Sustainability is critical to our mission at Salesforce, and we are proud to share that Barron’s has named us at number two on its list of the 100 Most Sustainable Companies. To create the ranking of the most sustainable companies, Barron’s worked with sustainable-investing organization Calvert Research and Management, an arm of Eaton Vance.
Since our founding, Salesforce has been committed to equality for all stakeholders, which includes improving the state of the world through our business operations, policies and practices. We take a deeply integrated approach to our programs in philanthropy and sustainability to drive these priorities forward. For example, in April 2017, Salesforce achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions - 33 years ahead of its original commitment - and is now providing a carbon neutral cloud for all customers. These mark two critical milestones in the company’s ongoing sustainability journey.
Most recently, in January 2018 we announced that Salesforce Tower — which opened to the first group of Salesforce employees in January — will feature the largest on-site water recycling system in a commercial high-rise building in the United States. 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. It has been called the greenest building in San Francisco, further illustrating how Salesforce is leading by example in this space.
“We are working to accelerate becoming a company that is powered by 100 percent renewable energy within a few short years,” said Suzanne DiBianca, executive vice president at Salesforce. “We must continue to accelerate both our own operational excellence and encourage the industry overall.”
In creating the rankings for sustainable companies, Calvert began by taking the 1,000 largest publicly held companies with headquarters in the U.S. Then, Calvert looked at 300 performance indicators for each company from data providers including Institutional Shareholder Services, Sustainalytics, and Thomson Reuters Asset4 in five categories: shareholders, employees, customers, planet, and community. The shareholders category included items like accounting policies and board structure; employees included workplace diversity and labor relations; customers included business ethics and product safety; planet included greenhouse-gas emissions; and community included human rights along the supply chain.
Finally, Calvert ranked the companies from zero to 100, adjusting the weighting of each category for how material it was for each industry. For example, the planet category is more material for chip makers, which use a lot of water in manufacturing, than it is for banks. Each company then got a weighted average score.
Marking a clear relationship between focusing on sustainability and market performance, Barron’s also reported that the 100 Most Sustainable Companies had remarkable share price growth in 2017. Specifically, the group returned 29 percent for the year, compared to 22 percent for the S&P 500 index.