Salesforce Pledges to Tackle Climate Change and Ecosystem Degradation- to the Tune of $300 Million!
Marc and Lynne Benioff of the cloud computing giant, Salesforce, announced on October 28th their pledge of $300 million to go towards fighting back against the effects of climate change and working to restore essential ecosystems around the world.
The timeframe suggested was a gradual involvement over the next decade, contributing as, when, and where it is needed the most. Enormous sums of money were not the only thing promised: an additional 2.5 million staff hours of volunteering from Salesforce directly, was also pledged.
Where Is the Investment Coming From?
There are three legs to the financial investment pledged by the Benioffs:
- $100 million is coming directly from Salesforce as a company, as is the promise of volunteer hours. Both the money and the time are to be spread between various projects and non-profit organisations.
- TIME Ventures, the Benioffs’ personal investment fund, dedicates a further $100 million to be poured into further work.
- A newly-established one-of-a-kind fund named the Benioff TIME Tree Fund launched by the powerful couple is dedicated entirely to reforestation. It also comes with a $100 million balance.
All three funds are owned and operated by Marc Benioff as the CEO, Chairman, and Co-founder of Salesforce. Lynne Benioff is also at the helm of TIME Ventures and the Benioff TIME Tree Fund.
Where Exactly Is It Going?
Across the board, all the funds are committed to climate action in one way or another.
The TIME Tree Fund is pledged to 1T.org to help speed up reforestation around the world. It is also going towards supporting developing countries as they battle the effects of climate change, providing help and education about the topic in equal measure.
Investing in emerging entrepreneurs is what the TIME Ventures fund has always been about. This $100 mil is specifically for ecopreneurs working on innovative ways to reverse the already devastating effects. As of now, the funds have already gone towards green-focused companies including:
- NCX: The largest carbon credit provider in the USA. It connects net-zero companies with landowners and forest management to protect habitats and sell carbon offsets.
- DroneSeed: An initiative for replanting forests after bush fires. Drone technology significantly reduces the time it takes to plant seeds and monitor tree growth.
- Mango Materials: A science-based bio-recycling company that turns waste into biopolymers- a biodegradable alternative to plastics.
- Loam Bio: Connecting science, farming, and carbon sequestration. Loam bio uses microbe research to help boost agricultural efforts and control carbon emission.
There is no specific area that Salesforce’s direct pledge is headed. All we know is that it aims to support volunteer efforts, enhance ongoing charitable endeavours, and develop relevant technology that could help to save the planet as we know it.
Salesforce Climate Action History
Salesforce and the Benioffs are not newcomers to helping the fight against climate action. The company proudly advertises its Net Zero status and uses 100% renewable energy to power all its operations. It also prides itself on delivering an entirely carbon-neutral cloud.
Marc Benioff is a founding partner of 1t.org alongside his wife, and they also run the Benioff Ocean Initiative, which focuses on taking action to save the seas.
The giant corporation also works with other businesses to help them too to reach Net Zero and move their focus toward a greener, more sustainable way of working. In fact, eco-thinking and conservation efforts are woven into the core of Salesforce and all the work it does.
Since 2016, Marc and Lynne Benioff have donated around $68 million worth of grants to eco and climate-focused operations.
Why Choose Now to Invest so Heavily?
Climate change is something we’ve known about for a while now, but the attention surrounding it has never been greater. There is a tangible want and need for change that companies as large as Salesforce cannot ignore.
The pressure has never been more potent for people in positions of power to act, possibly because all the signs point to this being the last chance to change. Salesforce announcing this mammoth pledge at the end of 2021 could mark the first of more similar commitments. At least we hope it does!
Experts say that the next decade is a make-or-break time for the Earth’s natural landscapes and the species that rely on them to survive. Salesforce Chief Impact Officer, Suzanne DiBianca stated that it will be a crucial time and that businesses have a responsibility to do something.
In short, now is the perfect time for this investment because it simply cannot wait any longer.
The Salesforce Sustainability Vision
According to the Salesforce website, the company vision for sustainability is:
“To accelerate the world’s largest businesses to Net Zero, sequester carbon by conserving, restoring, and growing 1 million trees, protect the oceans, and energize the ecopreneur revolution.” – Quote taken from salesforce.com.
The $300 million pledge announced in October is certainly in line with this vision and could go a long way towards spurring on the essential changes that must happen now.
Over the next several years, this financial commitment from Salesforce, the Benioffs, and the funds they control could potentially mark a new wave of nature-focused business and philanthropy.
If the eco-driven enterprises that benefit from this pledge meet the expectations of Marc Benioff and his conservation advisors, it really is an exciting opportunity to change the world for the better and stop climate change.
We’d love you to take some time and have a look at our climate commitments too, and join us in creating a pledge for your business!