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CISCO: A View of the Company's Corporate Social Responsibility

According to Reuters, Cisco Systems, “incorporated on December 10, 1984, designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry and provide services associated with these products and their use” (“Cisco Systems Inc Company Profile |”, 2013). Yahoo! Finance also reports that “Cisco gets nearly 60% of its sales from the Americas” (Cisco Systems, Inc. Company Profile - Yahoo! Finance”, 2013). In 2012, Cisco’s revenues reached $46 billion, which is an increase from the previous year by 6.60% (Cisco Systems, Inc. Company Profile - Yahoo! Finance”, 2013). Cisco Systems Inc. primarily provides products to large business enterprises and telecommunication service providers but also cater to small businesses and home use. Annual reports from the company’s website indicate that Cisco Systems Inc. has enjoyed a steady and healthy progress in terms of profit and corporate growth (Cisco Systems, Inc. 2012 Annual Report, 2012). Currently, Cisco leads the industry in terms of market capitalization which sums up to $111.6 billion as of latest comparisons by Yahoo! Finance (“Networking & Communication Devices Industry Leaders & Laggards: Industry Center - Yahoo! Finance”, 2013). The company has also acquired a total of eight (8) other companies since August 2011 including Versly, ClearAccess, vCider, and Cariden Technologies Inc (“Cisco Systems Inc Company Profile |”, 2013).

Undoubtedly, Cisco Systems Inc. may be called a success in their field of specialty: networking. The amount that Cisco earns each year in net income is more than enough to support the company’s needs including the salaries of their 66,639 employees. In lieu of these facts, the company continues to provide programs that contribute to society that are highlighted on the segment of their website on Corporate Social Responsibility. Cisco Systems Inc. makes sure that their responsibility towards both employees and clients are kept ethical and under good governance. The company is committed not only to social responsibility but also a sustainable environment. Their corporate social responsibility takes note of how they run sustainable, environment-friendly technologies and implore clients to do the same.

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Since Cisco hires a large number of employees and mainly works on providing IP (Internet Protocol)-based technologies, it is vital that they maintain a strong sense of social and environmental conscientiousness. The more the number of employees, the more there is a need to provide for good governance to control possible conflicts. People come from different cultures and backgrounds. A strong corporate government ensures that the company will be formidable even in the most trying times. This would also involve the concept of having one common vision that is in line with the growth of the corporate whole. Also, in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven era, people cannot fail to notice how we are rapidly utilizing more resources than we ought to. A huge company such as Cisco would do well to minimize such waste of resources by introducing programs that would help contribute to a sustainable environment.

Today’s global trends and issues emphasize how communications and technology has entered almost every aspect of people’s living. Networking and networking technologies, thus, play a great part in making all of these communications and connections happen. Networking is critical in sending messages to and fro. Cisco’s corporate social responsibility program is in the midst of all these technology, linking people but at the same trying to make such networks sustainable for both the society and the environment.

Cisco Systems Inc. plays a great deal in the field of networking technology. The company clearly does not fail to be aware of this fact by giving back to nature what it deserves. The world’s resources are quickly diminishing. Cisco, therefore, is responsible towards the people and the environment.

Not all companies have initiated programs aimed towards corporate social responsibility. Mallen Baker, an advocate of the same cause, observes that “if you speak to heads of CR or sustainability, they will generally tell you that they consider their reports to be aimed at all their stakeholders, including their customers and employees” (Baker, 2012). As he talks about emerging trends in corporate social responsibility and global reporting initiatives, Baker asserts that “companies need to answer to two aspects of their operations. 1. The quality of their management - both in terms of people and processes (the inner circle). 2. The nature of, and quantity of their impact on society in the various areas” (Baker, 2012). Seeing as the world humans are in requires that they take care of the environment for the survival of future generations, it not therefore a question of obligation by companies on whether they should implement CSR programs or not, but rather an ethical decision to make that is for the benefit of the entire planet.

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