As part of Salesforce’s celebration of Earth Month 2022, Suzanne DiBianca, Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Chief Impact Officer for Salesforce and one of the key leaders at the company responsible for its ambitious commitments to taking bold climate action, announced that Salesforce would be co-leading an unprecedented cross-sector, global collaborative effort “aimed at driving consistent standards around high-quality blue carbon projects and credits.”
“Blue carbon is the carbon captured by ocean and coastal ecosystem… that is increasingly used by companies to offset their carbon emissions on their paths to reach net zero by 2050,” Salesforce explained. “As businesses, investors, and governments look to scale the blue carbon market, it’s critical that investments are made in high quality projects while also yielding community leadership, transparency, and standardization.”
As part of that effort, DiBianca shared that Salesforce would partner with the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance to drive at least $500 million of investment into coastal projects by 2030.
“At the moment, there are too few on-the-ground solutions which can be a source for high-quality, verifiable blue carbon credit products ready to go to market, and no clear benchmarks or definitions of what a high-quality blue carbon product is — or should be,” Karen Sack, Executive Director for the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, said in a statement. “It is also important to develop demand-side guardrails to ensure that blue carbon credits are additional — not an alternative — to efforts to reach net zero. We are delighted that Salesforce is joining [us], and to be working jointly with them and other partners on this effort.”
Investments in nature, such as the ones Salesforce will drive through their partnership with ORRAA, are one of the core solutions through which DiBianca encourages business leaders to join her and Salesforce in taking bold climate action, especially at the intersection of sustainability, equity, and racial justice.
“Business leaders can look to two mitigation actions, reforesting the planet and saving the oceans, for inspiration,” she wrote in a February op-ed. “One area you can look to in particular is in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. On average, communities of color have 33% less tree cover than white communities, according to American Forests. Planting trees in urban areas leads to significant benefits like sequestering carbon, improving air quality, absorbing rainwater and beautifying communities.”
Salesforce’s new focus on advancing standards for high-quality blue carbon projects comes shortly after the news that the organization had announced it would be adding sustainability as the software company’s fifth core value — alongside trust, customer success, innovation, and equality.
“One way for companies to accelerate change during this moment of profound global change is to embed sustainability and responsibility into the core of their business,” DiBianca told Forbes of the announcement. “The companies that do this early will lead and drive great value not just for their business but for all stakeholders.”
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