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Circular Economy

Why a circular economy matters

The rate at which our society is consuming natural resources is outpacing our ability to regenerate and restore them. We can't keep taking without giving. Our resources will not last. But as a business, as a society, as a species, that's exactly what we have been doing. And it is not sustainable.

A circular economy looks beyond the current take-make-waste model and aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, designing waste out of the system, and transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Cisco's approach

Our holistic approach extends from how we design, build, and deliver products, to how we value the assets we have and turn them into new products. We also apply Cisco technology to support our customers in their own circular transformations.

    Commitment to 100% product return

    At the World Economic Forum in January 2018, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and eight other tech executives signed the Capital Equipment Pledge, in which Cisco committed to 100% product return.

    Measurable impact

    We have set ambitious goals and committed the necessary resources to make meaningful progress in reducing our environmental impact and accelerating our contributions to a circular economy.


    100 percent of new Cisco products to incorporate circular design principles by FY25


    20 percent decrease in the use of virgin plastic by FY25 (FY18 base year)


    30 percent absolute reduction in Cisco supply chain-related Scope 3 GHG emissions by FY30 (FY19 base year)


    70 percent of Cisco component and manufacturing suppliers by spend will achieve a zero waste diversion rate at one or more sites by FY25


    50 percent improvement in product packaging efficiency, as measured by package volume per product weight by FY25 (FY19 base year)


    75 percent reduction in packaging foam use by FY25 (FY19 base year)

    Partnering to drive change

    Cisco was a founding member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), which allows us to partner with other companies to achieve a circular economy. We also actively engage in the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) Capital Equipment Coalition and the Circular Economy 100.


    The circular economy goes far beyond recycling. In fact, we want to reuse more of our equipment, so that we recycle less. Learn about Cisco's efforts to collect and remanufacture end-of-life products, and give them a second life.

    Cisco is helping companies, cities, and institutions operate more efficiently, reduce waste and energy consumption, and create new services that help the communities they serve.

    Driving circularity with Cisco Refresh

    Good for the world, good for business

    The Cisco Refresh (Certified Remanufactured) program shows our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact and helps you do the same.

    CSR Report 2019

    Discover how Cisco is putting our people, technology, and resources to work in service of an inclusive future, where technology gives everyone the tools to thrive.