Today we announced that Salesforce Tower will feature the largest on-site water recycling system in a commercial high-rise building in the United States. This is a transformative milestone in our ongoing sustainability journey.

In collaboration with the City of San Francisco and Boston Properties, the blackwater system will be installed in Salesforce Tower, making it the first partnership in the U.S. between a city government, a building owner and a tenant to support blackwater reuse in a commercial high-rise building. The system will provide water recycling capabilities for all tenants in Salesforce Tower.


Growing with our values

Salesforce was founded in an apartment on Telegraph Hill more than 18 years ago and has grown to be the city's largest tech employer, with an urban campus in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The next addition to our urban campus is Salesforce Tower, which opened to the first group of Salesforce employees this week.

We may have grown as a company over the years, but our commitment to improving the state of the world through our business has never wavered. At Salesforce, real estate is more than architecture and design, it’s about creating a positive impact on all of our key stakeholders, including employees, partners, customers, communities and the environment.

Because offices are also a physical expression of our values, Salesforce is committed to integrating green building practices into our real estate strategy, including office design, construction and operations. We’re proud that we have achieved or are actively pursuing green building certification in 64 percent of global office spaces and LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible achievement, for three buildings in our San Francisco headquarters. Additionally, we have achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as a company, 33 years ahead of our original commitment.

Equipping our Salesforce Tower with a state-of-the-art water recycling system continues our environmental stewardship and offers a blueprint for how other companies looking to make a positive impact in the world can harness sustainable innovation.


So, how does the blackwater system work?

In Salesforce Tower, wastewater—from sources such as rooftop rainwater collection, cooling towers, showers, sinks, toilets and urinals—will be collected and treated in a centralized water treatment center. From there, the recycled water will recirculate through a separate pipe system to serve non-drinkable uses in the Salesforce building, like drip irrigation and toilet flushing. The system will reduce the building's drinkable water consumption by 76 percent, saving up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water a day, equivalent to the yearly water consumption of 16,000 San Francisco residents.

Click here for full-size version of the infographic.


Why this water recycling system? Why now?

Climate change impacts every individual, company, city and nation, and the effects weigh the heaviest on the world’s poorest regions, amplifying global inequality. Equality is a core value at Salesforce and that’s why we have committed to harnessing our culture of innovation to fight climate change and drive toward equality for all.

The severe five-year drought in California between 2012 and 2016 was the driest and hottest on record, impacting cities and residents alike.* The state’s agriculture industry took a huge hit during this time as one of the world’s most precious resources—water—was drastically affected.

We know that times of drought will one day return to this region, plus it's always responsible to conserve precious resources. Salesforce Tower’s blackwater system will reduce fresh water demand by 7.8 million gallons a year, helping the city of San Francisco and the community.

Today’s announcement reinforces the notion that businesses can be powerful platforms for change. We are honored to have the support of the City of San Francisco and look forward to the success of this environmental milestone.

To learn more about our sustainability programs and track our progress, visit We hope you’ll join us on our journey!

*Impacts of California’s Five-Year (2012-2016) Drought on Hydroelectricity Generation, By Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute, April 2017