Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A net zero world is a world in balance. Achieving net zero on a global level means emitting no more greenhouse gases than we are able to remove, either by natural means or through technological solutions. Right now, we are way out of that balance.
At Salesforce, we believe that *net zero is a continuous journey*, requiring us all to:
- Commit publicly to the shared, global goal of achieving a just and equitable transition to net zero emissions, in line with a 1.5°C future
- Prioritise reducing emissions as quickly as possible and aligning full value chains (Scope 1, 2, and 3) to the global trajectory of ~50% emissions reduction by 2030 and 90% emissions reduction by 2040
- Compensate for any remaining emissions by purchasing renewable energy and carbon credits of high credibility, impact, and co-benefits, in the long term using removal credits only and in the near term using a combination of avoidance and removal credits
Salesforce has been on a sustainability transformation journey for over a decade and has been publicly committed since the Paris Agreement to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In September 2021, Salesforce reached the milestone of net zero residual emissions across our full value chain (Scopes 1, 2, and 3) and achieved 100% renewable energy for our global operations. This was an important milestone. But Salesforce recognises that maintaining net zero residual emissions and achieving our long-term sustainability goals is a continuous journey, requiring us to continue reducing emissions as quickly as possible and aligning our full value chain (Scopes 1, 2, and 3) to the global trajectory of ~50% emissions reductions by 2030, and to near-zero absolute emissions by 2040. We will continue to compensate for any remaining emissions by purchasing 100% renewable energy and purchasing high-quality carbon credits to compensate for any emissions that remain.
*Note:* 100% renewable energy means procuring electricity and/or the claims to electricity produced from renewable energy resources equivalent to the electricity we use globally on an annual basis.
Is Salesforce’s definition of “net zero residual emissions” synonymous with the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) definition of “net zero”?
It is not. SBTi’s definition of net zero states that for a company to claim it has achieved net zero, it must reduce 90% of its gross emissions before offsetting any remaining emissions with carbon removal credits only (no carbon reduction or carbon avoidance credits).
Salesforce believes that, as a planet, we must reduce our emissions by 90% and do so as quickly as possible. For every company, reducing emissions by 90% may take decades, especially with goals that rightfully include all of Scope 1, 2, and 3. We believe that companies should be able to claim they have net zero residual emissions* *if they’re fully committed to decarbonization and have demonstrated they’re on the path to achieving the deep emissions reductions that will put the planet on a 1.5°C trajectory if they’re also compensating for their remaining emissions with high-quality carbon credits to achieve net zero residual emissions across their full value chain, transitioning to using removal credits only over time.
Net Zero Cloud
Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse emissions from sources controlled or owned by an organisation, such as emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, and vehicles.
Scope 2 covers indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.
Scope 3, also known as value chain emissions, has been the last frontier for most companies looking to shrink their carbon footprint. Scope 3 comprises the areas an enterprise has the least control over — emissions from activities and assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation, but that the organisation indirectly impacts in its value chain. Scope 3 emissions often represent the majority of an organisation’s total GHG emissions.
For most organisations, calculating carbon emissions is just the first step. Since most corporate GHG emissions are closely linked with energy use, calculating GHG emissions can help identify ways to reduce energy use, which also reduces costs.
There is a multistep process used to calculate GHG emissions. First, set organisational and operational boundaries. After which, collect data on electricity, fuels, and other business activities that lead to emissions. Review this data for accuracy, completeness, and assumptions used. Next, apply relevant emission factors, which represent GHG emissions per unit of activity. Finally, share your emissions footprint with stakeholders, develop an action plan, and add third-party verification to ensure accuracy.
Identifying the assets that contribute the most carbon can help a company focus its reduction efforts, reach its goals faster, and communicate results to key stakeholders.
Net Zero Marketplace
The voluntary carbon market is a decentralised marketplace where organisations and individuals can learn about carbon credits for purchase on a voluntary basis with no intended use for compliance purposes.
Net Zero Marketplace is a platform where organisations can evaluate carbon projects and carbon credits for consistency with their carbon-neutral and net zero commitments or corporate sustainability initiatives. On the Net Zero Marketplace platform, organisations may also enter into carbon credit purchases on a voluntary basis. Salesforce is not a party to those voluntary agreements. Net Zero Marketplace is not a compliance carbon marketplace, where regulated entities like energy producers are required to buy or sell credits.
The top priority in any organisation’s net zero journey must be to reduce emissions. However, reaching the level of decarbonization that science tells us is needed to limit warming to 1.5°C is dependent on systemic societal changes that will take time. This means that while emissions reduction goals should be prioritised, to reach them, companies must also seek to effect change outside their own operations.
Carbon credits — and carbon markets more generally — are critical tools that, made and used well, can play an important role in our collective journey to net zero while simultaneously helping us build a nature-positive world. While carbon markets today are far from perfect, they are one of the best tools we have for helping to finance critical climate solutions. The promise of the voluntary carbon market (VCM) lies in its potential to scale, from hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars today to $10 billion to $40 billion by 2030, spurring innovation and fueling the emergence of a large economic sector for nature-based solutions and technological carbon dioxide removal the world desperately needs.
Read more about Salesforce’s approach to carbon credits.