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To deliver unprecedented, timely environmental action, we need to achieve new levels of collaboration among businesses, NGOs, governments, other institutions, and individuals on a global scale. Each Earth Day at Salesforce, we call on our employees and stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and join us in our communities to create environmental impact together.
However, this Earth Day looks and feels a little different. While COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, sadly we can’t be outside planting a tree or cleaning up our national seashores. It is now in these uncertain times more important than ever to pay homage to Mother Earth for the huge role it plays in our lives, and it’s up to us to protect it for future generations.
Earlier this year, Salesforce set a goal to mobilize and support the growth and conservation of 100 million trees by 2030; so it’s only natural that this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day focuses around natural climate solutions. One of our amazing partners, the Arbor Day Foundation, has committed to plant 50,000 trees on behalf of people celebrating Arbor Day while following social distancing measures. Today, Salesforce is committing to match the 50,000 trees and encourages everyone to join in the Arbor Day At Home campaign—post a picture of a tree using the hashtag #ArborDayAtHome.
While our 100 million tree goal is new, our work supporting natural climate solutions is not. Here are a few of the projects we support as part of our carbon neutrality efforts:
Proyecto Mirador: providing fuel-efficient cookstoves in rural homes throughout Honduras
The nonprofit organization—and Cool Effect project—replaces traditional wood-burning cookstoves with clean, fuel-efficient ones in rural homes throughout Honduras, decreasing carbon emissions and deforestation while also improving human health through better indoor air quality. The organization has boosted the local economy, as well, by providing quality employment to locals. The project uses Salesforce to collect household data that verifies every stove is working correctly. Cooking fuel can be a large portion of household income in the developing world and poor ventilation leads to more than four million premature deaths each year.
Sea of Change: Restoring Mangrove forests in Myanmar and educating the local population
In Myanmar, only 16 percent of the original mangrove forest remains along the coastline. The destruction of mangrove forests has largely been caused by human activity. This project is helping to restore those forests while working with the local population to adapt to more sustainable practices. Mangrove forests can store four times as much carbon as tropical forests over the long term and the soil alone may hold the equivalent of two times the annual global emissions. Not to mention, the forests provide nurseries for fish, feeding grounds for migratory birds, and are a first line of defense against storm surges and floodwaters.
Alto Mayo: Providing technical assistance and advice to protect the forest and its endangered species
The Alto Mayo forest is twice the size of New York City, but it’s under threat from deforestation despite its protected status. This project provides technical assistance and advice on the ground to transform illegal loggers into organic coffee farmers and eco-entrepreneurs. Local people earn more while taking pride in protecting the forest and its endangered plants and animals and the planet benefits. The tropical forests support the water cycle, conserve soil, protect habitat and pollinators, provides food, medicine, and fiber, and give people places to live, adventure and worship.
What do the experts say?
To better understand the scale and the science around reforestation, we connected with a number of experts in the field. They not only provided insight on the importance of natural climate solutions, but also helpful insight for how everyone can play a part this Earth Day, even from their couches.
Corey Brinkema, President, Forest Stewardship Council:
“By 2030 natural climate solutions can store up to 30% of the carbon needed to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, according to analysis done by The Nature Conservancy.”
“When it comes to how we as individuals can do our part…it comes down to being a discerning shopper. From printer paper to tissues and towels to home furniture and lumber, look for the FSC logo on the products you buy.”
Katherine Chesson, VP of Programs and Partnerships, National Park Foundation
“It’s our mission to protect these amazing places. We’re in the ‘forever’ business, and that means making sure our parks are sustainable – through waste reduction, recycling, and energy efficiency. Using a reusable water bottle and refilling at water stations throughout the parks may seem like a small act, but these add up to make a big impact, especially to our National Park communities.”
“While many of us are sheltering-in-place and many parks are off limits, there are no shortages of opportunities to connect virtually. The National Park Foundation, National Park Service and local partners across the country are bringing the experience of parks to you through NationalParks.Org, so we can stay connected to each other and the parks community.”
And, wherever you are in the world, you can still support reforestation efforts and continue your sustainability education with these virtual opps:
- Double Down with a Donation and Volunteer Virtually: Many nonprofits are being hit hard right now and many philanthropic dollars are importantly being shifted to help combat COVID-19. You can donate to your local coffee shop that sources their beans sustainability, or if you want to get behind trees, Plant for the Planet is a great choice.
- Continue Your Sustainability Journey: Explore Salesforce’s climate action strategy on Trailhead. Take a trip to a national park, digitally dive under the sea or watch the cherry blossom trees bloom with your loved ones.
- Listen to these environmental podcasts and learn more about how technology and businesses can help drive climate action.
- The Mission to Track Emissions: Why Salesforce’s Sustainability Cloud is Changing the Game for Environmentalists
- Creating a Lasting and Meaningful Impact with Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce
- Felix Finkbeiner and the Impact Partnerships and Technology Can Have on the Climate Crisis
Learn more about our Sustainability work here.