Blackwater water recycling system is the largest in a commercial high-rise building in the U.S. and first of its kind in San Francisco

System to save 7.8 million gallons of drinking water annually, supporting Salesforce's commitment to environmental sustainability

SAN FRANCISCO—January 11, 2018—Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced that Salesforce Tower—which opened to the first group of Salesforce employees this week—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 the company's ongoing sustainability journey and the first of its kind for the City of San Francisco.

In Salesforce Tower, wastewater from sources such as rooftop rainwater collection, cooling towers, showers, sinks, toilets and urinals will be collected, treated in a centralized treatment center and recirculated through a separate pipe system to serve non-potable uses in the building. The system will reduce drinking water demand by saving up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water a day, 7.8 million gallons a year, equivalent to the annual water consumption of 16,000 San Francisco residents.

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, building owner and a tenant to support blackwater reuse in a commercial high-rise building. The system will provide water recycling for all tenants in Salesforce Tower and offers a blueprint for how other companies looking to make a positive impact in the world can harness sustainable innovation.

The water recycling system is the latest example of Salesforce’s commitment to the environment through green building practices. Salesforce has also achieved or is pursuing green building certification in 64 percent of its global office spaces and LEED Platinum certification—the highest possible achievement—for three buildings in its San Francisco headquarters.


Since the company’s founding, Salesforce has harnessed its culture of innovation to incorporate sustainability into all facets of its business starting with delivering value to customers through its energy-efficient cloud. The company has since achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, 33 years ahead of its original commitment.

Comments on the news:
"In our ongoing commitment to reduce our environmental footprint, Salesforce Tower gives us an opportunity to re-invent core building impact," said Suzanne DiBianca, executive vice president, corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer, Salesforce. "We're excited to install a state-of-the-art water recycling system to lead that effort at a scale that has never been done before in a commercial high-rise building. Since our founding, Salesforce has been committed to equality for all stakeholders, which includes improving the state of the world through our business."

“At Salesforce, real estate is more than architecture and design. It’s about creating a “home” that has a positive impact on all of our key stakeholders, including employees, partners, customers, communities and the environment,” said Elizabeth Pinkham, executive vice president, global real estate, Salesforce. “Because our offices are 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 are proud to be working on this innovative public-private partnership with Salesforce that will substantially reduce their water footprint, helping the community to conserve the city’s precious drinking water supply,” said Harlan Kelly, general manager, San Francisco Public Utilities. “Salesforce continues to show leadership and commitment to sustainability and this environmental milestone will serve as a model for other responsible businesses.”

"This is a major milestone for green building within the United States. Salesforce has long been a leader in sustainability, but today's announcement sets a new standard and provides a blueprint for how companies, regardless of building ownership, can innovate on green building practices,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council. “We are grateful to have Salesforce pioneer this blackwater system and look forward to a day when it's commonplace for all commercial high-rises.”

“Boston Properties is committed to making sustainable improvements in all of its assets and is excited to be partnering with Salesforce on this first of its kind blackwater reuse system,” said Danny Murtagh, vice president of engineering, Boston Properties. “We recognize the scarcity of water resources in California and are looking forward to making substantial improvements in the industry by recycling blackwater.”

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