CRM company Salesforce has announced the launch of its own carbon credits marketplace, with the aim of paving the way to net zero emissions for businesses of all sizes.
At Dreamforce, the company’s annual conference, Salesforce offered a first look at its new Net Zero Marketplace, which is supposed to make buying carbon credits easier and more transparent.
Built on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the new marketplace connects buyers with a selection of pre-approved carbon credit providers, whose projects have been audited by third-party rating agencies. Suppliers are involved in projects ranging from forest conservation to tree planting, wind farms and more.
Carbon credit controversy
Although most companies are united in the movement towards net zero as a way to reduce the warming effects of industry on the planet, the use of carbon credits to offset emissions is a controversial issue.
Some argue that offsetting simply doesn’t have the intended effect, as it opens the door to greenwashing and therefore discourages organic emissions reduction, while others have expressed concerns about the risks associated with offsets. poor quality, fraudulent and duplicate.
However, while Salesforce recognizes these thorny issues, the company believes it has found the best possible solution under the circumstances.
Talk to Tech Radar ProAri Alexander, head of Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, explained that the company has come to the conclusion that the company cannot afford to wait for a mature carbon offset industry to materialize, such is the urgency of the situation.
“There are now competing ideas about what quality means in the carbon offset market. It’s not up to us to determine what quality looks like; there are tens of thousands of experts debating keen on what standardization around quality should look like,” he said.
“The role we can play is to shine a light on the market and help it achieve a higher level of transparency, trust and quality.”
Pressed by the possibility that Net Zero Marketplace could inadvertently help circulate shoddy or even fraudulent credits used to absolve companies of responsibility for taking real climate action, Alexander told us that it was a case both not That is.
“We believe that companies need to decarbonize deeply and set out aggressive plans to do so. But we also recognize that we cannot afford to wait for certain actions beyond their control. The hard truth is that today no company can decarbonize exclusively through its own decision-making – it’s a very complex value chain.”
“We believe carbon credits play an important role in climate action now, as part of the short, medium and long-term planning that accompanies deep decarbonization in places you control.”
Another advantage of the market, Alexander argued, is that it allows small businesses that may not have the resources or expertise to build a portfolio of carbon credits. He told us that the market will be “the first of its kind”, when it comes to democratizing access to offsets.
In the future, the market may even be open to individuals wishing to offset their own personal carbon footprint. Although Salesforce does not allow people to purchase carbon credits in their own name (to guard against those who may seek to profit from the credits in secondary markets), it can allow employees to purchase credits through intermediary of their business.
The Salesforce Net Zero Marketplace is expected to go live in the United States next month and will be introduced in other markets in 2023.