Salesforce has unveiled a global collaborative effort aimed at driving consistent standards around high-quality blue carbon projects and credits. Blue carbon is the carbon captured by ocean and coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrasses, that is increasingly used by companies to offset their carbon emissions on their paths to reach net zero by 2050.
As businesses, investors and governments look to scale the blue carbon market, it’s critical that investments are made in high quality projects while also yielding community leadership, transparency, and standardization, Salesforce says. “We want to leverage the power of nature to capture carbon and fight climate change. As investments in the blue carbon market grow, we must ensure that projects truly safeguard biodiversity, protect coastal and marine ecosystems, and ultimately improve the livelihoods of people in local communities,” says Whitney Johnston, director of ocean sustainability at Salesforce.
The initiative will be co-led by Salesforce and leading environmental organizations, including the World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy, along with the Meridian Institute, to support the stakeholder engagement process. A draft set of principles and definitions will be circulated for public comment in June 2022 at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon.
As part of its ongoing commitment to help develop the emerging blue carbon market, Salesforce set a goal to purchase 1 million tons of high-quality blue carbon credits, equivalent to more than $10 million, over the next four years.
Pew states that since 1970, blue carbon ecosystems have lost an estimated 35% of their global cover. However, the same report says “inventorying these habitats can be the first step in measuring existing carbon stocks and advancing restoration of these ecosystems to increase sequestration, which in turn would allow jurisdictions to meet greenhouse gas and climate adaptation goal,” which would continue to allow companies to advance their net zero goals.
Other companies are working to sustain ocean biodiversity by implementing tactics like reducing microplastic usage, and creating tools designed to help companies move away from plastic use.