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Salesforce reaches effective Net Zero energy usage, announces more climate initiatives

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Salesforce announced its notable achievement at the Dreamforce event, which is the company's annual customer extravaganza. The company announced that it has achieved effective Net Zero energy usage across its entire value chain. This has been possible by maximizing the use of renewable energy while purchasing carbon offsets when that's not possible.

Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer and EVP for Corporate Relations at Salesforce, at the Dreamforce event, spoke about how the company is proud to be an example of a large organization taking positive climate action.

“I’m very excited about our commitment to climate action around being a Net Zero company today. And this is not in 2030, not in 2040, not in some other future moment. We know we have to accelerate, and we have gotten to Net Zero today including our entire value chain, which is Scope 1, 2 and 3. Very few companies have gotten here," she said.

Salesforce also announced updates to its Sustainability Cloud, a product that is created for other organizations to manage their climate initiatives. Ari Alexander, GM of Sustainability Cloud, broke down the jargon to Techcrunch for simpler understanding. Alexander explained how a company's carbon footprint is measured in three main areas - Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3.

“Scope 1 and 2 are what you own, what you operate, what you control and then what energy is procured in order to power your operation. Scope 3 is everything else your company touches, which is the up and down the value chain. The vast majority of the emissions that a company is responsible for are actually not in their direct operational control, but relate to their upstream suppliers that they procure goods and services from, or in the case of other industries the downstream use of the product or the life of a product"

When a company like Salesforce announces that they are Net Zero, that involves everything the company controls and every company it involves in business with. At times when a company can't ensure if a partner or vendor is in compliance with the standard set by the company, it buys "high-quality carbon offsets." Carbon offsets are reductions in carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions in order to compensate for the emissions made elsewhere.

Salesforce also announced updates to Sustainability Cloud, which is a commercial tool created for other companies using the same tools and tech Salesforce uses itself. The company also published a blueprint based on its own plans to be a more sustainable organization - the Salesforce Climate Action Plan (PDF).

Lastly, Salesforce is accelerating its tree planting goals to grow 30 million trees this year. The plan also involves working with other organizations to plant, grow and restore 100 million trees in a 10 year period, which is something the company is pushing to make happen much sooner.

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