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Salesforce Accelerates Energy Transition with New Climate Investments

Salesforce today announced three major climate investments to accelerate a just energy transition. The company has joined Frontier, an advance market commitment (AMC) to collectively buy more than $1 billion of permanent carbon removal by 2030. Through this membership, Salesforce will commit $25 million to accelerate, scale, and commercialize the most promising carbon removal technologies.

Salesforce has also contracted with Qualitas Energy, a leading global platform for investment, management, and development of renewable energy, to expand its renewable energy portfolio with a new 27-megawatt (MW) solar portfolio in Italy. This marks the first European virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for Salesforce, and will help to uphold the company’s 100% renewable energy commitment1.

Additionally, Salesforce announced $3.95 million in new unrestricted philanthropic grants to seven organizations focused on advancing clean energy solutions.

Why it matters: To avoid the most severe effects of climate change, and ensure critical climate goals stay on track for a 1.5-degree future, it will not be sufficient to reduce emissions. 

  • Large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂) currently present in the atmosphere and oceans must be removed.
  • Public and private entities need to make investments to scale and deploy clean energy technologies like renewable energy. 
  • Everyone must support organizations at the forefront of the clean energy transition so all communities can thrive economically and environmentally. 

Dive deeper:

Salesforce champions the development of carbon removal solutions with Frontier: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that, to meet 2050 climate goals, the world needs to remove billions of tons of carbon every year. Total permanent removals to date are only in the tens of thousands of tons, so efforts to rapidly scale solutions are critical. An AMC model like Frontier aims to give the industry confidence to start building solutions urgently and attract new buyers.

  • Salesforce undertook this ambitious pledge in May 2022 as a founding member of the First Movers Coalition (FMC), whose mission is to leverage corporate purchasing power to decarbonize hard-to-abate industries.
  • By joining Frontier, Salesforce is actively working to fulfill its FMC commitment to contract for $100 million in CO₂ removal solutions. 
  • Frontier’s team of experts will facilitate $25 million of purchases from promising, early-stage carbon removal companies on behalf of Salesforce, focusing on solutions that store carbon for more than 1,000 years, have a path to affordability at scale, and avoid competing for arable land. 

Salesforce expands its renewable energy portfolio: A 15-year VPPA with Qualitas Energy will deliver a new solar portfolio across six Italian regions. 

  • The portfolio is expected to generate enough electricity to power over 4,200 homes annually and save over 21,500 metric tons of CO₂ emissions each year. These projects are scheduled to come online in 2024 and early 2025. 
  • Additionally, as part of the contract, Qualitas Energy will deploy approximately 400,000 EUR to a community fund to support municipal projects and NGOs.
  • Identified municipal projects are based on community needs and include activities such as the requalification of urban trees and the regeneration of parks, green areas, and bike paths.
    • For instance, Bartolini will involve environmental requalification of a public park area that is often affected by waste dumping. Similarly, Santhià will focus on the requalification of tree-lined streets, addressing poor conditions.

Salesforce grants $3.95 million to nonprofits advancing a just energy transition: Organizations receiving the grants are focused on making clean energy affordable and equitable for underrepresented communities, supporting early-stage climate startups, and creating green jobs. 

Soundbites:

  • “To tackle the climate crisis head on, companies must develop a comprehensive climate transition plan. For us, this means investing in and scaling new climate technologies, securing clean energy access in underserved regions of the world, and aligning our corporate philanthropy strategy to ensure no one is left behind.” – Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer, Salesforce
  • “Demand is a critical part of getting carbon removal to climate-relevant scale. It’s fantastic to see Salesforce is turning commitments into contracts, helping the next generation of carbon removal technologies get to commercial scale.” – Nan Ransohoff, Head of Frontier
  • “Virtual purchase power agreements (VPPAs) play a pivotal role in accelerating the transition to renewable energy. Despite VPPAs’ relative rarity in Italy compared to other EU countries, our approach to innovation empowers us to offer solutions that help customers like Salesforce in achieving their climate goals.” – Carlos Gutiérrez, VP of Portfolio Management at Qualitas Energy
  • “At the Honnold Foundation, we believe in harnessing the power of clean energy to help communities and the environment. Salesforce’s support helps organizations like ours scale impactful solutions and bring clean energy to those who need it most. Together, we can combat the climate crisis and build resilient, thriving communities.” – Alex Honnold, Founder, Honnold Foundation
  • “Groundswell’s mission is building community power, and we’re committed to ensuring that the benefits of clean energy are accessible and equitable for everyone. Salesforce’s strategic investments in renewable energy and decarbonization technologies exemplify the kind of corporate leadership we need to drive a just energy transition.” – Michelle Moore, CEO, Groundswell  

For us, this means investing in and scaling new climate technologies, securing clean energy access in underserved regions of the world, and aligning our corporate philanthropy strategy to ensure no one is left behind.

Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer, Salesforce

Learn more:

1Salesforce utilizes renewable energy or renewable energy certificates that are equivalent to the electricity used globally on an annual basis.

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