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Salesforce Slashes Emissions to Zero 33 Years Ahead of Schedule
The San Francisco-based company has achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions—fulfilling a commitment it made in 2015—and is now providing a carbon-neutral cloud for customers.
"The cloud runs on electricity, which today relies predominantly on fossil fuels, a major source of global emissions," Salesforce sustainability director Patrick Flynn wrote in a blog post. "As a cloud leader, we have a responsibility to help combat the adverse effects of climate change."
"Climate change impacts everyone—every individual, company, city and nation," Flynn wrote. "And its effects are compounded in the world's poorest regions, amplifying global inequality. Equality is a core value at Salesforce and that's why we're committed to harnessing our culture of innovation to fight climate change and drive toward equality for all."
Salesforce initially set its goal of hitting net-zero by 2050, meaning as of today the company is 33 years ahead of schedule, Cleantechnica noted.
The firm achieved this goal through two 12-year renewable energy agreements with wind farms in Texas and West Virginia, and through the purchase of "high-quality carbon offset projects."
Two of the projects are:
- Proyecto Mirador: Replaces open, wood-burning cookstoves in Honduras with a more efficient alternative, decreasing emissions and deforestation while improving human health through better indoor air quality. Each cookstove reduces CO2 emissions by nearly 15 metric tons over its five-year life.
- India Solar Water Heating: Provides households, small- and medium-sized businesses and institutions with a cleaner and more reliable hot water supply fueled by renewable energy rather than carbon-intensive sources.
In a blog post regarding today's announcement, Salesforce CFO Mark Hawkins explained how companies can save a lot of money by reducing emissions:
"According to a 2013 study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund and the Carbon Disclosure Project, U.S. companies, excluding utilities, could save up to $190 billion by 2020 just by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an average of three percent per year.
"Not only do these efforts positively impact the environment, they positively impact our bottom line. When we improve the efficiency of a data center, it costs less for us to operate that facility. For example, driving more efficient use of electricity in our data centers lowers our utility bills."
According to Hawkins, the company is exploring other ways to reduce carbon usage, such as reporting employee travel volume and making design changes to their offices.
For instance, the firm recently awarded a contract to a local company to supply furniture for the new Salesforce Tower in Indianapolis, he said.
"Not only did the company meet our sustainability standards for the materials it used, but by going local, we avoided the environmental impact and the fees associated with shipping and scheduling deliveries with a non-local supplier," Hawkins wrote.
A number of Silicon Valley companies are stepping up to the plate to combat climate change in the face of a presidential administration seemingly hostile towards environmental protections.
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Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
Here are some of the challenges the river faces.
By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.