Communications technology; designing intelligent network infrastructure for the smart grid
1. Purchases 44% of its electricity from green sources. Cisco won EPA's Green Power Partner of the Year award in 20081.
2. Support and contributes to the development of smart grid technologies, which saves energy by mitigating transmission loses2.
1. Extensive Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility portion of their website. (Under 'About Cisco') Environmental initiatives include energy efficient data centers and investment in smart grids. Community impact initiatives focus on economic development, strengthening networking and educational capacity1.
1. Sourcewatch.org cites from a 2008 report by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Bread For All that Cisco is a major purchaser of Tyco Electronics, which are made in China at a plant where workers handle hazardous chemicals in repetitive, demanding tasks without proper rest or safety. Long-term use of the microscopes used in production were found to cause deteriorating eyesight among young and older workers alike. Workers were also found to work beyond Chinese Overtime Labor Laws.1
2. Cisco is complicit with the Chinese government's censorship policy. In the late 1990s it produced a firewall box to allow the government to block certain websites2.
1. Boston Common divested in January 2011 for lack of human rights and shareholder proxy voting transparency and accountability.1
2. Whether Cisco can be held accountable for Controvery #2 is debatable. Given government restriction, the company has a choice between complying with government censorship or refraining from entering the entire Chinese market.