Circular Economy

We are committed to moving from a linear economy, where products are used and then thrown away, to a circular economy that makes better use of our limited natural resources.

Why a circular economy matters

As a society, we are using more natural resources than our planet can regenerate. We can't keep taking without giving. A circular economy looks beyond the current take-make-waste model and aims to redefine growth by focusing on positive society-wide benefits.

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 and packaging 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 cube efficiency by FY25 (FY19 base year)


75 percent reduction in Cisco packaging foam use, measured by weight, 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.

Driving circularity at Cisco

Pioneering closed-loop plastic products

Cisco is increasingly adopting circular design principles, including transforming our e-waste into recycled plastic that is used in some of our latest products.

Simple, secure, and sustainable takeback and reuse

Our Product Takeback and Reuse Program lets Cisco equipment owners return hardware that has reached end-of-use, at no cost. We reuse and recycle 99.6% of what is returned, ensuring responsible disposition of equipment.

Genuine Cisco Certified Remanufactured products

The Cisco Refresh (Certified Remanufactured) program is our commitment to minimizing environmental impact and helping customers do the same. Our products offer the same quality as new equipment and are competitively priced.


Our customers don’t just want excellent products. They want excellent products that keep our planet in mind.

We have committed that 100% of new Cisco products and packaging will incorporate circular design principles by 2025.

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.

Simple. Secure. Sustainable. The Cisco Takeback and Reuse Program lets Cisco equipment owners return hardware that has reached end-of-use, at no cost.

John Kern, SVP of Supply Chain Operations, speaks with GreenBiz on how Cisco is driving circular economy principles in its operations and beyond.

2020 CSR Impact Report and ESG Hub

Cisco is putting people, technology, and resources to work in service of an inclusive future where technology gives everyone the tools to thrive. Visit our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Hub.