We live in an increasingly humanistic and socially responsible world, and that's a great thing, by and large. At Salesforce, we pride ourselves on being a company at the forefront of social responsibility and operating on a 1-1-1 philanthropy model in which we donate 1% each of our software, equity and employee time to give back to worldwide communities and make a difference in the lives of people everywhere. We’ve also made a commitment to eco-responsibility, working towards the reduction of carbon footprints, reducing emissions and becoming more sustainable.

To this end, we have announced the development of the new Sustainability Cloud platform, which helps companies to track their impact on the environment. It's similar to the technology used by other cloud-based software to track various marketing and sales data, but instead, it helps you to measure your carbon emissions and enables you to realistically track and meet sustainability goals for your company. Let's check out the story of the Sustainability Cloud, its development, how it can benefit your sustainability efforts, and when it will roll out to the public.

 

A question of ethics

Sustainability in business is something for which we all share responsibility, and it's an ongoing journey. It's vital to consistently integrate sustainability efforts into every aspect of corporate operations. This requires minimising carbon footprints by updating platform design and data centre performance by leveraging the company's multi-tenant architecture, as well as other eco-friendly approaches to business. It's simply a question of ethics. Says EVP Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer of Salesforce Suzanne DiBianca, “We believe business is the greatest platform for social change.”

Many people consider cloud computing to be very eco-friendly compared to traditional computing systems, and in some ways it can be; certainly it can cut down on the use of fossil fuels and toxic chemicals in the creation of certain computer elements. Still, a cloud company has a direct environmental impact from the emissions caused by electricity use at data centres. To this end, the more efficient the operation is, the less energy it consumes, and the lower its carbon footprint. In addition, the quest for clean, renewable energy is vital to preserving our planet.

 

Targeting eco-friendly operations worldwide

Salesforce is dedicated to working toward the use of 100% renewable energy for our operations worldwide, and part of that is our effort to operate with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as well as delivering a cloud experience that is carbon-neutral. We pursue green building certification wherever possible, and we pursue green office initiatives as well as leveraging our technology, resources and staff to help environmental causes worldwide.

 

The Sustainability Cloud – a place for collaboration

This goal led us to require an internal tool that would help us to track and control emissions. This started with the development of a sustainability team at Salesforce and the expertise of sustainability analyst Shenguyan Su, who was able to leverage existing company technology to create a sustainability app. This app allowed us to streamline our environmental data collection process, thereby reducing our overall carbon footprint.

The app was a success, and it wasn't long before our sustainability team asked how we could share this product with others and help amplify the impact we have. The internal app was then developed into Sustainability Cloud, an external offering that our customers could use in their own businesses to set, meet and even surpass their own climate and eco-responsibility goals. Patrick Flynn, VP of Sustainability at Salesforce, says, “My hope for this platform is that it's not just a way for an individual company to set, achieve and exceed their own ambition, but a place for companies, communities and countries to come together to collaborate.”

 

Take action to drive real change

Climate change is real; there's no doubt about it. Companies all over the world have a key responsibility and role to play in the fight against it, and by implementing Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, a company will now have a sustainability platform they can trust and one that also provides a complete 360-degree view of the impact they have on the environment, while also providing data-driven insights that result in measurable and observable positive change for the planet.

The Sustainability Cloud enables your company to analyse, report and track environmental data that will help you to determine where you most need to reduce your environmental impact and carbon emissions. Your carbon data is at your fingertips in an instant with the Salesforce Einstein Analytics, which offer you dashboards and dynamic reports with insights that will empower you to drive real change with your climate action programmes. The data provided is ideal for both executive engagement and for conducting audits.

 

First steps towards sustainability

Sustainability Cloud offers data that is clear, detailed and easy to interpret. These powerful data visualisations provide a vital first step in evaluating your company's environmental impact while also making the case to your executives to drive sustainability efforts. Carbon emissions are invisible, which makes them all too easy to ignore until it's too late. Data visualisation places them front and centre, clearly visible and far less complex, which is a very helpful tactic for engaging everyone in sustainability efforts.

The Cloud helps to measure things like your company's energy use, travel habits and activities, and more, and convert those measurements into real-world data showing the level of carbon emissions you generate. This, in turn, gives you a clear and easy insight into where your largest carbon footprint is located, so you can take immediate efforts to reduce it by adopting more eco-friendly options in the future. In short, the Sustainability Cloud makes it easier than ever to collect and compare important data to support your efforts at eco-responsibility.