Skip to Content
Skip to Content

Celebrating the opening of Australia’s newest solar farm

Today marks the opening of the X-ELIO Blue Grass Solar Farm. Pip Marlow, CEO of Salesforce ANZ & ASEAN, shares more on how we’re accelerating the path to net zero and how other businesses can join us.

Every step closer to a future where renewable energy is powering the world around the clock is worth celebrating. Which is why I’m thrilled that X-ELIO’s Blue Grass Solar Farm is up and running today.

It’s been a huge project; since we signed up in 2020, 400 workers have constructed the new solar farm in the Western Downs region of Queensland. 

Today, Blue Grass can generate enough electricity to power 80,000 local homes and save more than 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Blue Grass supports the Queensland Government’s Renewable Energy Target to generate 70% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2032, and 80% by 2035.

I’m proud to say Salesforce is signed up to take 25% of that output through our first international renewable energy agreement. 

Choosing the right renewable energy project

The launch of Blue Grass and other renewable energy projects has taught us important lessons about how to identify and support great renewable energy projects. 

Blue Grass was first identified using our renewable energy procurement matrix, an assessment tool that scores a project based on its environmental, cultural and social impacts.

Blue Grass performed particularly well in the following categories:

  • High avoided emissions: Blue Grass has the highest avoided emissions rate of any project in Salesforce’s portfolio, over two times that of a comparable project in California.
  • Land-use: Blue Grass is sited on land with low ecological value, avoiding sensitive vegetation and wildlife habitats.
  • Community Engagement: In addition to creating hundreds of jobs, X-ELIO is dedicating a percentage of the annual gross income of the project to a Community Support and Benefit Sharing Program, which will support local community projects.

Today is certainly a big milestone moment in our sustainability journey,  but here’s a few more ways we are ‘walking-the-talk’ on our value of sustainability:

  • We support Greenfleet to plant 30,000 native trees on formerly degraded farmland in rural Victoria. In close collaboration with the local Dja Dja Wurrung people, Greenfleet will plant more than 150,000 native trees on the site.
  • We support One Tree Planted to restore koala populations by creating a wildlife corridor in northern New South Wales, and restoring ecologies with local communities in south western Western Australia. To date, our support has contributed nearly 110,000 native trees to these habitats.
  • Our new Salesforce Tower Sydney has the city’s first-ever WELL core and Shell Platinum pre-certification, the highest obtainable pre-certification, and will achieve a 6 Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating, representing world excellence in sustainable design.
  • Our Net Zero Cloud  product allows organisations to efficiently manage end-to-end sustainability data and take the first step towards net zero. This technology is helping dentsu Aotearoa to take insight-driven action on emissions. dentsu can now track and manage its carbon footprint across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and has since reduced emissions by 34%.
  • We are also partnering with the South Australian Government to support its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

We’re in a position to be at the forefront of this change across all businesses and help our customers design, measure and deliver on their net zero plan.

Government and business need to work together

We want to see the pace of change accelerate, and we’re excited to see greater public and private sector collaboration on sustainability projects. 

Under the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI), Salesforce has partnered with the Australian Government and nine other corporations to unlock clean energy infrastructure opportunities. 

Having a platform to seek, discuss and action large-scale sustainability initiatives with governments will open more avenues and potential solutions to the climate crisis. 

Business can drive impact

We fundamentally believe that businesses can make a tangible impact on the climate change crisis we face. If you want to learn more about making an impact, here are a few resources to help you along the way:

Pip Marlow CEO, Salesforce Australia and New Zealand

Pip Marlow is Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce Australia and New Zealand. In this role, Pip is responsible for ensuring Salesforce delivers on its values of trust, customer success, innovation and equality for both our customers and our community across Australia and New Zealand. Prior to Salesforce, Pip was Chief Executive Officer Customer Marketplace at Suncorp, where she was responsible for driving customer focus into all aspects of Suncorp’s business including strategy, customer care, partnerships and innovative solutions that add value for customers. Prior to joining Suncorp in 2016, Pip was at Microsoft for 21 years where she held a number of roles for them in Australia and the USA. This culminated in her role as the Managing Director of Microsoft Australia for 6 years. Pip is also a non-executive director of the Rugby Australia (ARU), sits on the Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Board at UTS,  is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW), and is an Executive Ally for Pride Diversity. She is a passionate advocate for flexible and diverse workplaces that empower people. Born and  raised in New Zealand, Pip lives in Sydney with her Scottish husband and her two American born daughters, Sophie and Lucy.

More by Pip

Get the latest articles in your inbox.