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Stakeholder Capitalism

Marc and Lynne Benioff Give $60M to Expand Efforts at Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory

Today Marc and Lynne Benioff announced a significant new gift of $60 million to UC Santa Barbara, one of the world’s top marine research centers.

These funds will expand the work of the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory (BOSL), including Whale Safe, an innovative whale monitoring and alert system launched today to help reduce whale deaths from ship collisions in the San Francisco Bay.

Why it’s important: Protecting the ocean and its ecosystems is critical to the fight against climate change.

  • Whale-ship collisions continue to be a leading cause of death for endangered whales. This year alone, five whales have been killed by collisions with ships in Northern California.
  • The BOSL uses science and technology to address the ocean’s most pressing issues, such as whale-ship collisions, plastic pollution, and deep sea mining.

The Salesforce perspective: This gift builds on Marc and Lynne Benioff’s deep commitment to ocean sustainability, as well as Salesforce’s expansive work on nature-based solutions to address climate change.

  • “Around the world, our oceans and the millions of species that inhabit them are in danger from the extraordinary stress placed on them by humans. Whale Safe is a triple win for the planet – we save the whales, fight climate change, and promote community health by cutting air pollution,” said Marc Benioff. “Lynne and I are so thankful we are able to support the incredible marine science community at UC Santa Barbara and their efforts to develop innovative solutions that will help bring our oceans and planet back to health.”

What they’re saying: “I’m proud of all that our team has been able to achieve thus far at UC Santa Barbara. But the most important work is ahead,” said Professor Douglas McCauley, director of the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory. “The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory is excited to dedicate the full power of UC Santa Barbara science to the urgent fight against climate change. Not only does the ocean depend on winning the climate battle — we all do.”

Fast facts:

  • In 2016, Salesforce Chair and Co-CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne Benioff, established the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory (formerly the Benioff Ocean Initiative).
  • In 2021, Salesforce hired Director of Ocean Sustainability Dr. Whitney Johnston to expand the company’s global impact on behalf of oceans.
  • 9 in 10 Americans (90%) believe the long-term health of the oceans will have an impact on them personally — according to Salesforce research.

Go deeper:

  • Read the full press releases from UC Santa Barbara here and here.
  • See how Salesforce is giving back in the fight against climate change here.
  • Learn about Salesforce’s new Net Zero Marketplace in this press release and interview.

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