Circular Economy

We are committed to moving from a linear economy, where products are used and then thrown away, to a circular economy that makes better use of our limited natural resources.

Why a circular economy matters

As a society, we are using more natural resources than our planet can regenerate. We can't keep taking without giving. A circular economy looks beyond the current take-make-waste model and aims to redefine growth by focusing on positive society-wide benefits.

Cisco's approach

Our holistic approach extends from how we design, build, and deliver products, to how we value the assets we have and turn them into new products. We also apply Cisco technology to support our customers in their own circular transformations.

Sustainability across the product lifecycle

As we journey to net zero by 2040, we're embedding circularity across the product lifecycle—from how we design, make, and deliver our products, to promoting their sustainable use and reuse.

Commitment to 100% product return

At the World Economic Forum in January 2018, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and eight other tech executives signed the Capital Equipment Pledge, in which Cisco committed to 100 percent product return.

Measurable impact

Our ambitious goals will help reduce our environmental impact and contribute to a circular economy. To check our progress on these goals, please see our updates on the ESG Hub.

Net zero

Set goal to reach net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040 (SBTi approved)


100 percent of new Cisco products and packaging to incorporate circular design principles by fiscal year 2025 (FY25)


30 percent reduction in Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and use of sold products by FY30 (FY19 base year)


70 percent of Cisco component and manufacturing suppliers by spend to achieve a zero-waste diversion rate at one or more sites by FY25


50 percent of plastic used in our products (by weight) to be made of recycled content* by 2025
(*plastics included in this goal exclude those contained in commodity components sourced from suppliers, e.g. plastic screws, fans, and cables)


75 percent reduction in Cisco packaging foam use, measured by weight, by FY25 (FY19 base year)

Partnering to drive change

Cisco was a founding member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), which allows us to partner with other companies to achieve a circular economy. We also actively engage in the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) Capital Equipment Coalition and the Circular Economy 100.

Driving circularity at Cisco

Sustainable packaging in action

At Cisco, we are rethinking product packaging and sourcing alternative materials to plastic. We are working to reduce unnecessary packaging and make what remains reusable and/or easy to recycle.

Pioneering circular design

By FY25, 100 percent of new Cisco products and packaging will incorporate Circular Design Principles.

Simple, secure, and sustainable takeback and reuse

Our Product Takeback and Reuse Program lets Cisco equipment owners return hardware that has reached end-of-use, at no cost. We reuse and recycle over 99 percent of what is returned, helping to ensure responsible disposition of equipment.

Genuine Cisco Certified Remanufactured products

The Cisco Refresh (Certified Remanufactured) program is our commitment to minimizing environmental impact and helping customers do the same. Our products offer the same quality as new equipment and are competitively priced.


Our customers don’t just want excellent products. They want excellent products that keep our planet in mind.

The circular economy goes far beyond recycling. In fact, we want to reuse more of our equipment, so that we recycle less. Learn about Cisco's efforts to collect and remanufacture end-of-life products, and give them a second life.

Simple. Secure. Sustainable. The Cisco Takeback and Reuse Program lets Cisco equipment owners return hardware that has reached end-of-use, at no cost.

John Kern, SVP of Supply Chain Operations, speaks with GreenBiz on how Cisco is driving circular economy principles in its operations and beyond.

We have committed that 100% of new Cisco products and packaging will incorporate circular design principles by 2025.

ESG Reporting Hub and 2022 Cisco Purpose Report

Cisco is putting people, technology, and resources toward Powering an Inclusive Future for All, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Visit our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Hub.