Here, Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer, and Eric Loeb, EVP of Government Affairs, discuss Salesforce’s participation in the events and how it aligns to the company’s own sustainability efforts.
Q. What’s the connection between Salesforce and UNGA?
DiBianca: As a global company founded with the belief that business can be a force for good, Salesforce has had a presence at the UNGA for more than a decade. We’ve even adopted 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of our vision to transform the world for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We chose to support these 10 goals because they align closely with our business values and represent issues where we believe we can make the most significant positive impact.
This year marks the halfway point in the implementation of the UN SDGs, adopted by UN Member States in 2015. We’re eager to meet with our counterparts in government, civil society, and business to discuss progress we’ve made together, and make plans for accelerating our momentum through the next seven years.
Loeb: Salesforce is supporting world leaders in pursuing the SDGs by helping measure progress with data. Accountability and progress go hand in hand — we need to understand where we’re succeeding, and where we need to refocus, in order to achieve the SDGs.
Salesforce is supporting world leaders in pursuing the SDGs by helping measure progress with data.Eric Loeb, EVP of Government Affairs
To help us all collectively measure our progress toward reaching the UN SDGs, Salesforce made Net Zero Cloud available globally in February to help organizations reach their climate goals. Helping organizations prepare to report on their ESG goals, identify the fastest path to net zero, and easily view data on their emissions and supply chains to find ways to further reduce carbon output, will move us closer to this goal.
Q. Why is it important for Salesforce to be a part of Climate Week in addition to the UNGA?
DiBianca: The world is facing a climate crisis, and no one can solve it alone. In 2021, Salesforce set forth our Climate Action Plan, laying out six priorities for ourselves and offering them as a model to other organizations committed to the fight to cap global warming at 1.5°C. Our core values — Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability — are inextricably linked to how we think and what we do around climate action, and that’s why we’ve integrated these priorities into the core of our business.
But we need everyone on board. We are representing Salesforce at Climate Week and the UNGA to share what we’ve learned with our peers, and deliver solutions to public- and private-sector organizations that share our nature positive, net zero ambitions. Most importantly, we’re here to learn, listen, and empower innovators and ecopreneurs who share our vision.
Loeb: Our voice and our influence are powerful tools to drive change. That’s why Salesforce works with lawmakers and regulators around the globe to support policies that positively impact our employees, customers, communities, business, and planet.
For example, in the United States, we supported the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 because it included profound clean energy and climate investments that will promote a more sustainable future, reduce pollution, and create jobs — especially in communities that have been historically marginalized.
We’ll continue using our voices and expertise to lend support to efforts we believe will improve peoples’ lives and benefit our stakeholders.
Q. You can’t have a conversation about tech without touching on AI. How is AI showing up at Climate Week and the UNGA?
DiBianca: Generative AI is at the top of everyone’s minds. At Salesforce, we’re focused on using AI to help our customers solve problems — and when it comes to sustainability and AI, there’s so much potential.
At Salesforce, we’re focused on using AI to help our customers solve problems — and when it comes to sustainability and AI, there’s so much potential.Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer
Salesforce will be leading several discussions at Climate Week looking at generative AI, and how it can drive a more just and equitable future. We’ll be looking at ESG reporting efficiencies, climate adaptation and mitigation, and opportunities to advance equity by helping to mitigate bias and create new pathways of access to education. We hope discussions like these will help businesses and governments find ways to accelerate climate action using every tool at their disposal.
Loeb: We’re also looking forward to engaging with global leaders in government and industry to build support for risk-based and interoperable regulatory frameworks that protect people and provide the most trusted generative AI tools and experiences possible.
Last month, we launched our new AI Acceptable Use Policy to align with industry standards and our partners, to protect our customers, and to ensure an ethical AI experience from product development to deployment. We aim to use this policy to help inform lawmakers about the importance of accounting for risks when drafting regulations that will guide the future of AI. Many of our sessions during UNGA with partners like Leaders on Purpose, USCIB, Concordia, UNESCO, and Goals House explore ways in which generative AI can help accelerate progress towards specific SDGs.