At the end of January, two leading US technology companies, Accenture and Salesforce joined together to help customers address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The two technology powerhouses plan to bring to market services that help enterprises better track and measure progress in implementing sustainability initiatives. By leveraging Accenture’s Sustainability Services, Salesforce Sustainability Cloud and Salesforce Customer 360, the two companies plan to provide CXOs with better visibility into their historical and current ESG data, including carbon usage, facilitating adherence to regulatory requirements.

Particularly noteworthy in the announcement is that the two companies plan to work together to expand the platform. New capabilities will include not only additional environmental metrics such as water and waste management, but will also incorporate metrics related to social issues, such as diversity and inclusion.

Corporate initiatives in sustainability

Corporate initiatives to promote greater environmentally responsible polices have become increasingly important to a broader audience in recent years. A growing number of customers, investors, and employees want to know that the organizations they support are thinking about the ‘bigger picture’ and prioritizing efforts that contribute to the greater good.

While announcements in the automotive space command widespread attention, efforts to promote greater sustainability are quietly being implemented in other industries as well, including the technology sector. Technology services providers have taken a two-pronged approach to promoting improved sustainability. As a first step, they have vowed to reduce their own carbon footprints, with many French IT services firms assuming a leadership role. The second, and complementary, part of technology providers’ strategies is to help customers reduce their carbon footprints.

Social issues

Newer to this theme of corporate responsibility are initiatives related to social issues. Several tech vendors, such as IBM, Verizon, and Salesforce have for years been promoting greater gender and racial diversity in their own workplaces. Many India- based IT services providers release data on the number of women they employee.

However, the market hasn’t seen the widespread availability of solutions that are directly marketed to customers that address these concerns. Therefore, the announcement by Salesforce and Accenture that they plan to expand their platform to include data related to social and governance issues demonstrates impressive thought leadership.

Salesforce Sustainability Cloud provides users with a platform to track their carbon footprint and report on climate data. Accenture will work with clients to help them integrate Salesforce Sustainability Cloud into their business models while addressing industry-specific requirements.

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