04 December 2008 | Jake Kanter
IT company Cisco Systems has saved $3 million (£2 million) this year by establishing sustainability schemes in its supply chain.
The cost reductions were announced in the firm's annual corporate social responsibility report. The company said its manufacturing vendors had worked to reduce waste, carbon emissions and demand for natural resources.
The company said it saved at least $1.2 million (£824,756) by converting many of the paper documents that accompany its products on to CDs. It also trimmed costs by $1 million (£687,329) through reducing the print and font size of other items of product information. In addition recycling excess plastic created in the production of phones saved the firm $880,000 (£605,227).
Cisco audited 31 of its suppliers this year, including 14 component vendors in China. The firm said it had uncovered problems at its vendors including long labour hours, health and safety issues and management of its intellectual property that it intends to address.
The report added that the process for measuring the environmental impact of its supply chain was still in a "formative" stage, and it plans to work more closely with suppliers to standardise calculation of emissions in the future.