One Planet, One Chance: Earth Day Celebrations
5 min read | APRIL 21, 2023
Whether you’re an underwriter for a health insurance agency, pioneering sales or marketing for a leading industry, or pursuing any other profession, there is one thing that unites us all: our shared presence on Earth. Over the past few years, we have faced numerous trials and tribulations – from the COVID-19 pandemic to soaring inflation, war, and economic instability. Yet, despite these hardships, we have persevered and remain steadfast in our determination to overcome them. Nonetheless, lingering uncertainties surround the condition of our planet. While the 2022 global growth in emissions was less severe than anticipated, the upward trajectory remains steady, culminating in CO2 emissions of over an unprecedented 36.8 gigatonnes – and it shows no signs of slowing. Despite the progress that has been made globally to curb climate change, the repercussions are irreversible. This raises the crucial question: what can we do to make a difference?
Salesforce has established itself as a leader in driving global change, evident from their voluntary reporting of carbon emissions dating back to 2012. By 2017, Salesforce had achieved net zero emissions for their operations and extended their efforts to provide customers with a carbon-neutral cloud. Two years later, Salesforce further expanded their mission to eliminate emissions from business travel and employee commuting. In a remarkable move in 2021, Salesforce went the extra mile to achieve complete net-zero emissions by reducing emissions across their entire value chain, adopting 100% renewable energy for their operations, and investing in high-quality carbon credits to offset any residual emissions.
What is Salesforce’s Climate Action Plan?
Salesforce is committed to achieving net zero residual emissions by 2050 and has expanded its net zero boundary to include its entire value chain. The company offers three fundamental questions that all businesses must ask themselves in their climate action plans: how to prioritize reducing emissions, how to compensate for any remaining emissions, and how to serve the interests of all stakeholders. Salesforce has achieved 100% renewable energy and is committed to continuing its sustainability journey to achieve a just and equitable transition to net zero, in line with a 1.5°C future. The company focuses on six sustainability priorities, which it offers as a blueprint for others to accelerate their journey to net zero. This includes:
- Emissions Reduction
Salesforce’s commitment to climate action centers around the ongoing decrease of overall emissions in a manner that promotes fairness and equality, and aligns with the goal of achieving net zero emissions in line with a 1.5°C future.
- Carbon Removal
Salesforce’s approach to tackling climate change involves reducing emissions and increasing atmospheric removals, recognizing that both solutions are necessary. Their efforts are centered on improving existing natural carbon removal methods and expanding future carbon removal technologies that rely on technology.
- Trillion Trees & Ecosystem Restoration
Salesforce is committed to enhancing natural systems for carbon sequestration, focusing on forests and oceans. These essential systems remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, but human activities have impaired their effectiveness. Salesforce is working to preserve and rehabilitate these ecosystems. As a 1t.org founding partner, their aim is to remove 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide by planting 1 trillion trees and protecting the ocean, a significant carbon sink.
- Education & Mobilization
Salesforce aims to be a learning platform for climate education by increasing access to job training and certification for ecopreneurs, inspiring suppliers and peers to start their own climate action journey, and sharing best practices through white papers and webinars. They aim to mobilize the Salesforce ecosystem to take action around key events such as World Economic Forum’s Davos, COP26, and Earth Month.
Innovation is key for decarbonization, and an ecopreneur revolution is needed to drive meaningful climate action. Purpose-driven ecopreneurs can develop new tech and infrastructure but often lack support and investment. Salesforce is sparking an ecopreneur revolution through the UpLink platform, aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to surface ideas for positive change.
- Regulation & Policy
Salesforce believes that a just and equitable global transition to a 1.5°C future requires clear and consistent science-based climate policies. They work with lawmakers and regulators worldwide to support policies that positively impact their employees, customers, communities, business, and the planet. They encourage every business, individual, and community to use their voice to influence policy and tackle the urgent challenge of climate change, which can lead to reduced inequality, improved health, a stronger economy, and a shared future.
How has Salesforce Committed to Environmental Sustainability?
Marc Benioff, CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, is widely recognized as a passionate advocate for tackling climate change. He believes that it is the responsibility of every individual, organization, and nation to take immediate action to address this global crisis, warning that the consequences of inaction will be disastrous. As part of its commitment to climate action, the Salesforce Ohana has pledged to donate $100 million in grants over the next decade to support ecosystem restoration and climate justice. The company also plans to contribute technology through its Power of Us program and mobilize volunteers to provide 2.5 million hours of service to climate-focused organizations.
Salesforce is actively engaged in the fight against climate change by supporting One Tree, an organization that has helped to plant more than 40 million trees in 43 countries since 2014, with a goal of planting 100 million by 2030. The company also launched Net Zero Cloud globally in 2021 to assist other businesses in achieving net-zero emissions. Salesforce Net Zero Cloud is a product that is designed to help businesses achieve their sustainability goals and move towards net-zero emissions.
What is Net Zero Cloud?
Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud is an innovative solution designed to assist customers in accurately measuring their operational carbon footprint, making the auditing process effortless. This product efficiently tracks common emissions such as those from buildings, data centers, travel, and waste, incorporating recognized global emissions factors right out of the box. It also includes a set of objects specifically designed to consume energy, use data, and calculate building energy intensity, making it a comprehensive tool for measuring carbon emissions. Moreover, Net Zero Cloud boasts a Data Gap Filling Log that proactively flags inconsistencies, enabling users to rectify or estimate incorrect or missing data, thereby ensuring maximum accuracy. With several years of development, this product aims not only to benefit the planet but also to contribute to Salesforce’s bottom line.
Environmental Responsibility = Better Business
Assuming environmental responsibility is not only a moral obligation but it can also lead to numerous benefits for businesses. Firstly, it can drive down the environmental impact and costs associated with energy consumption, water usage, waste generation, and carbon emissions, resulting in long-term operational efficiency and cost savings. It can also bolster a positive reputation and brand image, as more consumers prioritize sustainability when making purchasing decisions. In fact, businesses that demonstrate strong environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices are likely to be viewed more favorably by younger generations with 73% of Gen Z consumers being willing to pay more for sustainable products, more than any other generation. Environmental responsibility can also help to attract and retain employees who align with the company’s values and seek to work for a socially responsible organization. Finally, assuming environmental responsibility can foster innovative new business opportunities, such as developing sustainable products or services, exploring new markets, and collaborating with other organizations to address environmental challenges.
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