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Duquesne to Honor Cisco Systems with First Green to Gold Award

Duquesne University’s Beard Institute will present its first national Green to Gold award on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at its third annual symposium on sustainability.

Cisco Systems has been selected as the inaugural Green to Gold award recipient.

The award, named after the popular book by Dan Esty and Andrew Winston, will be accepted by Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Systems, Smart Grid. The award recognizes an American company that demonstrates commercial success while implementing sustainable practices. It also gives business students, especially those in the MBA Sustainability program, a good example of a company that exemplifies business ethics and responsible practices.

“We wanted to impress on our students a framework for doing well while doing good,” said Tom Nist, Donahue Chair in Investment Management.

Cisco was chosen from a list of five finalists through a three-step process. First, companies had to be included on in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and had to garner high scores in the KLD Corporate Social Ratings Monitor. Next, students compared these companies against what Esty and Winston termed in their book as “wave rider” criteria denoting companies that are on the leading edge of sustainability. Third, the students presented their list of five finalists to a panel of academics and professional leaders in sustainability, which together with the students, chose Cisco as this year’s recipient.

“Cisco’s portfolio of accomplishments is profound,” Nist said.

Cisco Systems is a multi-national networking and communications corporation with more than 66,000 employees. In 2008, the company received 24 awards recognizing its achievements in environmental, social and financial responsibility. A proven leader in environmental stewardship and social responsibility, the company continues to enjoy financial success. Cisco’s net income rose by $800 million in 2008.

“Cisco is committed to a high level of environmental responsibility in its operations, product development, solutions and culture,” Ipsen said. “Being green is not only the right thing to do, it helps set us apart in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Cisco is honored to be recognized by Duquesne University's Beard Institute for our sustainability efforts. Awards such as this give us further incentive to continue on an environmentally sustainable path.”

Duquesne University ranks second worldwide among schools its size for integrating social and environmental stewardship into research and MBA program coursework, according to the Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey of the Aspen Institute, an international foundation dedicated to developing leaders for a sustainable global society.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.