Tech Overlook

Cisco Accelerates Global Problem Solving in 2017


Our world is more connected than ever before, and these connections are increasing. Research predicts that 500 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2030. Explosive growth and innovations, including augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also transforming our global landscape in unprecedented ways.

With this huge potential for change comes the need to shape the future responsibly.

Cisco takes that responsibility seriously. This year, we continued to leverage our technology to build a network of global problem solvers; to positively impact people, society, and the planet. Our 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report is a testament to the progress we have made and a reminder of the fantastic opportunities that lie ahead.

Several of our 2017 highlights are included in the below infographic, and described in more detail below:

Supporting access to economic opportunity: 154 million people positively impacted in FY17

Our nonprofit partners used Cisco Foundation grant investments to positively impact more than 154 million people across the globe. Coupled with our 2015 impact, this puts us at 23% of our goal to reach 1 billion people by 2025. Cisco Foundation cash and in-kind contributions totaled $355 million for the year, up from $309 million in FY16.

These contributions helped our nonprofit partners leverage technology to support underserved communities, provide food, water, and shelter to victims of natural disasters, build a digital foundation to improve education, and drive economic empowerment and an inclusive digital economy.

Protecting the planet: 80% of our worldwide electricity in FY17 came from renewable sources

Solving the world’s most pressing environmental challenges is a business and CSR priority. The earth’s natural cycles— carbon, resource, and biological—are being disrupted. These disruptions impact people, society, the planet, and in turn, our global economy. We are using renewable energy more and more, and in FY17, 80% of our global electricity came from renewable sources.

In FY17, we achieved an important environmental milestone. We met our second, 5-year goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40% absolute, compared to an FY07 baseline. We’re now focused on our newest goal: reducing these emissions by 60% by FY22.

Our people at their best: Employee volunteering increased 64% in FY17

We want to make the world a better place for our employees and neighbors in the communities where we operate. Our employees made significant contributions of their time and talent in FY17, volunteering more than 358,000 hours for causes they care about.

Employee donations and matching also provided over $15.2 million to nonprofit organizations, and we are currently at 44% employee engagement, with a goal to reach 80% engagement by 2020.

Building a network of digitally savvy problem solvers:  Cisco Networking Academy has reached 7.8 million students since 1997

In FY17, 1.3 million students in 180 countries built their digital skills through Cisco Networking Academy—bringing our cumulative total to 7.8 million students reached since 1997. In FY17, we reached 19% more students, and globally, 24% of our students are female.

Students receive practical, hands-on experience through the program and gain the digital and entrepreneurial skills needed to land a job, earn a promotion, or start their own businesses. Since 2005, 1.6 million participants have reported that completing the program helped them obtain a new job.

Solving threats to species: Rhino poaching reduced by 96% at a South African game reserve

Rhinoceros poaching poses serious economic and ecological problems in Africa, with three rhinos lost per day to poachers seeking rhino horns worth more than their weight in gold. Working with World Wildlife Fund and Dimension Data, the Connected Conservation program uses Cisco surveillance and network technologies to monitor and control the movement of humans in game reserves.

In one pilot, at a private South African game reserve, poaching was reduced 96% since 2015. More pilots are planned in larger parks and game reserves to understand scaling challenges.


The future is ours to build, and we have the capability to shape it responsibly. We look forward to another year of applying our technology, skills, and passion to help make progress on some of the world’s most challenging problems.

To learn more about the progress we’re making to positively impact people, society, and the planet, read our 2017 CSR report and share your favorite parts on Twitter (@CiscoCSR) and Facebook. You can learn more about our CSR programs and strategy by visiting https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/csr.html.

We hope you’ll feel inspired to join us in our work.
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