One of the reasons I love working at Cisco is the freedom to pursue your passions, and make an impact. For me, that’s protecting what’s precious: our planet.

Based in Australia, there is wonderful nature all around me. Being fortunate enough to be able to travel and see some of nature’s wonders, I’ve been inspired to support how I can, so that future generations can enjoy the same wonders I’ve seen.

This Earth Day – I challenge you to stop and reflect on the impact you’re having in your local environment. Small changes can be made at home that can make a big impact.

Moving back to Australia after living a decade in London, I was in awe seeing all the native flora and habitat again when going for bushwalks. It inspired me to start up and lead a Bushcare group to support the regeneration of the native flora and habitat to attract birds, bees, butterflies and other local wildlife. This work really lifts my energy, and I love hearing feedback from the community around how we are really making a difference to our environment.

Picture: Habitat Brisbane Bushcare leads and our site with latest python snake mural

Earlier in my career at Cisco when I lived in the UK, I had the amazing opportunity to work on a life changing project. Cisco supported the World Wildlife Fund, supplying remanufactured technology that powered the London 2012 Olympics, to fit out their amazing new headquarters, the Living Planet Centre, with the aim to connect, innovate and inspire organisations around the potential of sustainable IT solutions, engage employees and drive research & innovation.

Through that inspiring and empowering project, I was able to share this work with an idol of mine, Sir David Attenborough. It is a moment I will always treasure and reflect on. It was in that moment that I felt the impact we could have in the surrounding environment and inspired me to further my study, volunteer, and always remember that small things can make a big difference.

Small things make a huge difference

It’s the small things that can make a huge difference. Reducing your waste at home – do you compost your food scraps or actively recycle – including soft plastics? Do you buy fresh food that is locally sourced or even grow your own? Do you think about how you travel and walk, bike or scooter instead? Or are you engaged in your community to improve your local environment?

March was ‘Clean-up Australia Month’ and in that spirit a number of our Cisco Australia teams organised a day of giving back, using their ‘Time2Give’ hours – to spend time outside and clean up their local communities.

The team in Melbourne with local non-for-profit organisation, Reducing Our Footprint, spent the day out to clean up the Yarra River Park. Equipped with gloves and recycling bags, they collectively removed 14 bags of waste and even pulled a shopping trolly out of the river. The team focused on collecting the usually overlooked micro-fragments of waste – plastic wrappers, broken glass and cigarette butts were found in big quantities.

One of our team members, Amrita Bedi shared the difference this activity made in her perception of waste: “It was terrible to see how littered our beautiful city was and a reminder that there is still more that each of us can do – by being aware and taking conscionable action to keep our cities, homes and environment clean and green.”

On a wet summer morning, the Sydney Marketing team headed out on the Harbour in kayaks to help ensure our beautiful waterways stay clean. Armed with gloves, sieves, and buckets the team paddled around Lavender Bay collecting micro-plastics and any other litter that they came across. A total of 23.51kg of trash was collected in just 2 hours!

Ray Kloss, said of the day: “This was our second year on the Harbour, and it is heartening to see how much cleaner it is becoming. We even came across a whole school of sting rays in Lavender Bay while cleaning up. It feels so satisfying to support nature in all she gives back to us living on this planet. We had such an exciting interaction with the Harbour and we loved being able to clear even more.”

Picture: The Sydney Marketing team on Lavender Bay, Sydney Harbour

The support for the environment at Cisco continues globally, with the announcement of a $100m Climate Fund to help support the Climate Crisis. The Cisco Foundation will fund non-profit grants that will move the needle on climate action with a focus on technology-based solutions, GHG and carbon reduction, climate equity, and green jobs. This new funding builds on Cisco’s efforts to reduce emissions, reduce waste, and set bold goals in our supply chain model and our technology development and production, and is the latest step in our work to power an inclusive – and sustainable – future for all

The bushfires in 2020 and recent floods highlight just how precious our biological ecosystems are. This Earth Day, think about what you can do to reduce your impact, or improve your environment. Small things can make all the difference!

Cori Drogemuller is the Head of Public Relations and Communications for Cisco in Australia and New Zealand.