The News: Salesforce sustainability plans are being expanded to help the company accelerate clean energy access in emerging markets while fulfilling its global commitment to matching 100 percent of the electricity used by Salesforce with renewable energy. Under a move announced on February 14, Salesforce will purchase 280,000 MWh of renewable energy certificates to enable small, distributed energy projects in emerging markets in Brazil, India, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia that will deliver renewable energy within underserved communities. Read the Press Release about the sustainability initiative on the Salesforce web site.
Salesforce Sustainability Efforts Aiding Emerging Markets
Analyst Take: Salesforce sustainability efforts continue to garner attention as the cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor works to fulfill its own sustainability initiatives by encouraging and promoting renewable energy in other places.
And with this latest innovative plan to purchase renewable energy certificates for energy projects in Brazil, India, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, Salesforce will do just that by helping to bring renewable electricity directly to underserved and unserved communities around the globe. The investment will be made over eight years.
In what Salesforce is calling a “first-of-its-kind purchase,” the company will use Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) to move the effort forward in those communities. D-RECS are third party-certified, verifiable, tradeable market instruments that can be used to generate new sources of capital that can be used for planning and building new distributed renewable energy projects.
Salesforce said it has contracted with Powertrust, a company that aggregates small projects together using D-RECS to enable high-impact renewable efforts around the world, to make the projects succeed.
The big win in this effort in these regions is that Salesforce is helping them get renewable energy while meeting its own requirements for sustainability through its investments to purchase the D-RECS.
Achieving and maintaining global net zero emissions is high in Salesforce’s sustainability plans for the company and is always ongoing, according to the company. This is done through projects like these that allow Salesforce to continue its efforts while helping other communities as well.
Salesforce Sustainability: Making a Difference
In these latest renewable energy projects, Salesforce is using its D-RECS in underdeveloped markets to help deliver social and environmental benefits to communities.
In Brazil, Salesforce is investing in an effort to replace old diesel generators with a solar-powered microgrid for a remote community along the Amazon River. The goal of this effort is to reduce fuel consumption by more than 50 percent while benefitting about 1,000 people.
In India, the company is investing in a solar-powered microgrid in Nagaland in eastern India, to help provide an isolated mountain community with electricity for the first time. The community will also be trained in how residents can use the energy productively for running needed machinery, including rice hullers.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Salesforce is investing in a solar and power storage installation that aims to improve electricity reliability for a hospital, while also controlling rising electricity costs. The system will power ventilators, human organ support equipment, and operating rooms. Some 30 percent to 40 percent of the direct jobs created by these projects will include female hires.
And in Southeast Asia, Salesforce is investing its D-RECS in a solar microgrid in the Borneo region of Malaysia, where 72 percent of rural Malaysians lack access to electricity. The project will bring together a solar power system with a micro-hydro installation to provide power to many in the community.
Salesforce Sustainability Overview
These efforts by Salesforce’s sustainability and leadership teams are exciting and laudable as the CRM vendor continues its dedicated efforts to make a difference in protecting our planet.
And by providing this example for how to make these kinds of projects happen and thrive, Salesforce extends its progress and leadership in corporate sustainability efforts as a beacon for other companies that share in these noble efforts around the world.
Salesforce says that its purchase of the D-RECS will unlock an estimated $65 million in investments in new solar capacity in these regions, as well as helping to prevent more than 50,000 tons of CO² emissions annually that would have been generated by fuel burning power sources.
We particularly cheer this effort for working to make these energy improvements in emerging areas, rather than in places like North America and Europe. That is because almost 95 percent of corporate renewable energy purchases usually avoid emerging parts of the world, where help is also needed.
By encouraging these smaller projects in remote locations, Salesforce is showing the rest of the corporate world a path to making progress elsewhere as well. Bravo to Salesforce for this meaningful contribution to renewable energy around the world.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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