At Cisco, labor and human rights are a top priority for us. We are committed to treating everyone who works at or with Cisco with dignity and respect, and explicitly prohibit human trafficking and the use of involuntary labor within our supply base.
We are committed to working with industry partners to drive common high standards. We also encourage our employees to lead beyond Cisco - by partnering with other thought leaders across the electronics industry, we increase our positive impact.
The below statement communicates Cisco's policies and practices to respect human rights, and how we identify and address potential impacts, mitigate risks and maximize opportunities for human rights to flourish. Cisco upholds and respects human rights as contained in the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the eight Core Labor Conventions developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Global Compact (UNGC), and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). Cisco’s approach is informed by the documents identified above, anchored to the approach set forth in the UNGP, and extends through ongoing engagement of stakeholders.
About Our Supply Chain Network
Our sourcing and manufacturing are entirely outsourced to a global network of specialist suppliers and partners. Hundreds of suppliers around the world supply the parts that go into our products, and then manufacturing partners assemble and test finished products, provide logistical services, and collect, refurbish, and recycle products at the end of their useful life. The major elements of our supply chain are briefly described below.
- Component suppliers: a much wider group of suppliers, often contracted directly by Cisco to provide parts to our manufacturing partners according to our specifications;
- Manufacturing partners: a select group of suppliers that produce finished Cisco products; and
- Logistics service providers that transport components and finished products.
Cisco's Policies and Actions
Cisco's policies and approach to preventing involuntary labor and human trafficking have been developed based on international labor and human rights standards as well as best practices across the global business community. These policies establish the baseline expectations as well as communicate our values and help promote trust and collaboration as a key underpinning of our many business and stakeholder relationships. Cisco’s specific policies include:
- Global Human Rights Policy: Our approach and commitment to upholding and respecting human rights is governed by our Global Human Rights Policy. Our policy is informed by international human rights frameworks, including the UDHR, the ILO core labor standards, and the UNGC. We review our policy on a regular basis, and we use a company-wide human rights governance structure to implement our commitment. Our Human Rights Working Group includes experts from functions across the business.
- Code of Business Conduct (COBC): Our COBC is a crucial part of our company culture that provides employees with a clear understanding of our core values and the high standards for ethical conduct by which we conduct our business.
- Supplier Code of Conduct with Freely Chosen Employment Requirement: Cisco's Supplier Code of Conduct (the "Code”)is aligned with the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) (formerly Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition) Code of Conduct. It defines the expectations Cisco has of its suppliers to implement management systems to ensure workers’ rights are protected, including our requirements regarding workers having the right to freely choose their employment, and prohibits the use of forced, bonded (including debt bondage) and indentured labor, involuntary prison labor, slavery, or trafficking of persons. Furthermore, it is a foundational element of our Supplier Ethics Policy.
- Supplier Ethics Policy: Our Supplier Ethics Policy requires Cisco suppliers and their employees to conduct themselves with the highest standards of honesty, fairness, and personal integrity. As part of the supplier qualification process, suppliers must acknowledge that subcontractors and any other parties they engage to provide services to Cisco, will act in accordance with the Supplier Ethics Policy. Furthermore, suppliers acknowledge and commit to the Code when they agree to the Supplier Ethics Policy.
Cisco has taken multiple actions to ensure the prevention of forced labor, slavery and human trafficking in our own business and supply chain, including;
- Verification: We evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery through conformance to the Code. We pursue conformance by using the RBA's Maplecroft Risk Assessment tool, Supplier Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ), Validated Audit Process (VAP), or equivalent. We also convene or attend teleconferences, webinars and other meetings so that we may better understand and monitor risks associated with labor recruitment practices. We conduct these activities regularly and extensively.
- Audits: We conduct supplier audits or review audit reports through the RBA’s audit sharing system, and conduct unannounced audits as necessary. The tools referenced above are utilized as part of a risk-based approach to determining which suppliers to audit. The audit process includes self-assessments, on-site inspections, document reviews, and worker and management interviews.
- Certification: The Code states that companies should have a management system that contains a process to communicate requirements and to monitor compliance. Moreover, we have master purchasing agreements, purchase order or equivalent terms and conditions in place requiring compliance with international standards and applicable laws and regulations. Furthermore, we require suppliers to adopt and abide by the Code.
- Accountability: Non-compliance with human rights related provisions of the Code is taken very seriously. Corrective action plans are expected to be implemented in the shortest possible timeline with accountability clearly defined and tracked. The senior executive in charge of the supplier relationship is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Code and remediation of concerns. Progress is reported to supply chain executive leadership, at minimum on a quarterly basis, and more frequently as needed. Furthermore, for our own employees, we require compliance with our COBC, and employees certify compliance annually. Our COBC describes how to raise concerns, which are tracked at both regional and corporate levels.
- Training: Our strategy focuses on engaging and capacity-building. We regularly engage across the globe to train on Code fundamentals. This helps us build capacity and focus on improvement. For our own employees, our COBC training helps guide our employees to make ethical, professional and respectful choices. Further, we have developed and launched customized training including specific details about human rights in supply chain. For suppliers, the investments we collectively make to RBA workshops and training content are mutually beneficial, ensuring understanding of policies and standards. RBA’s Learning Academy provides online trainings on a range of topics, including methods to combat trafficked and forced labor in the supply chain. As part of our audit process, suppliers will be directed to training resources related to an audit finding and are expected to complete the training.
Commitment to Leadership Through Collaboration and Transparency
We are actively involved in advancing industry-wide responsible practices through our engagement in the RBA, a nonprofit alliance of leading companies dedicated to respecting the rights and promoting well-being of workers and communities engaged in the global electronics supply chain. Cisco is a founding member of the RBA, and contributes to the development and periodic revision of the RBA Code of Conduct.
We are committed to transparently communicating our actions. For further information on steps undertaken during the year, refer to the latest version of Cisco's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.
By: /s/ Irving Tan
Name: Irving Tan
Title: Senior Vice President & Chief of Operations
Member Executive Leadership Team
By: /s/ Lisa Brady
Name: Lisa Brady
Title: Director, Supply Chain Sustainability
*This Statement is also responsive to website disclosures required under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act and other emerging and developing laws and regulations globally pertaining to Transparency in Supply Chains