Salesforce Announces Ocean Protection Initiatives, Appoints Whitney Johnston Director of Ocean Sustainability
Marking World Oceans Day, CRM solutions provider Salesforce announced today an acceleration of the company’s initiatives to protect and restore ocean ecosystems, including the appointment of Dr. Whitney Johnston as Director of Ocean Sustainability.
Last week, Salesforce CEO and Co-Founder Marc Benioff signed the “Ocean Super Year Declaration” letter from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Friends of Ocean Action, which highlights the urgency for global action. The company also announced that it has joined the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration effort, aiming to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean, with Salesforce Chief Impact Officer and EVP of Corporate Relations Suzanne DiBianca serving on its board as an advisor.
The company also announced the launch of a new data tool from University of California Santa Barbara-based The Benioff Ocean Initiative, in partnership with Salesforce visual analytics company Tableau, outlining how much plastic is currently being prevented from entering the ocean by capture technologies operating in rivers around the world, and how this data can be used for change.
In addition, Salesforce released results of research that it sponsored to better understand consumer perceptions around oceans. The study was conducted by The Harris Poll last week, surveying over 2,000 adults in the U.S. According to the study, 90% of respondents believe the long-term health of the oceans will have an impact on them personally. Plastic pollution is seen as the greatest threat to oceans, followed by climate change.
The new announcements are the latest in a series of sustainability-focused initiatives by Salesforce. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will introduce climate obligations in its supplier procurement contracts, and the company also released a new platform aiming to help companies to streamline how they track and measure supply chain carbon emissions. Salesforce also recently announced that it will actively advocate for clear and consistent science-based climate policies that facilitate a just and equitable global transition to a 1.5°C future as part of its public policy platform, and has called for mandatory climate reporting by companies.
Prior to joining Salesforce, Johnston worked for five years at cloud-based innovation software platform IdeaScale, most recently in the role of VP Innovation Strategy and Customer Success, and also serving on the company’s Carbon Neutral committee to develop and implement a plan for IdeaScale to become carbon neutral in 2020. She has also served as Ocean Policy Adviser to U.S. Congressman Sam Farr.
In her new role, Johnston will focus on leveraging the full power of Salesforce for the benefit of oceans through policy, technology, investing, philanthropy and stakeholder engagement.
“Ocean health shows up in everyone’s lives, from the food we eat to the oxygen we breathe. While unhealthy oceans spell trouble for people’s pocketbooks, dinner plates, and peace of mind, working to protect our oceans presents an enormous opportunity to address today’s biggest crises — inequality, biodiversity and climate change. That’s why I’m so proud to lead Salesforce’s new oceans sustainability program — to harness the full power of Salesforce on behalf of our oceans.”