How Everyone Can Become part of the Movement Towards a Net Zero Future

How Everyone Can Become part of the Movement Towards a Net Zero Future

Authored by Sanket Atal, Managing Director - Salesforce India Operations, Site Lead - Technology/Marketing/Product

The increasing frequency and unpredictability of extreme weather events demonstrates that no one is spared from climate change. To help mitigate this crisis our planet urgently needs smart solutions. Every organization, government and individual have a role to play.

For companies, their brand, reputation, and financial position all depend on having tangible climate action plans. Indeed, according to Salesforce research, 78% of customers say environmental practices influence their decision to buy from a company.

Combining Long Term Strategy with Short Term Action

The first priority in their net zero journey must be to reduce emissions. Each organization should set a 1.5 C goal aligned with science-based targets while focusing on deeply reducing its absolute scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

However, reaching these targets is dependent on long-term systemic changes that will take time to perfect. Companies therefore need solutions today that can have a more immediate impact whilst they work towards their long-term emission reduction goals.

Investing in high-quality carbon credits - when made and used well - can play a critical role in an organization’s comprehensive climate strategy. Businesses aiming to achieve long-term emission reductions can complement their efforts with high-quality carbon credits. Projects can include forest conservation, tree planting, wind farms, solar cookstoves, or better farming methods. In May 2022, Salesforce announced plans to invest $100 million on technologies that will help scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) solutions through 2030.]

The path to purchasing carbon credits can be complex. Buyers want to trust that the carbon credit projects have a positive impact. In addition, providers of carbon credits don’t always have the traditional sales and marketing mechanisms they need to successfully bring credits to the market. This is why Salesforce recently launched Net Zero Marketplace, a trusted platform that makes carbon credit purchases simple and transparent, allowing organizations to accelerate climate positive impact at scale.

Closing the Sustainability Talent Gap

To reach a net zero future all roles should be sustainability roles. We’re going to need an army of qualified individuals working together - from carbon accountants to scientists to ecopreneurs. Yet despite both good intentions and pressure to meet ambitious climate goals, businesses are facing a severe shortage of sustainability talent available to help meet their commitments.

Leveraging a company’s existing workforce can be a powerful solution to solving the sustainability talent gap. According to new Salesforce research of 1,297 global workers, over 8 in 10 want to help their company operate more sustainably. While 3 in 5 are keen to incorporate sustainability into their current role, 88% said a lack of investment in training towards those qualifications is stopping companies from reaching their sustainability goals.

By upskilling existing workers who want to make the jump into sustainability careers, companies can source talent for hard-to-fill roles, while helping employees work towards something they're passionate about.

In the first half of 2022, Salesforce saw nearly 7,000 more completions in sustainability-related education programs via the company’s Trailhead platform compared to the entire previous year. That is almost a 60% growth rate in employees upskilling on sustainability. This came from businesses not only investing in technology like Net Zero Cloud, but actively getting their employees skilled up on the platform. Within the company, employees are looking to upskill in the fight against climate change. With Salesforce’s support, some have even transitioned to making it their full-time job.

Understanding Personal and Corporate Sustainability

As sustainability continues to stay at the forefront of stakeholders’ minds, it’s imperative that business leaders combine short term solutions with long term changes to how they operate.

Through re-evaluating how to create sustainability roles, hire and retain sustainability talent - by providing the right tools and training - they can ensure everyone can become part of the movement towards a net zero future.

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