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CSR at Cisco

CSR Strategy

Cisco’s commitment to strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance starts with the nominations and governance committee of our board and senior leadership and extends throughout the organization.

CSR management and governance

Corporate Affairs, as part of the People and Communities organization (HR), champions Cisco’s strategic approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The organization also stewards our commitments to CSR performance and transparency through managing our reporting process.

The Corporate Affairs team is responsible for:

  • Setting and stewarding Cisco’s CSR & Sustainability strategy and materiality process
  • Defining and managing our social investment strategy and signature programs
  • Coordinating and ensuring cross-functional ESG alignment
  • Engaging with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Researching and monitoring CSR trends
  • Conducting impact assessments and developing programmatic data-driven insights
  • Conducting socioeconomic research and creating bespoke research for strategic decisions and as thought leadership
  • Producing our annual CSR Report

Business functions also own CSR priorities. Teams integrate priorities into their business strategy by setting goals, implementing plans, and measuring performance. Some priorities touch multiple functions. In these cases, we establish cross-functional teams to align and implement against our commitments. In some cases, CSR goals and objectives may be linked to performance factors and compensation for CSR owners. For example, Supplier Code of Conduct performance may be considered when assessing the performance of key supply chain leaders.

CSR business process

Cisco’s CSR business process (Figure 1) is based on strong stakeholder engagement and an
annual materiality assessment.

Risk management

We believe that risk is inherent in innovation and the pursuit of long-term growth opportunities. Cisco’s management is responsible for day-to-day risk management activities. The Board of Directors, acting directly and through its committees, is responsible for the oversight of risk management.

Cisco’s management has implemented an enterprise risk management (ERM) program, managed by Cisco’s internal audit function, which is designed to work across the business to identify, assess, govern, and manage risks and Cisco’s response to those risks. Cisco’s internal audit function performs an annual risk assessment that is utilized by the ERM program.

The Audit Committee, which oversees our financial and risk management policies, including security and privacy, receives regular reports on ERM from the chair of the ERM operating committee, as well as regular reports on cybersecurity from Cisco’s Chief Security and Trust Officer. Other Board committees oversee certain categories of risk associated with their respective areas of responsibility.

The Nominations and Governance committee reviews Cisco’s policies and programs concerning corporate social responsibility. CSR and environmental sustainability are represented through Tae Yoo, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, and Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and Chief People Officer.

Board of Directors

Nomination and
Governance Committee

Other Board committees

  • Acquisition
  • Audit
  • Finance
  • Compensation and Management Development

Corporate CSR

Champion Cisco’s company-wide commitment to CSR performance and transparency

Business functions and
cross-functional groups

Conduct due diligence and implement policies and programs for specific CSR focus areas

Governance, risk, and controls

Champion Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) efforts across the business to identify, assess, and manage risks

CSR focus areas*

  • Ethics and integrity
  • Employee training and development
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Employee wellness and benefits
  • Energy and GHG emissions
  • Product and packaging materials
  • IT solutions for the environment
  • Data security and privacy
  • Digital rights and inclusion
  • Supply chain sustainability
  • Local community impact
  • Global social impact–IT skills and digital readiness
  • Global social impact–critical human needs
    and disaster relief
  • Economic inequality
  • Human Rights


Certification of Code of Business Conduct

Supply chain and partners

Ongoing enforcement of Supplier Code of Conduct