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Folks Behind CSR at Cisco: How water stewardship in our provide chain results in a extra inclusive future for all

Water is one in every of Earth’s most treasured pure sources. Though about 70 p.c of the Earth’s floor is roofed with water, solely 3 p.c of it’s recent water, and lower than 1 p.c of recent water is out there to people for consumption. Round 4 billion individuals expertise extreme water shortage throughout no less than one month of the 12 months, and that would enhance as a lot as 40 p.c by 2050.

Many individuals are shocked to study that some IT suppliers use massive quantities of water of their provide chains. Cisco takes its water stewardship significantly. Throughout fiscal 2021, we labored to advance water stewardship inside key river basins the place our provide chain operates. By means of a partnership with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), we collaborated with business friends to boost consciousness of water impacts throughout the Data and Communication Expertise (ICT) sector and drive alternatives by means of collective actions.

That’s the place Cisco’s Provide Chain Sustainability crew is available in. By means of varied actions, they work to allow suppliers to make use of pure sources effectively, scale back air pollution, and enhance local weather resilience. All for studying extra in regards to the crew? Meet Provide Chain Social and Environmental Accountability Supervisor, Toddy Tu. When Toddy was a baby, he noticed first-hand the impression of water air pollution on the river he would fish in. I just lately sat down with Toddy to study extra about his profession journey and his involvement with Cisco’s water stewardship efforts in our provide chain.

Are you able to inform me a bit about your life earlier than becoming a member of Cisco?  

Cisco Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility Manager, Toddy Tu
Cisco Provide Chain Social and Environmental Accountability Supervisor, Toddy Tu

Toddy: Whereas finding out political science as an undergraduate pupil, I grew to become taken with sustainability and social equality. In my fourth 12 months at college, I had an internship with Walmart’s Accountable Sourcing division and have become a full-time worker after commencement. Throughout my 9 years with Walmart, I visited many provider websites in higher China and assessed their social and environmental efficiency based mostly on laws, legal guidelines, and code of conduct necessities.

On the similar time, I used to be additionally in a position to see the event of employees’ high quality of life and an enchancment of the environmental state of affairs in mainland China, which inspired me to proceed my profession within the sustainability business.

What introduced you to Cisco, and what do you get pleasure from most about your job?

Toddy: I had a roommate at college who had interned at Cisco. He shared how he loved working at Cisco and that Cisco is altering the world by means of expertise. It grew to become one in every of my desires to work at Cisco; nevertheless, I used to be not an appropriate candidate proper after commencement.

I by no means thought that my dream would come true. In 2015, I discovered that Cisco was hiring a sustainability supervisor in its Shenzhen workplace. My expertise at Walmart in accountable sourcing made me an ideal candidate, and it additionally match completely with my profession improvement path.

Engaged on Cisco’s Provide Chain Sustainability crew, I really feel like I discovered the suitable place and platform to do what I like to do: to guard susceptible teams, communities, and ecosystems. I’m additionally proud to contribute my experience in environmental administration to advertise water stewardship and defend the residing setting and ecosystems the place we construct Cisco merchandise.

Why is it essential for Cisco to concentrate to and take motion on water preservation and shortage? 

Toddy: No different pure useful resource is as important to life as water. Local weather change is dashing up the worldwide water disaster. Everybody has a job to play, so does Cisco, and we can’t afford to attend.

Water scarcity additionally impacts Cisco in particular methods, particularly our provide chain resilience. One instance is the worldwide chip scarcity, which was induced partly by a water scarcity in Taiwan in 2021.

As some could know, Taiwan is the worldwide chip making heart, and water is in excessive demand for his or her operations since it’s basic for the manufacturing of chips. The impression continues to be felt now as the worldwide electronics provide chain faces materials shortages.

General, water shortage and air pollution pose important dangers to each companies and communities. Lowering water consumption and wastewater discharges in provide chains not solely mitigates dangers but in addition protects restricted sources, protects our ecosystems, and advantages individuals and the planet.

Cisco’s dedication to water stewardship ties in with our mission to energy an Inclusive Future for All.

Cisco carried out a water survey of our suppliers in 2020. Are you able to share how the outcomes of the survey led to you working with a provider in China to cut back their water use?

Toddy: In 2020, we despatched out a water survey questionnaire to provider websites throughout completely different commodity sorts, with the intention of understanding common water utilization and discharge info. 

The survey outcomes led us to have interaction with printed circuit board (PCB) provider amenities based mostly within the high-water-stressed Taihu water basin in China. With the assistance of native environmental consultants, we recognized water financial savings alternatives at a PCB provider in close by Suzhou. Through the subsequent 12 months, the provider accomplished two massive water financial savings initiatives with our steering.  

 One of many initiatives was putting in automated water feeding programs on copper plating strains. The rinse course of makes use of water solely whereas components are being washed somewhat than working constantly. This improve allowed the provider to avoid wasting roughly 51,000 liters of recent water per day — sufficient to satisfy the wants of a household of 4 for about six weeks. 

Are you able to share Cisco’s strategy to water stewardship in our provide chain?

Toddy with his daughter while visiting the seaside near Cannery Row, Monterey, California.
Toddy along with his daughter whereas visiting the seaside close to Cannery Row, Monterey, California.

Toddy: Cisco’s provide chain is everywhere in the world. We attempt to focus our restricted sources on the areas with the very best or most concentrated water danger. We screened our provider websites based mostly on the water depth of their manufacturing processes, water danger of their area, and the suppliers’ enterprise relationship with Cisco. We then engaged prioritized provider websites to strengthen their water stewardship efficiency. A technique is by enhancing their water reporting and goal setting efficiency by means of the CDP platform, the opposite is to advance their progress to the AWS (Alliance for Water Stewardship) customary. We focus the AWS work on these high-water-consuming websites situated in excessive water pressured basins or Cisco website clustering basins.

We search to cut back danger and consumption in our provide chain and enhance provide chain resilience. On the similar time, we additionally promote more healthy basins throughout Cisco‘s manufacturing footprint, which advantages each the individuals in and round our provide chain websites.

How does constructing suppliers’ capabilities to preserve water result in a extra inclusive future for all?

Toddy: An inclusive future can’t be met with out sufficient water. Water — together with sanitation — is important for socio-economic improvement, meals safety, and wholesome ecosystems and is important for lowering the worldwide burden of illness and enhancing well being, welfare, and productiveness. From this standpoint, this falls below the United Nations SDG Purpose 6 — “Guarantee availability and sustainable administration of water and sanitation for all.” Higher water administration additionally fosters gender equality and social inclusion and helps the creation and upkeep of jobs throughout all sectors of the financial system. 

Constructing suppliers’ capabilities to preserve water can also be a option to mitigate the impression of local weather change. Constructing suppliers’ capabilities to preserve water is essential to defending the basins and ecosystems in Cisco’s provide chain footprint. This is a crucial facet of guaranteeing Cisco has a constructive impression on the setting, thus resulting in an inclusive future for all. 

When you’re taken with studying extra about Cisco’s dedication to constructing sustainable provide chains, you’ll be able to go to our Provide Chain Sustainability web site.

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