With climate, winning slowly is the same as losing
The world is undergoing a climate crisis and the need to reduce carbon emissions has never been more urgent. It is the responsibility of everyone, individuals, companies, investors, and regulators to come together and fight the carbon emission challenge. But it is not that straightforward as it sounds like. So, Salesforce introduced a strategic solution for companies to achieve Net Zero by launching its own Net Zero Cloud.
A net zero world is a world in balance. Achieving net zero on a global level means not emitting more greenhouse gases than we can remove, either by natural means or through technological solutions. Right now, we are out of that balance. Time is of the essence. In the words of environmentalist Bill McKibben “With climate, winning slowly is the same as losing.” With that perspective, organisations need to have accurate insights that can support sustainability goals.
We need to understand emission inventory to differentiate direct and indirect sources of emissions classified into Scope 1, 2 and 3.
However, companies who attempt to take action now are facing challenges. The main reasons are:
- No single source of truth
- Poor data reliability
- Manual, time consuming data monitoring
Net Zero Cloud streamlines the capture and auditing of carbon footprint related data. It solves the issues listed above, whereas it enables a structured data model to maintain carbon inventory. Companies can use this to track and reduce carbon emissions which are critical first steps on the path to net zero. They can quickly capture, analyse, and report on their environmental footprint with reliable, investor-grade data. This data is essential for third-party audits, financial filings, corporate reputation, and building trust with all stakeholders.
Net Zero Cloud is preloaded with reference data from:
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
- International Energy Agency (IEA)
- UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol
The carbon inventory calculations are automated based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, which eliminates the need for manual validation. Net Zero Cloud provides a logical workflow that is optimised from start to finish, from identifying assets to include in your carbon inventory, to reporting on data after an external audit.
Calculating carbon footprint will give an organisation critical information about the sources of emissions, and what the biggest opportunities are to reduce them. A robust carbon footprint analysis, including calculating emissions from its entire value chain must be performed. An accurate emissions inventory leads the way for effective climate change targets, short-term reduction strategies, and long-term plans. The diagram below from Salesforce showcases the high-level steps an organisation can take in Net Zero Cloud to effectively quantify emissions.
The standard objects data model of Net Zero Cloud ensures that all the actions and strategies are saved as object records, for example water usage, carbon credits, emission targets, carbon footprints, social governance, suppliers, emission sources or energy consumption. All objects are tightly coupled with standard set up objects to build an easy, comprehensive reporting along with data analysis.
To set up Net Zero in your Salesforce orgs, you’d need to procure the respective licenses from Salesforce and enable the setting from Setup. The in-built app must be assigned to user profiles assigning permissions for the use of the Cloud’s features:
- Net Zero Cloud
- CRM Analytics for Net Zero Cloud
Different profiles can be created with the respective managing and auditing permissions, so that users can manage and have a visibility of the organisational goals.
You’d also need to configure record types for emission calculations, for example:
- For stationary asset environmental sources, such as commercial building and data centre.
- For vehicle asset emission sources, such as fleet vehicle and air jet planes.
- For building energy intensity, such as office floor and commercial building in which the office is located.
There is provision for setting up data processing engines which help to forecast and calculate several factors involved to attain net zero.
Reference datasets can be uploaded into the Salesforce .org and identified as key performance indicators for the company’s mission towards net zero. These can be purchased from government or third-party environmental agencies.
💡 Fun fact and a curious case study:
Formula 1 collaborated with Salesforce in 2022. In addition, F1 will work with Salesforce who have net zero emissions today and have achieved 100% renewable energy for their global operations to accelerate its mission to reach net zero emissions by 2030 but on contrary F1 2023 travel calendar is an unusual map looking at the targets. It stays a mystery to decode this strategy of travel to attain carbon neutrality.
A ‘not-so-deep’ dive into environmental banking and Carbon Credits
Carbon credits are transferable instruments that represent reductions in CO2 or other greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. One unit of carbon credit represents emissions reduction of one metric tonne of CO2, or an equivalent amount of CO2 and other GHGs (tCO2e).
A Net Zero Cloud Manager can:
- Create an inventory of emissions across your company’s assets and procurement activities for a year to provide the total annual emissions inventory.
- Prioritize emissions activities that must be offset.
- Create the carbon credit project records for the projects that were identified by the corporate decision makers.
- Create the sustainability credit records for the carbon credits purchased.
- Allocate carbon credits against annual emissions inventory to offset the emissions.
A Net Zero Cloud Auditor can:
- View the embedded dashboard for the carbon credit allocation.
To manage carbon credits the following object records are a must:
- Carbon Credit Project record for the environmental project that generates carbon credits by removing greenhouse gasses or preventing a certain quantity of greenhouse gasses from being released to the atmosphere.
- Sustainability Purchase record for all sustainability credits purchases, such as carbon credits.
- Sustainability Credit record for all sustainability credits or carbon credits, that are a part of a sustainability purchase. Sustainability credits can be one of a variety of instruments used in proving positive environmental benefits such as carbon credits, renewable energy certificates,
On the next step, the Carbon Credit Allocation record is created and there is always one against annual emission inventory. The scope-wise allocation of credits is automatically calculated and updated in the Scope 1 Allocation, Scope 2 Allocation and Scope 3 Allocation sections of the carbon credit allocation record. Carbon Credit Allocation Item records are also automatically created. The Manager would be able to allocate carbon credits against each level. Similarly, Carbon Credit Distribution records are aligned with parent allocation which helps to audit and track how carbon credits are allocated across carbon credit allocation records.
Hope this article helps the audience to think about the somewhat less considered aspect of business operation and provide a starting point to think about taking action for the environment as an organisation, employee, or investor with the help of Salesforce Net Zero Cloud. Because…
SUSTAINIBILTY IS THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE ENVIRONMENT, THE ECONOMY, AND THE ETHICS.
Go Net Zero!!!