Embarking on a climate-conscious journey with Net Zero Cloud
At a glance
In an effort to better align with our purpose and achieve our ESG (environmental, sustainability, and governance) goals, Slalom formed a Sustainability + Impact team to help us put these goals into practice.
Partnering with Salesforce, we implemented Net Zero Cloud to help bring a culture of sustainability to life.
Key Technologies / Platforms
- Salesforce Net Zero Cloud
Aligning climate action with core values
At Slalom, the complex problems we solve are grounded by a simple purpose—to help people and organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all. To accomplish this purpose, we put people first. This tenet informs how we show up for our employees, communities, and the environment.
As a people-first organization, Slalom embraces the opportunity to do good in the world. So in 2020, we began to shed light on our contributions to environmental and social progress by defining a set of goals around social impact and sustainability. Each goal serves as a driving force, helping teams at Slalom fulfill our purpose and build better tomorrows for the people impacted by our work.
That’s where three key environmental initiatives were identified:
- Achieve carbon-neutral operation emissions and switch to 100% renewable energy by 2030
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis
- Implement waste management programs across Slalom offices
To put these goals into practice, we formed a Sustainability + Impact (S+I) team with the objective of scaling environmental initiatives globally. The first step was to address gaps in emissions data and form a baseline understanding of Slalom’s carbon footprint. But without a tool driving automation, the team was beholden to a tedious emissions tracking process that was primarily managed in Excel. Team members had to hunt for tracking methodologies online, sift through emails and spreadsheets to locate data points, and perform calculations manually.
Partnering for a better planet
As the S+I team worked tediously toward closing data gaps, Slalom’s stakeholders and partners also doubled down on environmental engagement. Salesforce, one of our key technology providers, encouraged its partners to strive for science-based emissions targets by 2024.
With other partners requesting carbon disclosure assessments, employees expressing interest in driving climate action, leaders wanting to lean further into core values, and clients looking for guidance on their own sustainability journeys, we quickly found an opportunity to help pioneer a path toward a healthier planet.
To be a true partner in environmental action, Slalom needed to shift focus from unlocking siloed data from past emissions to creating strategies for future climate projects. That transformation called for a solution that would enable collaboration, acting as both a centralized location for data and an environmental activity management system. With the right platform, we could move beyond emissions reporting and accounting to launch a greater commitment to climate action.
Building a toolkit for environmental action
After evaluating all the best available options, Net Zero Cloud, a sustainability management platform from Salesforce, was identified as the optimal solution for bringing a culture of sustainability to life at Slalom. Because Salesforce implemented Net Zero Cloud internally to achieve net zero emissions and 100% renewable energy across its own operations, we knew we had a dependable partner.
And with a long history of successful implementation projects with Salesforce, our team trusted that they would continue to support Slalom’s sustainability journey as Net Zero Cloud expanded in features and capabilities. We needed a platform and partner that could help guide the growth of our environmental strategy, and Net Zero Cloud’s robust feature roadmap made that ambition practical.
Additionally, because of its seamless integration with our existing Salesforce ecosystem, Net Zero Cloud could be broadly implemented, giving employees the visibility needed to engage with the cause. Between support from Salesforce and a more effective way of engaging the workforce, Net Zero Cloud would enable Slalom to mature our approach to sustainability.
In early 2022, our development team began to tailor the platform to the company’s needs and create customizations that align with our sustainability goals. As a premier implementation partner with years of experience in optimizing Salesforce solutions for our clients, we had the internal capabilities to take on a 10-week build phase with two essential workstreams.
Workstream #1: A sustainability management platform
- Streamline and automate emissions reporting to better inform future environmental initiatives
Workstream #2: A custom impact management module
- Leverage a Sales Cloud integration to track the impact of client projects and internal activities at Slalom for alignment with sustainable development goals (SDGs) to increase both environmental and social resilience
As a sustainability management platform, Net Zero Cloud eliminates the friction from emissions tracking and paves the way for a data-driven approach to sustainability. Its emissions dashboards and data visualizations help the S+I team identify top greenhouse gas contributors, pinpoint high-emitting offices, streamline data audits, and generate emissions forecasts. Now, the team can access a single-pane view of Slalom’s environmental performance while cutting the tracking process from several months to just a few weeks with the power of automation.
To keep climate initiatives in focus and track the impact of implementation projects alongside our broader sustainability goals, we also built a tailor-made, innovative module. The team calls it OARs—objectives, actions, and results—because it keeps the whole company rowing in the same direction toward more sustainable outcomes.
With a custom-built dashboard seamlessly managing impact tracking efforts, the module gives the S+I team visibility into the early phases of projects so they can lend their expertise where it drives the most progress. And with an intuitive platform measuring and reporting on the effects of environmental initiatives across the company, the annual Impact Report is both more robust and easier to generate.
For example, if Slalom is helping a client transition from on-premise servers to a cloud provider that uses 100% renewable energy, the team can tag it in Sales Cloud as work that aligns with the SDGs to increase the use of clean energy, then measure the impact alongside their broader climate goals. The S+I team can then leverage those success stories to socialize how Slalom and our clients are driving momentum around climate change.
“I love the platform and the versatility of it. We can centralize information, compare progress, see consumption improvements, and tie actions with goals and initiatives—all in one place,” said Teresa Davies, the S+I team’s program manager.
Galvanizing an organizational focus on the future
For the next phase of the project, we’ll bring scope 3 emissions tracking into the system. These indirect, value chain emissions are notoriously difficult to pinpoint in the professional services sector. Salesforce will help us lead the way by connecting Net Zero Cloud with our ERP to include emissions data from activities like business travel, purchased goods, and teleworking.
And as more data is added to Net Zero Cloud, the system’s forecasting gets more powerful. The team can access a visual trajectory of how Slalom emits as we grow, arming us with insights that enable a proactive approach to reducing high-emitting activities.
“With Net Zero Cloud, everybody at Slalom will have the power to contribute to our climate goals. It communicates a better understanding of our carbon footprint—how it looks over time, the regional breakdowns, and areas for improvement—which is much more effective at inspiring action among our workforce than a spreadsheet,” said Davies.
As we make contributions toward a healthier planet, our teams are eager to share their learnings with future partners. From streamlining emissions tracking to building customizations that measure the risks and opportunities associated with social and environmental goals, the insights gained along the way will be invaluable in helping clients navigate and measure their own sustainability initiatives.
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