cut energy use in buildings, as well as linking the inhabitants with services and information to create a connected community. This is the foundation for the sustainable networked city of the future.

Expected to be completed in 2015, Songdo is the first in a string of Smart+Connected Communities we are helping to create. Another is underway in the Meixi Lake District of Changsha, Hunan Province in China. Changsha vice mayor Xie Jianhui says: "Our vision for the Meixi Lake District is to create a harmonious society that integrates innovative technology with environmental and sustainable design. The involvement of Cisco, a leader in intelligent systems, will ensure that the Meixi Lake District will become a world-class city."

Case Studies from Connected Urban Development

For more on Connected Urban Development, see New Window.

Reflections on Planetary Skin

Two powerful trends are reshaping the world. The first trend is resource scarcity, the result of explosive demand growth for resources (for water, energy, food, land resources, etc) driven by growing populations with rising incomes and increasing constraints on resource supply given environmental degradation, land use change, weather variability, and the threat of climate change. The second trend is information abundance, driven by huge but siloed datasets and increasing information processing capabilities, sensor networks and emerging information and communication technologies. Planetary Skin Institute (PSI) aims to address the challenge posed by the first trend with the opportunity presented by the second.

In March of 2009, Cisco and NASA agreed a multiyear R&D public-private partnership to address not only scientific and technical challenges in this domain, but also institutional and cultural challenges by pooling their R&D capabilities and assets in a partnership based on joint and open innovation.

Cisco has embedded the fruits of this partnership in the Planetary Skin Institute, a unique partnership between leading corporations, government agencies, and research institutions around the world that was named one of TIME Magazine's "Top 50 Inventions of 2009." PSI's nonprofit status is intended to facilitate cooperation across institutional, disciplinary, and national boundaries and to create a space for flexible pooling of assets and ideas between stakeholders. PSI has recruited a Global Advisory Council consisting of thought leaders in science, technology, economics and innovation to guide this work.

PSI is currently working with selected corporate, government and academic partners globally to build working prototypes of resource and risk management decision support tools that have the potential to increase food, water, and energy security and protect ecosystems such as tropical forests.

For more details on PSI and its work, visit New Window.

Eliminating circuit board washing

We worked with three printed circuit board assembly partners to dramatically reduce water use in processes for Cisco products.

Up to 20 million gallons of water was being used each year to wash our printed circuit boards after they were soldered. By implementing a new soldering practice, the wash stage of the process became unnecessary. This led to a significant reduction in the amount of waste water produced and requiring treatment and disposal.

Cisco set out to eliminate this process in late FY09 and we achieved that goal in FY10. The result is less water use and increased assembly efficiency, saving Cisco over $1 million per year with no adverse impact on product quality.

Active energy management cuts greenhouse gas emissions from Cisco labs

We have saved one-third of the energy used by equipment in our Customer Advocacy Lab Operations (CALO) with an active energy management framework.

As with all data centers, cutting energy consumption is essential to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions. One simple way is shutting down the lab equipment when it is not being used. But with 18,000 devices in almost 3000 racks at our CALO facilities worldwide, introducing active energy management was a big challenge.

Our team at a pilot site fitted each rack of equipment with smart power distribution units. Attached to the Cisco network, these provide information on energy use and the means to control it automatically. Web-based tools apply automated power policies to the thousands of devices.

Seeing the benefits of this pilot, we quickly extended it to 10 other CALO labs around the world, saving 10 million kWh of power and over $1 million in the first year.

CALO manager Dave Katz says: "We now have a full view of energy efficiency data, an energy portal that enables real-time monitoring and control and analysis that has delivered real savings."

Networked buildings cut energy use in Bangalore

The Cisco Bangalore campus contains a flagship demonstration of our Smart+Connected Communities vision, designed to lower costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use in our operations. The B14 building on the Bangalore campus has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum by the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

One of Cisco's first and largest projects to receive LEED Platinum certification, the B14 building demonstrates that integrating building and IT systems can provide both energy and cost savings, as well as resource and labor efficiencies. For example, linking lighting and air conditioning systems to room reservation schedules allows meeting rooms to be lit and cooled a few minutes before use and powered down immediately after the meetings complete.

Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities solution also improves safety and security. Central monitoring and administration improves emergency response, sending affected employees alerts and updates automatically. The system can remotely activate emergency doors and use digital signage to direct employees to exit routes and safe areas.

By gathering and analyzing energy data, managers have identified anomalies and opportunities for further energy reductions. Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities solution has enabled operational savings of approximately $150,000 and 400 labor hours per year at the Bangalore campus. We are looking to extend these savings to other Cisco sites through retrofit projects worldwide and by incorporating the design principles in new construction.

Award-winning water conservation at San Jose, California

Our headquarters is setting an environmental example for our other sites by cutting water consumption and achieving significant improvements in energy efficiency and waste.

The site's efforts to cut water use, which also saves energy, were recognized by the 2010 Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award for Businesses.

Our conservation efforts now save more than 44,500 cubic meters of water a year. They include:

We also converted 12 decorative fountains on the San Jose campus into landscaped beds with native drought-resistant plants, replaced 84,000 square feet of turf with planter beds that require little water, and installed drip-irrigation lines for more efficient irrigation.


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Connecting Sichuan

Remote villagers in China's Wienchuan County can now access the country's leading healthcare specialists in three mobile clinics fitted with Cisco networking technology. The clinics are part of Cisco's three-year, $45 million Connecting Sichuan Initiative to help the Chinese government create a 21st century education and healthcare infrastructure in the wake of the 2008 earthquake.

Networking and collaborative technologies, such as teleconferencing and document sharing, have been installed at 41 hospitals in seven of the hardest hit counties. Four data centers and two operations centers are improving the provision of healthcare across the region. Patients are enjoying better healthcare services and medical professionals have access to the latest information and training. Over 4700 health, education, and IT professionals have received training, and a new training center in Shifang will meet their continuing needs.

Cisco is working closely with the Sichuan Department of Education and local education bureaus to improve education in rural areas and strengthen teacher training. Video streaming and distance learning technologies have been installed in 24 schools, two colleges, and over 500 21st century classrooms, reaching over 1000 teachers and 31,000 students. By the end of FY10, 50 new Networking Academy centers were reaching over 5000 students.

Improving New York City education

New York City's iZone initiative is active in 10 schools. The initiative uses networking technology to deliver innovative and engaging project-based classes, while opening up new career opportunities for students.

Launched in 2009 with $2 million in Cisco support, the initiative has plans to expand the model to another 10 schools in 2010. Participating schools achieved 94 percent attendance levels during the 2008-2009 academic year, compared with a citywide average of 89.9 percent. Ninety-three percent of participating students passed the Global History and Geography Regents Exam, compared with a citywide average of 50 percent. As well as providing technological expertise, we have trained over 90 teachers and administrators to keep the initiative running smoothly.

Our support builds on the successful 21st Century Schools (21S) program, an $80 million investment delivered in 2009 to support rebuilding efforts in the U.S. Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina. In one class project, iZone students shared perspectives on issues from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina with Gulf Coast students and leading experts.

Improving distance learning in Mexico

Mexico's education system serves more than 24 million students in 250,000 schools. The country faces considerable challenges delivering high-quality education, particularly among indigenous communities from low-income backgrounds. Cisco is supporting a pilot program for 40 schools in the states of Aguascalientes, Puebla, and Veracruz to improve educational standards through the use of technology.

Cisco networking technologies such as integrated video, voice, and data communications are opening up new opportunities for online collaboration, personalized instruction, and distance learning. Using these technologies, students can gain remote access to experts on subjects that are not taught locally. Cisco provides equipment plus training, supported by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) graduates, to help teachers operate the technology and understand its possibilities.

Delivered in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), federal and state government, other companies, and nonprofit organizations (including Unión de Empresarios para la Tecnología en la Educación - the Union of Entrepreneurs for Education Technology - and the DOT), the program aims to create a replicable model that can scale across the country.

Sparking ICT proficiency among Turkey's youth

SPARK (Youth Movement in Informatics) has been harnessing the energy of young volunteers throughout Turkey to develop ICT skills among their peers since 2006. Economically disadvantaged young people receive Cisco Networking Academy training, then transfer their skills to others. New graduates return as volunteer instructors, creating a sustainable cycle that continually expands the program.

By the end of FY10, 150 volunteer instructors were teaching in 20 cities. More than 1300 young people have taken the Academy's IT Essentials course. In early 2010 the program started offering the Cisco Certified Network Associate curriculum, giving students the skills to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot small to medium-sized networks.

SPARK is a partnership between Cisco, Youth for Habitat, Istanbul Technical University, the Turkish Informatics Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program. It received the European Union's e-Inclusion award in 2008, and in 2010 volunteer instructors expanded the program to neighboring Azerbaijan. The SPARK initiative was featured at a Global IT conference in Istanbul in September 2010.

Boosting competence with competitions

NetRiders allows Networking Academy students to match their skills against each other, first within their country, then against representatives from elsewhere. The students answer technical questions and provide solutions to network problems that are evaluated by a panel of judges.

Networking Academy students also participated at WorldSkills International, a nonprofit organization for the exchange and comparison of competency standards. Cisco is a Global Industry Partner of WorldSkills International, providing equipment such as routers, switches, and firewalls for its competitions and network structure. Twenty Networking Academy students from 20 countries participated in the 40th WorldSkills competition held in Calgary, Canada. Two of these students won first and second place, and another became the "top point winner" for WorldSkills Overall. In June 2010, 56 Networking Academy students from 40 states participated in the Skills USA National Internet Working Competition.

Partnership for Lebanon

Since 2007, Cisco has invested over $17 million in the three-year Partnership for Lebanon, a multi-stakeholder, public-private partnership involving Cisco, engineering company GHAFARI, Intel, Microsoft, and Occidental Petroleum. The partnership focuses on broadband development, private-sector investment, and education and community initiatives to support reconstruction efforts through job creation and economic development.

Cisco has worked closely with Lebanon's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Ministry of Telecommunications on a national broadband strategy promoting investment in fast, reliable, and affordable broadband services as a foundation for economic development.

In FY08, we announced a $1 million grant to Relief International to fund microloans for small businesses in rural Lebanon. By the end of FY10, 560 loans totaling $1 million had been distributed by microfinance institutions Al Majmoua and Ameen.

Education and training is key to the project's long-term sustainability. Forty-four Networking Academy centers provide ICT and networking training in Lebanon. We also support a development program that placed 100 qualified interns in public and private sector organizations in Lebanon and the United States by June 2010 (including 63 at Cisco). Upon completion of the program, over 90 percent of interns went on to full-time employment.

Fifteen community-based training centers have been established in partnership with nonprofit organizations ANERA and Mercy Corps. These centers use ICT training to encourage education and develop skills in disadvantaged communities.

Responding to the Haiti earthquake

Within a week of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, Cisco engineers began to provide networking infrastructure and voice-over-IP support for the NetHope-Inveneo high-speed wireless internet and telephone network, which was established to coordinate relief efforts in the stricken country. Their effort was part of a $100,000 Cisco donation to help restore broadband access for 15 NetHope members in Port-au-Prince, which in turn sped the delivery of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance, saving many lives.

The donation was part of a coordinated effort by Cisco, its employees, and the Cisco Foundation to help the over one million people injured or made homeless. Within hours of the earthquake, the Foundation pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross and launched a matching fund campaign for $1 million, a goal that employees reached in less than a month. By the end of FY10, total Cisco, employee, and Cisco Foundation donations to the campaign exceeded $2.4 million.

NetHope is a membership organization of 31 nonprofit organizations with the mission of improving relief efforts through communication and collaboration. Cisco has supported NetHope since its inception in 2001 with equipment, employee time, and expertise.

Project Samudaya community building

After devastating floods swept through the Indian state of Karnataka in October 2009, destroying crops and homes, more than a million people were left homeless, many losing everything they owned. The wider damage affected over 18 million people. Cisco committed to construct a total of 3600 houses, two schools, and a healthcare center in five flooded villages as part of Project Samudaya (community), a two-year, $10 million effort to help reconstruction efforts.

As well as focusing on long-term efforts, the Cisco Foundation decided to match employee donations up to a total of $250,000 to fund immediate disaster relief. By the end of FY10, over 150 Cisco employees had volunteered more than 1300 hours to help build new homes, repair damaged infrastructure, and provide one-on-one tutoring for children who could not attend school.

New health and education facilities will give villagers access to more services. For example, state-of-the-art health and education infrastructure like telepresence will facilitate remote classes and consultations with city-based teachers and doctors. It is hoped this will provide a platform for the region's further economic regeneration and become a blueprint for replicating similar initiatives in India.

Feeding America

Feeding America collects and distributes food through more than 200 food banks and 63,000 charitable partners. Coordinating this large network is a significant logistical challenge. Funding from Cisco is helping Feeding America pilot an open-source information system to streamline operations and enhance communications across the organization.

In FY10, Feeding America conducted 10 pilot implementations using Enterprise Resource Planning technology. This enables food banks to place orders online from an up-to-date list of available food. The results showed they could produce a cost-sharing model with the food banks to upgrade technology infrastructure. This has achieved their objective of developing a repeatable and cost-effective deployment program that reduces the organization's complexity, bringing efficiency savings such as reduced costs for transport, purchasing, marketing, and IT.

Demand is strong. In FY11, Feeding America will plan 17 additional implementation sites. To date, Cisco has provided a $100,000 cash grant and product grants worth $79,000 to Feeding America directly, $46,000 to the Food Bank of New York, $25,000 to United Food Bank Mesa, and $24,000 to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

Creating affordable housing in Asia

Cisco employees joined nearly 3000 volunteers to help build new homes for over 500 families across Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam as part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2009.

In China, Cisco Hong Kong employees spent a week in the November cold to begin work on residential buildings for low-income families in Qionglai city. In Thailand, 82 homes were built to celebrate the king's birthday. In Cambodia, 21 families who lived at the capital's dump were moved to new homes. In Laos, volunteers repaired and upgraded 11 houses, and in Vietnam volunteers joined Habitat Vietnam to decorate new homes for 30 families.

Organized by Habitat for Humanity, the annual event is an internationally supported weeklong effort to raise awareness of the need for simple, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families.

Helping Australia's indigenous people

Since 2008, over 100 Cisco employees in Australia have volunteered more than 2500 hours at Djarragun College in a bid to improve academic standards and career opportunities for its 700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Djarragun College is located near Cairns in northern Queensland, with a sister campus about 100 kilometers away. Working during their free time, employees used donated Cisco equipment to install a virtual network connecting the two campuses. The network is connecting students with other schools in Australia and around the world, opening up new learning possibilities. Extra support includes mentoring to help students prepare for the world of work.

Our employees have raised over $75,000 (including payroll giving) through a range of fundraising activities and matched funding from the Cisco Foundation. Cisco has also donated just under $95,000 to build a computer library for Djarragun College and just under $30,000 toward laptops for students.

As an extension of this program, Cisco employees helped to prepare a funding proposal that secured more than $1 million over three years to run Djarragun Enterprises, launched in February 2010. This is an innovative program that employs young people leaving school in social projects, helping them develop business skills. Eight young people have already been employed.

Our Value Chain

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Telepresence enhances collaboration with Flextronics

How do you nurture business relations while minimizing travel? The importance and complexity of our relationships with suppliers makes trust and relationship-building imperative. That's why we rely on Cisco TelePresence collaboration video technology that allows participants to feel like they are in the same room with one another.

In FY10, we held our largest ever multipoint telepresence meeting, a quarterly business review with supplier Flextronics. Until then, a limited number of key people would travel to the review. Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx Connect enabled the collaboration of over 55 participants from 11 locations around the world.

Widening the pool of participants and enabling them to experience a close, yet virtual, connection increased the productivity of the review, without the environmental impacts and personal disruption of travel.

Collaboration influences conflict mineral regulations

Increased scrutiny from campaign groups and growing interest from governments has put a spotlight on the use of metals in the electronics industry, specifically those derived from so-called "conflict" minerals, such as coltan, wolframite, cassiterite, and gold. The concern is that these key materials are mined in war zones and sold illegally to finance the efforts of armed militias, which enables prolonged conflict and leads to human rights abuses.

Resolving the issue demands extensive collaboration with many participants in the value chain. This is why Cisco, working with other members of the EICC, brought together previously uninvolved players such as capacitor makers, smelters, miners, and brokers to better understand the challenges in developing a chain of custody for these materials.

The EICC provided practical feedback on a pending U.S. regulation that would require manufacturers to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the source of any conflict minerals in their products. We shared this feedback with U.S. legislators through the Information Technology Industry Council. Since the regulation recently became law, Cisco is now working with the EICC to develop a standard methodology for auditing the metals supply chain, which is intended to create a common way of reporting this information.

Opening markets through mentoring

Logistics supplier D.W. Morgan, a certified minority business enterprise, has boosted its business with Cisco through our mentor partnerships program.

D.W. Morgan has serviced Cisco's worldwide manufacturing sites for more than 10 years, winning three Cisco Value Chain Supplier Appreciation awards. But the company has struggled to sell its services to more sites within Cisco.

Within six months of joining our mentoring program, designed to help suppliers market their services internally, the company boosted its business with Cisco by 54 percent, while expanding its global footprint in Asia and the Americas.

Cisco benefited too. For example, we: