CRM company Salesforce has announced the launch of its own marketplace for carbon credits, aiming to pave the way to net-zero emissions for companies of all sizes.
At the annual Dreamforce conference, Salesforce gave a first glimpse of its new Net Zero Marketplace, which aims to make the purchase of CO2 certificates easier and more transparent.
The new marketplace, built on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud, connects buyers to a selection of pre-vetted carbon credit providers whose projects have been verified by external rating agencies. Vendors are involved in projects ranging from forest conservation to tree planting, wind farms and more.
Carbon credit controversy
Although most companies agree on the pursuit of net zero as a means of curbing industry’s warming effects on the planet, using carbon credits to offset emissions is a contentious issue.
Some argue that offsetting simply does not have the desired effect because it opens the door to greenwashing and therefore discourages organic emissions reductions, while others have raised concerns about the risks associated with poor quality, fraudulent and double crediting.
While Salesforce acknowledges these sensitive issues, the company believes it has found the best possible solution under the circumstances.
Speak with Tech Radar ProAri Alexander, head of Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, said the company had concluded that given the urgency of the situation, society could not afford to wait for a mature carbon offsetting industry to emerge.
“There are competing ideas about what quality means in the carbon offset market today. It is not our job to determine what quality looks like; Tens of thousands of experts are fiercely debating what standardization around quality should look like,” he said.
“The role we can play is to shed light on the market and help it move towards greater transparency, trust and quality.”
Given the possibility that the Net Zero Marketplace could inadvertently help circulate substandard or even fraudulent credits designed to absolve companies from the responsibility to take real climate action, Alexander told us that was the case both Not either.
“We strongly believe that companies must undertake deep decarbonization and set aggressive plans to do so. But we also recognize that we cannot afford to wait for specific actions that are beyond their control. The hard truth is that no company today can decarbonize solely by making their own decisions – it’s a very complex value chain.”
“We believe that carbon credits play an important role in taking climate action now, as part of the short-, medium- and long-term planning that accompanies broader decarbonization in the places you control.”
Another benefit of the marketplace, Alexander argued, is that it empowers smaller companies that may not have the resources or expertise to build a portfolio of carbon credits. He told us the marketplace will be “the first of its kind” when it comes to democratizing access to offsets.
In the future it is even possible that the marketplace will be opened to individuals who want to offset their personal carbon footprint. Although Salesforce does not allow individuals to purchase carbon credits for themselves (to protect against individuals who may attempt to profit from carbon credits in secondary markets), it may allow employees to purchase carbon credits through their organization.
The Salesforce Net Zero Marketplace is slated to go live in the US next month and will be rolled out to additional markets in 2023.
https://www.techradar.com/news/salesforce-is-trying-to-take-the-complexity-out-of-the-push-for-net-zero Salesforce is trying to take the complexity out of the push for net zero