Salesforce pledges $300M to climate change investments

Salesforce on Thursday announced the San Francisco company would be giving $300 million to new climate investments toward reforestation and restoration.

 CEO Marc Benioff, and his wife, Lynne, pledged $200 million of that themselves. 

Half of the Benioff's pledge will go to, a project of the World Economic Forum launched in January 2020 to "conserve, restore and grow" one trillion trees globally by 2030.

The other $100 million is what is known as an "impact investment" rather than a donation. The Benioffs’ Time Ventures fund will back "ecopreneurs" launching eco-friendly solutions. 

In terms of Salesforce's contribution, the company will donate $10 million a year for the next decade to nonprofits working in ecosystem restoration and climate justice, according to a statement from the company.

"We're in a planetary emergency—a climate crisis that impacts everyone, especially for the most vulnerable among us," Marc Benioff said in a statement. "We need to apply every strategy possible to protect and preserve our planet. Every country, company, community, and person has a responsibility to act now—the cost of failing to address this global threat will be catastrophic."

The Benioff Time Tree Fund will focus on indigenous and community-based forest management and mitigating the increasing impacts of climate change on the most at-risk communities and natural ecosystems in emerging and developing countries, Salesforce said. 

Since 2016, the Benioffs have given $68 million in climate-related grants.

And since 2010, the couple has donated $200 million to UC San Francisco’s children’s hospitals. 

Salesforce, which employs 65,000 people, paid no federal income tax in 2020 despite having $2.6 billion in net income in the fiscal year through January 2021, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.