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CSR at Cisco


An important input to our CSR strategy and report content is a materiality assessment.

The assessment helps us understand what issues are most important to stakeholders both inside and outside of Cisco. We conduct a full assessment every two years. In years that we do not conduct a full assessment, we do an internal materiality refresh. This helps us validate priorities relative to business risks and opportunities. In FY20, we are refreshing our approach to materiality to include big data and global trends. We will report on our new approach and our findings in our FY21 CSR report. Each year, we provide results to the Cisco Governance, Risk, and Controls team, which feeds into Cisco’s ERM program.

Our latest assessment, completed by an independent consultant in FY19, evaluated 14 topics1. We validated these topics in a variety of ways, including:

  • Reviewing CSR inquiries from customers, partners, and investors
  • Conducting social media listening
  • Interviewing external stakeholders
  • Surveying employees
  • Benchmarking against other companies

The assessment helps us prioritize investments, executive sponsorship, risk management, and stakeholder engagement. We reframed several of our priority topics compared to the previous assessment. For example, a new topic, economic inequality, refers to our efforts to address inequities globally and locally. Participants also showed increased interest in Cisco’s local community impact.

1 Other tier 3 topics include solid waste and water

Materiality matrix