Ciena, highly commended | Business in the Community Awards 2019


Ciena is a networking systems, services and software company that provides solutions to help clients create an Adaptive Network in response to the constantly changing demands of their users.


By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships, Ciena builds the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness and scale. The company employs 75 staff members in Belfast.

What Ciena did

Ciena’s CSR programme has been developing rapidly since it launched in 2010. The company is a member of the International Responsible Business Alliance (formerly EICC) and has created a Steering Group, with Executive sponsorship. Its approach to community engagement is representative of best-in-class, its product portfolio is designed with energy efficiency in mind and it reports on emissions through CDP.

Employee physical and emotional wellbeing is of paramount importance to Ciena who provide support to improve health and fitness in addition to generous leave policies and employee assistance programmes. As an organisation it champions inclusion and diversity internally, and has a supplier diversity programme in its sourcing.

Ciena uses a third party, Ecovadis, to assess CSR maturity and gauge progress. In 2010, the company scored 30/100, but through investment and commitment it rapidly progressed to its current score of 71/100, placing the organisation in the ‘Advanced’ category and within the top 8% of the 50,000 Ecovadis global assessments to date.

To expand engagement with the local community, Ciena became a member of Business in the Community Northern Ireland as BITCNI’s focus on People, Place and Planet aligns closely with Ciena’s vision, and membership allowed the company to leverage BITC’s experience and network to its advantage.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 3,391 volunteer hours donated
  • 20 Year 9 and 10 female pupils visited Ciena for ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering’ days
  • Partnered with Wellington College for the Confidence Code workshop series and STEM Engineering Day
  • £6,000 raised through fundraising initiatives
  • increase in employee attraction and retention
  • Increase revenue and investment
  • Food, toys and clothes donated to local families via Haven every week
  • Diversity and Inclusion celebrated via Belfast Pride 2018
  • Education and promotion of STEM subjects
  • Awarded Silver in the Environmental Benchmarking Survey
  • Health and wellbeing improvements for employees

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