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Stakeholder Capitalism

Marc Benioff’s 2023 Letter to Stakeholders

Editor’s Note: AI Cloud, Einstein GPT, and other cloud GPT products are now Einstein. For the latest on Salesforce Einstein, go here.

Today, Salesforce released its annual Stakeholder Impact Report, which showcases the company’s continued commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency to keep the company’s stakeholders informed and track progress over time. Read the full text of Marc Benioff’s introductory letter below.

When we focus on stakeholder value as well as shareholder value, our companies will be more successful, our communities will be more equal, our societies will be more just, and our planet will be healthier. In the face of so many global challenges, it’s especially important that we harness our resources to create a more fair, sustainable, and equitable world.

We believe that when a company truly serves all stakeholders — including our shareholders, employees, customers, communities, and planet — business is the greatest platform for change. That’s why, when Salesforce was founded 24 years ago, we made a commitment to give 1% of the company’s equity, 1% of its product, and 1% of employees’ time back to our communities.

We believe that when a company truly serves all stakeholders — including our shareholders, employees, customers, communities, and planet — business is the greatest platform for change.

Marc Benioff, CEO and Chair, Salesforce

Since our founding, we have provided over $614 million in grants to nonprofits and educational organizations, and Salesforce employees worldwide have provided over 7.8 million volunteer hours. More than 50,000 nonprofits and schools use free or discounted Salesforce products. We’re proud that more than 17,000 companies have adopted our 1-1-1 philanthropic model through the Pledge 1% movement, and that Salesforce has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the 14th year.

At the same time, guided by our core values — trust, customer success, innovation, equality, and sustainability — Salesforce became the fastest growing enterprise software company and has been ranked the “#1 CRM” by IDC for nine years a row.

In fiscal year 2023, we continued to drive profitable growth while helping our stakeholders succeed in multiple ways.

As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, we’re helping to lead the global movement to align business practices around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so we can build a safer, more equal, and sustainable future. We’re proud to share our 10th Stakeholder Impact Report, marking a decade of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) transparency led by our highest value of trust.

Protecting our planet

We established sustainability as our fifth core value, formalizing our commitment to protecting the planet. Salesforce is proud to have net zero residual emissions across our entire value chain, and renewable energy equal to 100% for our global operations. Through Net Zero Cloud, we’re helping businesses of all sizes and across every industry accelerate their own journey to net zero. We launched Net Zero Marketplace, powered by Commerce Cloud, as a climate action hub and a site where organizations can find and purchase high-quality carbon credits.

We’ve embraced nature-based solutions as a 2020 co-founder of — the global movement to conserve, restore, and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030. We announced our own goal of 100 million trees, and we’ve already surpassed 45 million trees. With the Salesforce Ocean Sustainability Program, we’re helping to protect, restore, and invest in mangroves, kelp, sea grass, and reefs to help build climate resilience in coastal communities. And in fiscal year 2023, we announced a new initiative, the Salesforce Accelerator for Nature, which helps nonprofits innovate and scale urgently needed climate solutions.

UpLink — the platform we created with the World Economic Forum — has now connected and empowered more than 59,000 ecopreneurs: innovators who are developing cutting-edge climate solutions. We’re proud to have made $12 million in donations from our $100 million Ecosystem Restoration & Climate Justice Fund to support solutions to advance climate and community resilience.

Advancing equality

Guided by our core value of equality, we’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone is valued, seen, and heard as they are. We believe in equal pay for equal work, and conduct annual audits to address any unexplained differences in pay.

Starting in 2019, we began publishing three multiyear representation goals to drive transparency and accountability toward our equality efforts, two of which we met early. We are continuously evaluating new goals to continue to drive progress. This year, we added our latest representation goal: reaching 40% women identifying and nonbinary employees globally by the end of 2026. Since 2020, Salesforce has donated over $128 million and Salesforce employees worldwide have completed over 610,000 volunteer hours to support organizations advancing racial equality and justice. We also achieved our goal of spending $100 million with Black-owned businesses. And, our Office of Ethical & Humane Use continues to advance data ethics and accessibility within our technology.

Creating opportunities

In fiscal year 2023, we celebrated 10 years of supporting our local schools, providing more than $165 million in grants to schools and educators worldwide. Through the Principal Innovation Fund, Salesforce provides unrestricted funds to support principals’ top needs — from STEM education to programs designed to boost students’ and teachers’ wellbeing.

Today we’re a community of over 19 million Trailblazers who are driving innovation and transforming their careers on Salesforce. We are proud that more than 5 million people around the world have used Trailhead, our free online learning platform, to upskill and meet the growing demand for digital talent.

As always, none of this progress would be possible without you — our stakeholders — and your commitment to our shared values. When we focus on stakeholder value as well as shareholder value, we can lift all boats — our companies can truly thrive while our communities succeed as well. Thank you for your trust and support.

Read the full FY23 Stakeholder Report here.

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