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Business as a Platform for Change

Marc Benioff’s Letter to Stakeholders: “We’re Achieving Success from Anywhere, Together”

Marc Benioff

Quick Take

Today, Salesforce released its annual Stakeholder Impact Report, which showcases Salesforce’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.


We are living in unprecedented times. We’re facing multiple crises all at once — a global health crisis, an economic crisis, a racial justice crisis, and a climate crisis. As hard as it is, I believe a moment like this reveals the core values and culture of every company — who we are, what we stand for, and what kind of future we want to build together.

We are incredibly grateful to all the frontline and essential workers who have risked their lives to protect ours over the past year. We hope that you — our stakeholders — and your families are staying safe and healthy, and our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one or friend to this terrible pandemic. We’ve been reminded what is truly important — love, compassion, empathy, and taking care of one another.

Across Salesforce, we’ve embraced this spirit by doubling down on the culture of service that has defined us for 22 years — our commitment to serving all stakeholders, including stockholders, customers, employees, partners, the planet and the communities in which we work and live. Working together, we’ve shown once again that stakeholder capitalism contributes to the long-term value of our company and that business is the greatest platform for change. Under extremely difficult circumstances, mostly working from our homes, we’re achieving success from anywhere together.

Helping organizations and governments navigate the pandemic

We’re serving our communities. Last year, we delivered 50 million pieces of personal protective equipment to more than 300 hospitals around the world to help first responders, doctors, and nurses care for patients during the pandemic. And together with the Salesforce Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we donated more than $30 million to support response efforts across some of the hardest-hit cities around the world.

We’re helping organizations and governments slow the spread of the virus and quickly deliver vaccines. With Work.com, companies and governments around the world are succeeding in the new all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. More than 245 million people in the U.S. get their state’s COVID-19 data through a Tableau dashboard. Over 150 international, federal, state and local government agencies, and healthcare organizations, are using Salesforce technology for vaccine management and COVID-19 tracking. In partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, we’ll help ensure that 2 billion vaccines will be delivered equitably in 190 countries.

Committing to equality in our workplaces and across the globe

As we respond to the pandemic, we continue to live our core values, including our commitment to equality. As systemic racism and violence against the Black community rose to the forefront in the past year, we established a new Racial Equality and Justice Task Force to drive systemic change at Salesforce and society across four areas — people, purchasing, philanthropy, and policy. Over the next five years, we will invest $200 million and 1 million volunteer hours with organizations working to advance racial equality and justice at the global, national, and local level. We are also committing to spend $100 million on Black-owned businesses and $100 million on minority-owned companies by fiscal 2024. We continue to advocate for police reform, civic engagement, and economic empowerment policies.

“Over the next five years, we will invest $200 million and 1 million volunteer hours with organizations working to advance racial equality and justice at the global, national, and local level.”

Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce

Last year, we added two new leadership and overall representation goals, committing to double the U.S representation of Black employees in leadership (VP+) and increase our U.S. representation of Black employees by 50% by the end of fiscal 2024. We’re also working toward our goal of ensuring that underrepresented groups make up half of our U.S. workforce by fiscal 2024. To date, we’ve invested more than $16 million to ensure equal pay across gender and race, and we conduct annual assessments to address unexplained pay gaps. We realize that every institution and company, including Salesforce, has so much more to do to ensure equality in our workplaces and across the globe.

We’re equipping people worldwide with the skills they need to succeed from anywhere in the new all-digital economy. Globally, more than 2.8 million people have now used Trailhead — our free online learning platform for everyone — to improve their skills and compete for the 4.2 million new jobs the Salesforce ecosystem is expected to create by 2024. By reinventing our programs into digital experiences, we’ve reached hundreds of millions of Trailblazers with our Leading Through Change series, Dreamforce, and 34,000 customer-tailored Dreamforce to You sessions.

Serving our communities and our planet

As a leader in corporate philanthropy, giving back has been part of our culture since our founding, when we committed 1% of our equity, employees’ time, and product to serve our communities. Since then, we have volunteered 5.7 million hours and helped 51,000 nonprofits and schools run on Salesforce. Last year, together with the Salesforce Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we contributed approximately $100 million to our local communities, bringing our corporate giving since our founding to more than $430 million in grants. This includes more than $120 million to support education with a new focus on distance learning during the pandemic. In addition, in the last year alone, we donated approximately $1.4 billion in free and discounted technology for nonprofits and schools. Inspired by our example, more than 12,000 companies worldwide have joined the Pledge 1% movement.

Amidst it all, we continue to protect our planet. Salesforce is a net-zero operations company and all of our products are carbon neutral. Last year, we reduced our market-based carbon footprint by 40% and we remain on track to reach 100% renewable energy by fiscal 2022. We’re working to conserve, restore, and grow 100 million trees over the next decade as part of 1t.org, the global movement to plant 1 trillion trees. As a founding sponsor of the global platform Uplink, we’re helping connect more than 10,000 ecopreneurs around the world as they develop the next generation of innovative solutions to drive sustainability. Importantly, we’re holding ourselves — and others — accountable for our global commitments. With Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, companies across the globe can embed sustainability into their business, meet growing customer and stakeholder expectations, and contribute to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, we’re helping to lead the global movement to align business practices so we can achieve the SDGs and build a safer, more equal, and sustainable future for us all.

Our commitment to serving all of our stakeholders, including our shareholders, customers, employees, partners, communities, the planet, and the communities in which we work and live, is among the many reasons Fortune named Salesforce one of the Most Admired Companies in the World for the seventh year in a row. We were also proud to be the only employer named on Glassdoor’s 2021 Employees’ Choice Awards in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and France.

As always, none of this impact and success would be possible without you. On behalf of all of us at Salesforce, thank you for placing your trust in us as your partner. Thank you for your tireless commitment, every day, to putting our shared values into action. As hard as the past year has been, I remain as optimistic as ever about our ability to build a better world — because we’re building it in partnership with you.

Marc Benioff Signature

Marc Benioff

Chair and CEO, Salesforce