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Salesforce Equality Group Leader on Climate Action: ‘Everyone is a Multiplier for Change’

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series to spotlight our Equality Groups and how they serve Salesforce’s global employees. Check out additional interviews with the leaders of Salesforce Women’s Network, BOLDforce, and Faithforce.

To celebrate Earth Month, we spoke with Lindsey Peterson, Global President of Earthforce, Salesforce’s Equality Group dedicated to promoting and celebrating environmental responsibility. Here, Peterson shares why Earthforce’s 14,000 global members believe in being better people for the planet — and creating a better planet for all people.

Q. Tell us about your background and your role at Salesforce.

I started at Salesforce in 2019 as a Recruiting Coordinator, and have since moved through different roles within our Employee Success organization. Most recently, I took on a role on the newly formed Talent Growth and Development team as a Talent Strategy and Design Manager. In this role, I get to work specifically on executive talent management and succession planning.

Q. How did you get involved with Earthforce?

Earthforce was one of the reasons I joined Salesforce. I was transitioning out of higher education and wanted to find a company that was constantly innovating. Friends who worked at Salesforce told me about the company’s Equality Groups and commitment to giving back, which was something I was passionate about.

Earthforce was one of the reasons I joined Salesforce.

Lindsey Peterson, Global President of Earthforce, Salesforce’s Equality Group

Naturally, when I joined Salesforce, I got involved in Earthforce right away. I started by co-leading the Earthforce hub in Sydney, and I approached the global leadership team about additional ways to get more involved. There was an open role for the Global Growth Chair position within Earthforce, and after a year and a half, I stepped into the Global President’s role, where I’ve been for the last three years.

Q. What’s your vision and some of your priorities as President of Earthforce?

Our vision is to create a better planet for all people by being multipliers for sustainable and equitable change. Earthforce is an educational space where we have conversations to learn more about climate action, sustainability, waste management, and how to drive impact.

We’re also focused on creating opportunities for volunteerism, specifically around restoration projects that will have lasting results on the community and planet. For example, we’ve organized litter pickups, dune restoration projects, tree planting, and generative bush care in places like Sydney. During my time as Global President, we’ve achieved more than 280,000 employee volunteer hours in our communities around the world.

Q. How has Earthforce partnered with the business to make Salesforce more sustainable?

One example is our partnership with the Real Estate and Workplace Services (REWS) team to help influence waste management in our buildings. We’ve partnered with REWS to understand our leasing structures and where waste goes in our buildings, influence more sustainable practices, and educate employees on how to manage their waste effectively.

For example, the blackwater system in Salesforce Tower in San Francisco is a first-of-its-kind green technology that recycles the building’s wastewater, saving an estimated 30,000 gallons of water per work day. And Salesforce Tower Sydney, where I’m based, is also one of the most sustainable office buildings in Sydney.

Q. What are some activities and volunteer opportunities Earthforce has planned for this month?

To kick off Earth Month, we hosted an educational session on the environmental impact of AI and Salesforce’s sustainable approach to AI. Throughout the month, we’ll activate our global members through opportunities to give back to our communities. We’re organizing tree-planting efforts in major cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. Globally, employees can volunteer to map the Amazon Rainforest. Through this effort, volunteers will incorporate Indigenous and local community knowledge around settlements, water sources, and sacred sites into a comprehensive map of the Amazon, providing more holistic information to conservation and restoration teams on the ground.

Global Earthforce President Lindsey Peterson attends Salesforce’s annual Global Equality Leadership Summit (GELS) and participates in a monthly Earthforce volunteer event with Defy Design, an innovator in the waste and plastic space.

Q. What are some of the challenges or issues Earthforce is looking to solve?

Like all Equality Groups, we want to use employee voices to create positive change. We need to take climate action now, and it can be challenging to know where to start to feel you are making a true impact.

We surveyed our members and one of their top asks was for climate education. At the end of the month, we’re launching a sustainability storytellers program, which will empower our members to be able to talk about Salesforce’s sustainability journey, Net Zero Cloud, emissions reductions, and more. We want to educate people on this landscape so they can bring their knowledge and passion to their day job.

Q. What’s something you wish more people knew about sustainability or protecting our planet?

Everyone is a multiplier for change, and when we come together, we can amplify the impact of our actions. This means not only adopting sustainable practices individually, but also advocating for systemic changes, influencing policy, and mobilizing others to take action. While small-scale initiatives are important, it will take large, global policy shifts — beyond the scope of what individuals can do in our everyday lives — to make lasting change.

While small-scale initiatives are important, it will take large, global policy shifts — beyond the scope of what individuals can do in our everyday lives — to make lasting change.

Lindsey Peterson, Global President of Earthforce, Salesforce’s Equality Group

I love challenging our members to elevate their understanding of what sustainability means and helping them uncover the many ways to drive climate action. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to bring my passion for people and the planet to work every day.

Getting To Know Lindsey

  • What is your favorite book on leadership?
  • What has been your favorite Earthforce moment or event?
    • The annual Global Equality Leadership Summit (GELS) is my favorite. We get to come together as a leadership team that is based all over the world for a week of strategic planning and collaboration with the other 12 Equality Groups. It’s the highlight of my year.
  • Outside of your work, what are some of your personal interests or hobbies that bring you joy?

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