To drive meaningful climate action at scale, we have to turn our attention to the positive actions that we can take as individuals, business leaders and communities at large. In fact, we have just launched Salesforce #TeamEarth, which aims to inspire businesses and individuals to build a more fair, equitable and sustainable future.
We believe that business can be a platform for change and that business leaders play an important role in combating climate change. For CEOs the success of their businesses depends on making good decisions for their people, communities and the planet. A productive and resilient economy can only operate within a healthy society, which needs a stable and flourishing environment as its base.
If you want to take action today, here are some clear actions you can take to implement a climate action plan across your business.
Let’s explore how we started our Climate Action Plan at Salesforce. With the aim to use the full power of our business to generate meaningful change. We looked at:
The answers enabled us to devise a framework that spoke to our unique core competencies: customer success and digital transformation. But the approach is universal, and we offer it as a blueprint for others to take action to accelerate their journey to net zero.
The best place to start is to reduce your emissions. Every aspect of your business generates a footprint. Everything from product transport to power use, digital infrastructure and even office space. To reduce your emissions in a meaningful way, you can begin to embed sustainability across your business operations. Start to make practical choices and build on these with an interactive approach.
Most importantly, undertake all emissions reduction activity with systems change as the end goal. At Salesforce, we monitor, avoid, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our operations and value chain, aiming to do so in a way that spurs systemic changes that will achieve emissions reductions at a globally relevant scale.
To do this, we have taken the shared global goal and set out to internalise it. Our aim is to reduce our full value chain annual emissions by 50% by 2030 and near zero by 2040, using 2019 data as a baseline. We will integrate sustainability into our built environment program, reduce the carbon intensity of our infrastructure, reduce business travel emissions and enable sustainable travel, and engage our suppliers to set their own science-based targets.
To accelerate your journey to net zero, link reduce your emissions as well as draw down on carbon in the atmosphere. To stay within the 1.5 degree Celsius future, we need both solutions, and there is no time to waste.
As a business community, we all need to work together from investors, governments, individuals, and businesses to act today. Some emissions can't be avoided or reduced in the near term, and that's why Salesforce compensates today for all emissions across Scope 1, 2, and 3 that we cannot avoid or reduce — not as a distraction from the longer-term and more systemic work, but in addition to it.
We take a portfolio approach, investing in high-impact projects that aim to improve people's lives, deliver environmental impact, and avoid or remove carbon emissions today. Over time, we will transition to removal credits only with the same focus on quality and impact.
Rebuild, restore and reinvigorate our ecosystem. Find ways your organisation can make the biggest impact on climate-restoring natural resources. Trees, for example, naturally remove atmosphere-warming carbon from the air. At Salesforce, we’re proud to be a founding member of 1t.org, where we support and mobilise the conservation, restoration, and growth of 100 million trees by the end of 2030.
Oceans — the largest ecosystem on Earth — are another critical tool. Not only do they remove carbon from the atmosphere, but they also create over half the world’s oxygen supply and are a food source for billions. The Salesforce Ocean Sustainability Program promotes sound ocean stewardship as a mitigation strategy in the fight against climate change.
Your people are your greatest asset, so find ways to empower them to take action on climate issues. Learn what's been done already and how you can help. Many companies have people or entire teams that focus on corporate sustainability issues.
Research shows that individuals feel powerless to stop climate change, so you can create momentum by connecting with experts in the climate community on best practices and new strategies. You can do this by collaborating directly with like-minded peers or by partnering on a companywide scale with industry groups that are taking positive action. Make use of continuous learning opportunities for your employees with education tools like Trailhead.
There are some ecopreneurs already innovating in this space. You can support and collaborate with these purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are driving and scaling meaningful climate action.
Accelerate the path to decarbonisation in your company by increasing investment in sustainability research, development, and infrastructure. Partner with players along your entire value chain to multiply the force of your investment. Find and invest in ecopreneurs on UpLink, a digital platform that connects local innovators with the people and resources that can transform their ideas into reality. At Salesforce, we’re investing US $10 million by 2025 in ecopreneurs through venture capital funds. Grant-making, philanthropy, and buying carbon credits are more ways to make an impact.
You can put science first by using your influence. Remember that business leaders often have a seat at the table with leaders who set critical governmental policies.
At Salesforce, we advocate for clear and consistent science-based climate policies that facilitate a just and equitable transition to a 1.5 degree future. We are formalising climate policy as a public priority and building a global presence on the issue in areas where employees live and work.
The truth is, planet Earth needs our help. There has never been a greater opportunity to make an impact than positive action on climate change.
And if not now, when? Let’s get to net zero faster, together.