Salesforce strives for 100% renewable energy - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 18, 2017

Salesforce strives for 100% renewable energy

After hitting its energy efficiency goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in April, Salesforce is working toward achieving its building certification goals and achieving 100% renewable energy use as outlined in its newest sustainability report.

The cloud computing software company achieved a carbon neutral cloud in fiscal year 2018 by siting new facilities on clean electricity grids and reducing emissions through resource efficiency while mitigating the remaining emissions through renewable energy credits, according to the recently released report.

Through its efforts, the company found that its biggest source of carbon emissions was its data centers, followed by business travel, office spaces and employee commuting.

By the start of fiscal year 2018, Salesforce said it succeeded in offsetting Scope 1 and Scope 2 data center and supply chain emissions. Other indirect impacts that the company took into account were “manufacturing servers, data center operations, and the impact of [its] customers using Salesforce on their personal devices.”

The energy efficiency programs continue years of work by the San Francisco-based software company to run its operations with more efficient and cleaner energy.

“The cloud runs on electricity, which today relies predominantly on fossil fuels, a major source of global emissions,” Salesforce said in its report. “As a cloud leader, we have a responsibility to help combat the adverse effects of climate change.”

In 2013, Salesforce became one the of first cloud companies to commit to 100% renewable energy for its data center operations. In 2015, it joined RE100, an international group of companies committed to 100% renewable energy.

According to the sustainability report, in late 2015 Salesforce signed two virtual power purchase agreements in West Virginia and Texas, which are expected to generate 227,000 MWh annually and have helped it achieve 35% renewable energy use in FY17. The VPPAs were responsible for 10% of that renewable energy, with 10% coming from its utility and the remaining 15% coming from unbundled renewable energy credits.

Salesforce, a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council's Building Health Initiative, also outlines in the report the company’s efforts to integrate green building practices into its “design, construction and operations.” Its goal is to get LEED Platinum certification for its marquee and headquarters building and are pursuing LEED Commercial Interiors Platinum certification for its newest buildings, Salesforce Tower and Salesforce West.

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