CRM solutions provider Salesforce announced today a new commitment to purchase 280,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy in emerging markets over the next eight years, in a move aimed at delivering clean energy access in regions highly dependent on fossil fuels, and supporting the company’s sustainability goals.
As part of the new initiative, Salesforce said that it has entered a contract with high-impact renewables aggregator Powertrust, and that the company will buy Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs), third party-certified and tradeable market instruments aimed at mobilizing new sources of capital to support the deployment of small scale renewable energy projects.
Nick Fedorkiw, CEO, Powertrust, said:
“Salesforce was instrumental in the development of this high-impact procurement approach. However, the impact of this commitment goes far beyond Salesforce’s purchase. Companies across the globe have an appetite for high-impact renewable energy purchases and can’t find the supply they need. Now, as proven by Salesforce, companies can open up new sources of supply while maximizing social impact.”
Salesforce said that its D-RECs purchase will focus on projects in non-traditional markets, helping to deliver social and environmental benefits to communities in areas including Brazil, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. The company estimated that its purchase will unlock an estimated $65 million of investments in new solar capacity, and help avoid more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
In addition to helping scale new projects in emerging markets, Salesforce said that the initiative will help the company to maintain its commitment to match 100% of the electricity it uses with renewable energy. Salesforce first committed to this goal in 2013, and announced that it had reached the 100% renewable energy mark in 2021.
Megan Lorenzen, who leads power sector decarbonization for Salesforce, said:
“Nearly 95% of corporate renewable energy purchases today take place in North America and Europe. We need to ensure the rest of the world isn’t left behind. Small, decentralized renewable energy projects can, in many cases, deliver greater impact than large utility-scale facilities. Especially in regions where energy access is limited, these projects can positively transform lives and communities around the globe.”
The new commitment is the latest in a series of sustainability-focused initiatives by Salesforce, including the recent launch by the company of a new carbon credit marketplace, and a $100 million commitment in May 2022 to support technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere, as part of the First Movers Coalition (FMC). Salesforce has also announced the introduction of climate obligations in its supplier procurement contracts, and the integration of ESG performance in its executive compensation programs. Last year, Salesforce added Sustainability as a “Core Company Value.”