Can Salesforce Compete in the Carbon Accounting Market?

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 13, 2022
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 6-796-727

Core Disciplines: Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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This case describes Salesforce’s development of Sustainability Cloud, a suite of software tools built to help companies measure, track, and report carbon emissions and other sustainability metrics. The goal of this case is to provide students with a background and foundational knowledge of three topics: software as a service (SaaS); environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards; and carbon accounting.

The case places students in the role of the fictional Salesforce vice president of sustainability, who is deciding whether or not to recommend the development and launch of Sustainability Cloud 2.0. She is pondering many issues. Since Salesforce was able to become a world leader in SaaS software, could it become a leader in sustainability software, as well? After analyzing the decision at hand, students should be ready to meet with Salesforce executives and make a recommendation about next steps for the company’s sustainability software products.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe Salesforce’s Sustainability Cloud.
  • Examine and understand environmental, social, and governance (ESG) market trends.
  • Analyze the carbon reporting process and challenges.
  • Evaluate Salesforce’s strategic options.
  • Formulate a recommendation with rationale for whether or not Salesforce should move forward with developing and launching Sustainability Cloud 2.0.