Salesforce, the worldwide leader in CRM software as a service, introduced a new “cloud” a couple weeks ago. This one is somewhat of a departure from their previous business-oriented offerings. Sustainability Cloud is designed to track a company’s carbon usage and their progress toward reducing their carbon footprint.
From a technology standpoint, this is not an overly impressive offering. Salesforce has packaged a number of business processes, goals, and dashboards into a cloud product. However, I do think it accomplishes several very important things.
• First, it raises the visibility of carbon accounting. I had certainly heard of carbon accounting but had never seen marketing related to a product before. Bringing awareness to your company and teams should help drive further commitment to protecting the environment.
• Second, it puts a common platform out in the market so companies can compare efforts and effectiveness of their carbon reduction efforts across the global community – of like-minded companies.
• Third, for the stakeholders, Sustainability Cloud provides real-time reporting tools so they can track progress.
• And fourth, at some point despite some short-term rollbacks, there will be actual auditing of carbon expenditures.
Besides the templates, there are a number of resources Salesforce has already aggregated that can save weeks of time for a company interested in tracking their efforts. Included in Sustainability Cloud are multiple reports and data sources from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the UK Department of Environment Fisheries and Rural Affairs, and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I would also think that as more internet of things (IoT) devices and collectors come online, this data can be flowing into a single source.
This all sounds very altruistic and touchy feely, but consumers want to know their purchases come from companies that share their values. Globally 44% of people (think customers!) feel that companies are not doing enough to reduce their environmental impacts. 87% believe that businesses should put at least equal weight on supporting their communities, and, probably most importantly, 60% of Millennials indicate that a sense of purpose is the reason they chose their current employer. *
Obviously real carbon accounting and sustainability programs are the domain of large companies and Sustainability Cloud is priced accordingly at $4k/user/month or $50k/user/year. Perhaps with enough success and visibility in this space Salesforce will come out with a “Professional” level suite, or that may be picked up by competitors.
I view this a little like Salesforce’s commitment to the non-profit sector. They have the power and the pulpit to make a difference, and they are choosing to use it in ways that drive positive benefits.
If you want to know more about what Salesforce has to offer, please give us a call at 1-800-880-1960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you explore the value of a CRM and how it can positively impact your organization – environmentally or otherwise.
* "Millenial Survey" Deloite 2016 Purpose in Practice