Accenture and Salesforce have announced a new initiative as part of their long-standing alliance, which is aimed at supporting their clients’ sustainability strategies.
The two companies will bring together Accenture’s Sustainability Services professional services wing, with Salesforce’s cloud capabilities and Customer 360 platform, which they position as supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the heart of the initiative is the Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, built on Salesforce Customer 360, that will provide customers with a view of their corporate environmental impact to help them measure and manage their carbon footprint and transparently report investor-grade climate data.
Accenture will provide related systems integration services around the Salesforce Sustainability Cloud as well as helping join the dots to the industry-specific requirements of its customers. The two companies also plan to broaden the offering over the course of the year to enable customers to track and analyze broader environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) metrics, from water and waste management to diversity and inclusion.
PAC believes that sustainability is a going to be a real and growing focus area for businesses in 2021 as they reset their strategies for the post-pandemic market. It is already starting to have a growing influence on technology investment – we hear anecdotally that well over half of major contract tenders have a much sharper focus on the sustainability credentials and approach of potential suppliers than they did 12 months ago.
It is encouraging to see the technology sector taking the lead on sustainability. Fujitsu is another supplier that has aligned its corporate strategy with the UN’s SDGs, and is running a scheme within its 5,800-strong global delivery team to work in virtual teams to collaborate on projects that work towards one of the 17 goals – which range from combatting climate change to tackling poverty.
Data management is going to be one critical area where digital and sustainability strategies converge, and we suspect many of the combined Accenture and Salesforce installed base will be interested to hear how the two companies can support their increasingly pressing emissions data collection and reporting requirements. While a growing line of organizations are aiming to achieve Zero Carbon status within a two- or three-decade horizon, pressure from investors, regulators and customers is forcing them to show clear, measurable progress on a quarterly or annual basis. If they don’t start today, they will face an ever-steepening curve, particularly with the looming threat of new carbon tax (such as the proposed EU carbon border tax).
PAC is preparing to launch a first major study into how European organizations plan to adapt their digital strategies to deliver on their carbon reduction commitments. If you would be interested in sponsoring this research, please contact Rocio Corro Bustamente (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.