Skip to Main Content
(Press Enter)

Employee community impact

We recognize and celebrate all the ways our employees make a positive impact on people, society, and the planet.

Making giving back a habit is part of what it means to work at Cisco and is an important aspect of our culture. In communities around the world, Cisco employees take positive actions each year to power an inclusive future for all. In fiscal 2016, we set a goal to achieve 80 percent employee participation in community impact by 2020. We achieved this milestone in fiscal 2020 and have sustained it each year since, reaching the highest participation level in fiscal 2023 at 85 percent. That means over 65,000 Cisco employees take action in service of people, planet, and society each year!

>80% employee engagement in giving back has continued for four consecutive years

Since FY20:

>80% employee community impact participation every year
US$127M+ raised through employee donations and matching gifts
1.99M+ volunteer hours recorded
7100+ global causes and U.S. schools supported

In FY23:

71,000+ employees took positive action to give back
US$27M+ in employee donations and matching gifts
702,000+ employee volunteer hours
7100+ global causes and U.S. schools supported

Our collective actions have contributed to building a culture where serving communities in need has become part of our DNA. Engaging at scale enables us to donate more to nonprofits, respond to more crises, increase volunteering support, and do more good for the world.

We take an inclusive approach to recognizing and celebrating all the diverse ways our employees make a positive impact:

Employee volunteering in person, virtually, and via team events

Employee donations and fundraisers benefiting global and local charities

Digital advocacy
Advocating to end extreme poverty via

Environmental sustainability
Employee actions and pledges to promote environmental sustainability

Integrated action programs
Employee action to initiate a corporate charitable donation

Survey sharing
Self-reported employee impact stories

The Community Impact Portal is a key entry point for engaging employees in learning; giving of time, skills, and money; and advocating on the biggest problems facing society. In addition to the always-on Community Impact Portal experience, we continue to apply principles of behavioral science to nudge employees to take action, such as gifting all new hires a credit to donate to a nonprofit of their choice and integrating easy give-back actions into digital spaces, meetings, and business events. We expand our portfolio of offerings that we continue to innovate together and provide an excellent experience throughout their career with Cisco. We also leverage data insights and digitization to provide metrics to employees, leaders, and teams so they can track their participation throughout the year.

With the launch of the Community Impact Portal in fiscal 2023, we can continue to build for the future and provide an excellent user experience to those who wish to give back, their way (whether that is through donations, volunteering, missions and more). We also continue to expand our portfolio of offerings—collaborating with our employees to identify innovative new opportunities to fulfill Cisco’s purpose.

Doing good for the world is doing good for business

We know that community impact means more to our employees than just making a difference in the world; engagement in community impact benefits employees and Cisco in ways we never imagined. Thanks to a recent partnership with the People Research and Intelligence team, we have research indicating that employees and leaders who take community impact actions have:

  • Higher individual performance
  • Higher promotion rates
  • Lower attrition rates
  • Higher rewards and recognition (Connected Cisco)

Through Cisco’s community investments and strategic sponsorship programs, employees can become connected with nonprofit fundraising and charitable efforts whose missions are aligned with Cisco’s priorities. When our employees drive value to vulnerable communities and society, this returns the value back to Cisco.

Employee environmental engagement

With the creation of our Chief Sustainability Office and the addition of sustainability as a fifth company pillar, we are encouraging our employees to become involved with these efforts more than ever. Cisco and its employees offer awareness, volunteerism, and giving opportunities around sustainability to fellow employees.

In fiscal 2023, we continued to expand Cisco's Sustainability Ambassadors program, where employees were trained to represent Cisco's global environmental sustainability strategy and portfolio to customers, partners, and other external stakeholders. We continued to offer our Circular Design training during the onboarding process for many of our target groups across supply chain operations and the design community.

Each year, we engage employees on environmental sustainability topics through a two-month volunteerism and awareness campaign called Earth Aware, culminating in a thought leadership forum on sustainability called SustainX. In fiscal 2023, the SustainX event focused on Cisco’s product lifecycle through the lens of sustainability. Earth Aware included sharing ways our employees can reduce their digital footprint and taking a tour of the beehives at our RTP campus in North Carolina. We continued our annual Recycle IT Day, during which employees brought in used electronics for recycling. During the event, we collected 111 metric tonnes of equipment from Cisco sites around the globe.

We also offer ongoing opportunities for employees to connect with peers who share a passion for sustainability. One of our Cisco Inclusive Communities, the Global Green Team Network, is made up of 24 employee-led teams with over 3200 members who collaborate in a Webex space year-round to promote sustainability on a local basis. In fiscal 2023, Green Team BeLux hosted vegan education events, Green Team Colorado performed trail maintenance, Green Team Costa Rica held beach cleanups, Green Team Kenya partnered with an orphanage to plant trees, and Green Team Amsterdam cleaned out the city’s canals. These are just a few highlights of the various activities our employees participate in throughout the year.

Our employees are important drivers of circularity and responsible sourcing in our procurement and supply chain. Each quarter, we recognize Champions of Sustainability—Cisco employees who advance sustainability and ethical practices as part of their daily responsibilities. Our Champions protect workers’ human rights and well-being, communicate responsible business practices, help support ethical mineral sourcing, and advance circular economy and environmental stewardship. They all demonstrate that the way our products are made matters.

Cisco is continually improving our community impact approach and adapting as the world of work evolves. For example, as we continue to embrace hybrid work, we are developing team give-back projects that incorporate a combination of in-person and remote contributions. We are also sharing our successes and lessons learned among peers, and exploring new ways to not just meet our employee engagement and positive impact goals, but to continue fostering our purpose-driven, giving culture.