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Dreamforce 2021: Benioff declares Salesforce as net zero and Slack ubiquitous across stack

Marc Benioff, CEO and chair of Salesforce, declares his company net zero in a keynote at Dreamforce 2021 in San Francisco, alongside update on Slack integrations

Marc Benioff, CEO and chair of Salesforce, declared the company to be net zero across its “value chain” and announced the attainment of 100% renewable energy for its operations during his keynote at Dreamforce 2021 in San Francisco.

The supplier also announced what it calls “Sustainability Cloud 2.0” to accelerate customers’ path to net zero, enabling organisations to track and reduce their carbon emissions.

In a statement, Benioff said: “I’m proud that Salesforce is one of the few companies to have achieved net zero and 100% renewable energy, but we can’t stop until we embrace every solution and get every business on board. Together, we can sequester 100 gigatons of carbon by restoring, conserving or growing one trillion trees; energise an ecopreneur revolution to develop innovative climate solutions; and accelerate the Fortune 1000 to reach net zero.”

The supplier’s Sustainability Cloud is said to help customers track and reduce their carbon emissions and take action through a full view of their environmental footprint with investor-grade data for customisable environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. Declared customers include Clif Bar, Crowley Maritime, ISDI, MillerKnoll, Uhuru Corp and Xero.

Salesforce said it was donating $1m to American Forests and One Tree Planted to “advance tree equity and urban canopy in lower income communities and neighbourhoods and to reforest disaster-affected areas”.

It also supports Trees for Jane, a campaign to protect and restore the world’s trees and forests, inspired by Jane Goodall.

Digital headquarters

Alongside the ecological announcements, the supplier fleshed out the integration it has been doing with Slack, which it acquired in 2020.

“Our mindset about work has shifted from a place you go, to something you do. Every company needs a digital HQ to connect its employees, customers and partners, and thrive in a work-from-anywhere world,” said Bret Taylor, president and chief operating officer at Salesforce. “Organisations around the world build their digital HQs on Salesforce and Slack so they can work better and grow faster.”

The company launched Slack integrations in August 2021 across sales, service, marketing and analytics (Tableau). At Dreamforce, it announced integrations across more products, including commerce, experience, platform, Trailhead, MuleSoft and Quip, and its industry clouds and products including sustainability, corporate and investment banking, healthcare and life sciences, philanthropy, non-profit and education.

In addition, it launched new Slack functionality, including Clips, billed as a new way to create and share audio, video and screen recordings through any channel or direct messages in Slack, letting people work more flexibly.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, said: “Building your digital HQ means thinking carefully about the digital infrastructure that connects everyone in your business, helping them find new ways to innovate, collaborate and stay connected. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for every company to reinvent themselves and make work more flexible, inclusive and productive.”

Kelly Garcia, chief technology officer at Domino’s Pizza, was one customer who endorsed the Slack integration work. “Domino’s has a long history of innovating with delivery, and it’s important for us to lead when it comes to the consumer experience,” he said. “The joint power of Salesforce and Slack has helped Domino’s stay efficient, while delivering a unique ordering option for customers.”

In the keynote, Benioff quipped: “I used to have a tower [the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, pictured above]. It’s around here somewhere. I had a tower in a lot of places. But now I just don’t have a physical headquarters. I am not there all that much – about 15% of the time that I used to be. Now I have a digital headquarters and that is more important. I can bring everyone in and empower them. I can practice inclusive capitalism.”

At Dreamforce 2018, Benioff told attendees, including that elite cadre of Salesforce customers the company calls “trailblazers”, to revolutionise capitalism to be inclusive.

At the time he drew a comparison with Salesforce customer Brunello Cucinelli, a fashion house that espouses a “humanistic capitalism, paying its workers 20% more than the industry norm and donating 20% of its profits to charity”.

On stage, Brunello Cucinelli – the founder of the eponymous Italian company – invoked a comparison between Benioff and Lorenzo de’ Medici, the famous Florentine patron of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century.

This year, Dreamforce is mostly an online affair, but there were 1,000 trailblazers in Howard Street, near the Moscone conference centre, in San Francisco.

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