We’re looking back on all the good our Ciena team members did for our communities and our planet in 2023.

As the year draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the significant strides Ciena and our team members have made throughout the year in advancing towards our goals to do good in the world. At Ciena, we see sustainability as a journey, and we work constantly to make progress. Whether through the products we deliver or the programs we put in place, we strive to help our planet and society. We have a lot to celebrate—let’s look back on everything our team members did to make the world a better place in 2023.

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Advancing sustainability

This was the year that we met our goal of operating on 100% renewable energy, with some power even being generated from the rooftop of our Gurugram office! In addition to this big win, team members across the globe volunteered their time during Earth Month to sustainability-focused initiatives.

Sustainability is important to all of us at Ciena, and this value is evident in our products too. This year saw the launch of WaveLogicTM 6 Extreme and WaveRouterTM, two new products that exemplify the strides we can take when innovation and sustainability meet.

And we are particularly proud of the next step we have taken in our sustainability journey. Ciena joined more than 4,000 other companies on the leading edge of sustainability by committing to science-based targets. These targets offer specific and actionable pathways to reduce emissions, rooted in the latest climate science. Not only do these goals address emissions created by our operations, but also those created by our products, services, and supply chain. With these ambitions in mind, we will continue to deliver more capacity while helping our customers towards their sustainability goals.

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Making an impact in our communities

This year marked another successful year in our Ciena Cares program, which enables our people to connect with the causes most important to them through volunteering and matched donations. In 2023, our team donated $3 million to worthy causes through donations, matched giving, and volunteer rewards, and volunteered more than 35,000 hours in their local communities.

Many of these contributions came out of our first ever Go Do Good month, where our teams around the world chose a day in September to step away from their desks and come together to volunteer in their local communities. The good deeds don’t end there though! We also incorporated giving into some of our biggest in-person gatherings of the year, including our Sales and Marketing Kick Off and our Leadership Summit. At each of these gatherings, our team members took time away from work to volunteer with local charities, assembling donations of goods and necessities to people in need.

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Improving access to connectivity

As a company bringing connectivity to the world, it’s important to us that no one is left behind. Our commitment to this belief is the driving force behind our Digital Inclusion efforts, which have led us to help connect young people with technology in collaboration with organizations such as Building STEPS in the US and Barefoot in Northern Ireland. In the South Pacific, we partnered with some of our customers to connect schools in Fiji and the Cook Islands with better access to broadband internet. These programs help students succeed in their education by improving access to the latest in digital learning capabilities.

We also continued our work with Digital Promise on the Ciena Solutions Challenge, which gives middle and high school students the chance to use technology and computational thinking to solve challenges aligned with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2023, we received 100 inspiring project submissions from 3,435 students across 18 countries, with 20 schools receiving a $2,500 award to help them implement their sustainable solutions in their local communities.

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Celebrating our people

As always, our people are the heart of our organization. At Ciena, we not only celebrate our team members for their accomplishments, but also for showing up with their whole selves each and every day. From welcoming 313 new interns just starting their careers in STEM to recognizing more than 200 team members for their contributions to new patents registered, we showed our appreciation for our people’s contributions throughout 2023.

We also enjoyed another year of celebrating with our Employee Resource Groups (ERG)—including the newest ERG, Asian at Ciena, which launched this fall. Our other ERGs continued to create an environment of belonging for all, with events like the annual Women at Ciena Luncheon and our biggest year yet for Pride celebrations.

Looking fondly back on 2023, I can’t wait to see all we can accomplish to further our sustainability efforts and support our communities in 2024!