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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 Economy 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 2025


20 percent decrease in the use of virgin plastic by 2025 (FY18 base year)


30 percent absolute reduction in Cisco’s upstream supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by FY30 (FY20 base year)


70 percent of Cisco's manufacturing suppliers by spend to have one or more sites verified as Zero-Waste-to-Landfill by 2025


50 percent improvement in product packaging efficiency, as measured by package volume per product weight by 2025 (FY19 base year)


75 percent reduction in packaging foam use by 2025 (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.

Technology to enable a circular economy (1:49)

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.

Corporate Social Responsibility Report

More information on Cisco's environmental sustainability programs can be found in our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.