Corporate Environmental Obligation

Unit Title: Communication in Business 100
Assessment: Critical Essay
Company: Cisco
Essay Title: Corporate Environmental Obligation:
An observation of the performance of Cisco
Student name: LIANG QIAN
Student number: 15115070
Semester: Trimester 3A, 2010
Campus: Curtin Singapore
Tutor??™s Name: Patricia Lorenz
Date: December 27, 2010Corporate Environmental Obligation:
An observation of the performance of Cisco
Nowadays, increasingly individuals and publics evaluate the social performance as an important standard of excellent companies. And the social performance of company is illustrated as corporate social responsibility which stands for the organization has higher obligation of stakeholders in business operations (Topal and Ongen 2008, 58-7). The corporate social responsibility is a core business management requirement which is already received by publics as a valuable theory all around the world (Crane, Matten, Spence 2008, 4). The performance of corporate social responsibility is relevant to interactions between organizations and stakeholders, such as communities, employees, and customers (Crowther 2008, 51-3). The corporate social responsibility does not only the aspect of economic, but also the environment aspect which showed as a reputation image standard of organizations (McIntosh et al. 1994, 41). Environmental factors has been taken into an important place when the customer choosing IT products, as well as increasingly IT enterprises focus on reducing contamination of environment (Forrester Consulting, 2009). Cisco is one of the most successful companies in the world which focus on information technology, and Cisco try their best to improve their social performance image through reducing environmental impacts of their products, the core value is ???the right thing to do??? and the corporate social responsibility programs aim to create benefits for their stakeholders, such as communities, customers, and employees (Cisco, n.d). This paper focuses on the social performance of Cisco on environment responsibility, and Cisco??™s strengths and weaknesses have been evaluated which considerably associated with stakeholders??™ rights.
The case for CiscoThe value of sustainable development has been penetrated into the research and development processes, and Cisco takes their environment responsibility into a core status because it is link to the benefits of stakeholders (Hoskisson, Hitt, and Duane 2008, 119). From Cisco??™s newsroom (2010), on December 6, 2010, Cisco and AT&T have been the numbers of the global energy ??“ efficiency project which concentrates on improving the performance of Shell??™s information technology infrastructure. This project focuses on improving energy efficiency and eliminating environment damage for human beings. In this project, several Cisco??™s technologies have been used, such as Cisco??™s Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco EnergyWise, and Cisco Telepresence. All these technologies contribute to improve performance of Shell??™s information technology infrastructures though the ways of cutting cost, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and eliminating usage of equipments. With the research results of Shell??™s project in the future, the customer has capability to purchase less energy consuming products. Not only does Cisco meet the needs of customers, but also the community and their employees, all of their stakeholders able to live and work with eco-friendly life style. Cisco pays attention to the environmental protection organization in the world. As showed above, Cisco has been cooperated with AT&T in shell??™s information technology infrastructure (Cisco??™s newsroom 2010). And in the discussion of Cisco??™s newsroom, Cisco vigorously takes part in the activities of environmental protection organizations, such as Clinton Global Initiative program, which concentrates on researching new ways to reduce pollution. Cisco has been cooperated with other business groups and organizations in order to improve their supply chain management which beneficial to create eco-friendly products with less energy assumption, and Cisco concerned about the feedbacks of their environmental protection measures about their stakeholders, such as the local residents and communities, and cooperation organizations (Derickson and Henley 2007, 85-2). From Cisco??™s 2010 CSR Report Highlights (2010), there are numerous measurements have been done by Cisco, Cisco reduces resource consumption in the working areas and processes of their employees, approximately 20,000 employees in Cisco have been encouraged to work at home one or more days each week with Cisco??™s own network. And Cisco tends to reduce the air travel times among employees by on line meeting system called WebEx; WebEx can be used in holding meetings to communicate to partners among 200 cities and 60 countries world widely at the same time. Derickson and Henley (1997, 58) discussed that Cisco creates convenient conditions to employees with commuting work capabilities. And this measurement reduces the usage of vehicles and encourages staffs use public transportation. With the series of measurements of Cisco, employees work with convenient function, customer purchasing lower-price goods than before since coverage of transportation costs, and communities obtain excellent environment and transportation systems. The successful using the information technology has improved the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations, and enhanced workforce and reduced resource consumption (Desmond, October 20, 2010). Forrester Consulting (2009) discussed that with the electronic office equipment using effectively, Cisco has been reduced the usage of paper which has environment benefits. What is more, Cisco develops a system called Connected Workplace which aims to improve the utilization of public areas, for example adequate using of meeting room in free time, which is an interpretation of environmental responsibility. With this theory, every employee shared more spaces which dedicate form public areas. It raises productivity, increases satisfaction of employees, reduces management costs, and cuts the assumption of resources. Using recycle package materials is a significant step to fulfill Cisco??™s environment responsibility. Cisco uses recycle package materials to reduce energy assumption and greenhouse gas emissions (Derickson and Henley 1997, 58). According Cisco (n.d), the packaging principles in production processes can be divided into three steps, they are ???Reduce, Replace, and Remove???. ???Reduce??? means in the packaging processes, as much as possible to decrease the usage of packaging materials, such as paper, plastic, and metal materials, and research shows that Cisco has already eliminated about a billion of sheets of paper in 2008. ???Replace??? stand for compare with normal packaging materials, Cisco prefer eco-friendly materials which easier to recycling. ???Remove??? tends to remove excess materials in the process of packaging, for example, magnets, rubber, and cables. With these three steps, Cisco has saved millions of pack materials until 2009. In the resent report of Cisco, with the proliferation of disposal electronic products, they built a Product Takeback and Recycle systems that aim to eliminate electronic waste which has achieved approximate 50 million tons in the global scope every year. All these recycling activities illustrate the environment responsibility of Cisco to the communities, customers, and employees, which reduce energy assumption.The case against CiscoAlthough the information technology industry has advantages of green and eco-friendly productivity, it consumes much energy and creates more greenhouse gas through carbon-intensive processes (Forrester Consulting, 2009). And in order to get more efficient desired results of information technology, IT based firms; such as Cisco requires setting up more infrastructures in the long term which could be a way of wasting resources. Cisco focuses on eco-friendly productive theory, however, the attribute of developing information technology products decides Cisco has to renew their products regularly with higher resource assumption possibility (Levitt 2007). And Levitt also stated that in the modern society, information technology based products always have higher turnover, especially the hardware appliances. Customers has been encouraged to buy the new products no matter the old ones still working. The following problem is how to deal with the electronic wastes all around world. The Elfrink (August 8, 2008) suggested that information products, for example, one Cisco??™s majority products-the router, the computers of IBM, the network switches of Juniper, all of these products are have short term product period, which create a great deal of electronic waste and show great threats to environment. So the potential damages of IT based products, including Cisco??™s products, might hurt the health rights of stakeholders who desired new products at the same time. The chemical elements and dangerous metals have been obtained in the information technology products, although big companies such as Cisco, Juniper, and IBM strive as possible as to reduce its damages to publics. However, once these goods have discarded by their customers, while it became electronic wastes, the treatment processes details are not given by Cisco (Deen, August 2004). Actually, as Schluep (2010) claimed that most of electronic wastes all
Around the world are distributed to developing countries, such as China, India, Africa and Latin America, the developing countries face up to environment pollution and the largest group of victim is children who grew up with dangerous elements, such as silver, gold, palladium, copper and indium. This situation may violate the rights of customers in developing countries, on the one hand, they purchase products of Cisco and other multi-national companies, on the other hand, and their environment has been destroyed. As Schluep (2010) showed that electronic wastes have been distributed to developing countries and processes of recycling are not controlled. Although Cisco focuses on recycling their products, however, Cisco is not afforded details about recycling processes (Cisco n.d). There is a possibility of Cisco sending Electronic waste to developing areas. Angadi (2010) suggested that recycling electronic waster pose a series threat to the health of communities in Bangalore.
In this area, poisonous gases are released in air, like oxides of nitrogen and sulphur, and mercury. In Bangalore city, most of electronic waste recycling processes are informal activities without control of government. Individuals worked in small and congested rooms to pack the electronic wastes without security measures. The result is ineffective in term of recycle electronic wastes, and at the same time, local environment has been damaged. Fortunately, these series problems have aroused awareness of local information technology companies, Cisco is one of them. Employees of Cisco??™s, donate $1 per person averagely, totally is $10,000, this amount money used for improving recycling equipments and facilities, and environmental governance. Although activities are late, better later than never.ConclusionTaken these factors into consideration, the environmental social performance of Cisco has strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, Cisco supports sustainable development in production processes, the quality of environment associate with the obligations to shareholders, such as the Cisco??™ employee, customer, and community. Cisco participates international organizations which is aim to protect environment from contamination and misuse of resources. The energy conservation has been advocated in office procedures. And Cisco insists on using cycling system to reduce environmental damage in their production processes. On the other hand, the negative aspect cannot be ignored in Cisco??™s operation processes. Due to the limitations of IT based industry itself, Cisco has to waste resources in product upgrading procedures. The electronic waste has transfer to developing countries, which shown higher risks to the local resident, customer, and community. Cisco advocated recycling production, the process may harm for obligations of local communities.References ListAngadi, J. 2010. Garage recyclers of e-waste are the new threat. (Accessed December 17, 2010).Cisco. n.d. Environmental Sustainability. (Accessed December 18, 2010).Cisco. 2010. Cisco??™s 2010 CSR Report Highlights. (Accessed December 17, 2010).Cisco??™s newsroom. 2010. AT &T and Cisco appointed to carry out global information technology energy efficiency review for Shell. (Accessed December 18, 2010).Crane, A., D. Matten, and L. J. Spence., ed. 2008. Corporate social responsibility: Reading and cases in a global context. New York: Routledge.Crowther, D. 2008. Stakeholder perspectives on social responsibility. In the Ashgate research companion to corporate social responsibility, ed. D. Crowther and N. Capaldi, 51-3. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.Deen. L. 2004. Technology transfer, the HBCU way. US Black Engineer & IT, August.
Derickson, R., and K. Henley. 2007. Awakening social responsibility: A call to action global citizens, corporate and nonprofit organization. 85-2. California: Silicon Valley.Desmond, P. 2003. Going the distance for business continuity. Network World. October 20.Elfrink, W. 2008. Where??™s the next big deal. Outlook Business, August 23.Forrester Consulting. 2009. Its role in reducing corporate environmental impact. (Access December 18, 2010).Hoskisson, R. E., M. A. Hitt, R. Duane. 2008. Competing for advantage. 119-6 US: South-Western Cengage Learning.Levitt, J. 2007. Cash form waste. (Accessed December 17, 2010).McIntosh, M., D. Leipziger, K. Jones, and G. Coleman. 1994. Corporate citizenship: Successful strategies for responsible companies. 41-2. London: Financial Times Management.Schluep, M. 2010. Hazardous E-waste surging in developing countries. Science Daily, February 23.Topal, R. S., and A. Ongen. 2008. The impact of social responsibility on the environment. In The Ashgate research companion to corporate social responsibility, ed. D. Crowther and N. Capaldi, 58-7. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

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