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CSR Strategy

To help achieve our purpose, we act boldly and deliberately to drive fairness, inclusion for our people, and equitable access to opportunity for our global communities. Inherent to an inclusive future is a sustainable and regenerative planet. At Cisco, we believe in setting bold commitments with measurable interim goals to demonstrate our progress.

CSR management and governance

Corporate Affairs, as part of the People, Policy, and Purpose organization, champions Cisco’s strategic approach to CSR. The organization also stewards our commitments to CSR performance and manages ESG reporting. Corporate Affairs sets Cisco's overall CSR strategy and environmental sustainability represented by Fran Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy, and Purpose Officer and Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs.

The Corporate Affairs team is responsible for:

  • Setting and stewarding Cisco’s CSR and sustainability strategy and ESG 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/ESG trends
  • Conducting impact assessments and developing programmatic data-driven insights
  • Conducting bespoke research to inform strategic decisions and share as thought leadership
  • Stewarding and developing our annual Purpose Report and ESG Reporting Hub

Business functions also own CSR priorities. Teams integrate priorities into their business strategy by setting goals, implementing plans, and measuring performance. Many priorities and commitments involve multiple functions. To ensure accountability and alignment, we create cross-functional teams to execute against these commitments.

CSR business process

Cisco’s CSR business process is based on our ESG materiality assessment, ongoing stakeholder engagement, and annual ESG reporting. In addition to the formal ESG materiality assessment, the Corporate Affairs team monitors emerging issues and analyzes ESG trends, benchmarks our reporting and disclosures, obtains feedback on our reporting, analyzes stakeholder inquires and key ratings and rankings. We use these inputs to inform our CSR strategic priorities, goals, reporting strategy, and disclosures.

Risk management

Cisco’s leadership 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 Cisco’s risk management. With the oversight of the Board of Directors, Cisco’s management has implemented practices, processes and programs designed to help manage the risks to which we are exposed in our business and to align risk-taking appropriately with our efforts to increase stockholder value.

Cisco’s management has implemented an enterprise risk management (ERM) program, managed by Cisco’s internal audit function, that 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 which is utilized by the ERM program. The structure of the ERM program includes both an ERM operating committee that focuses on risk management-related topics, as well as, an ERM executive committee consisting of members of management. The ERM operating committee conducts global risk reviews and provides regular updates to the ERM executive committee.

The Audit Committee, which oversees our financial and risk management policies, including data protection (comprising both privacy and security), 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 multiple times a year. Other Board committees oversee certain categories of risk associated with their respective areas of responsibility.

The Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board oversees Cisco’s policies and programs concerning CSR, including ESG matters. The Compensation Committee of the Board oversees the development and implementation of the Cisco’s practices, strategies, and policies used for recruiting, managing, and developing employees (i.e., human capital management). These practices, strategies, and policies focus on diversity and inclusion, workplace environment and safety, and corporate culture. In addition, the full Board receives updates on Cisco’s overall CSR strategy, including ESG matters, from management.

Board of Directors

Nomination and
Governance Committee

Other Board committees

  • Acquisition
  • Audit
  • Finance
  • Compensation and Management Development

Corporate CSR

Champion Cisco’s companywide commitment to CSR performance and transparency

Business functions and
cross-functional groups

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

Governance, risk, and controls

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

ESG Topics

  • Corporate governance
  • Human rights and working conditions in the supply chain
  • Business ethics
  • Data security and privacy
  • Innovation and responsible technology
  • Employee health, safety, and labor rights
  • Climate change and GHGs
  • Circular design and lifecycle management
  • Operational waste
  • Environmental protection
  • Water
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Talent
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Community impact
  • Digital inclusion
  • Critical human needs and disaster relief
  • Economic empowerment

ESG reporting

Business functions

Prioritization, goal setting, and initiatives

Implementation & performance management

Impact assessment toward next goal

Corporate affairs

Steward ESG strategy

Stakeholder engagement, ESG materiality assessment & risk assessment

Stakeholder feedback to the business