Initially developed for Salesforce’s internal needs, Net Zero Cloud is a tool ranked leader by Forrester Wave, enabling companies to track and manage all their greenhouse gas emissions. Its implementation is simple in its most standard version, but requires an integration project if you want to customize the solution and take into account emissions from third-party companies.

1 – What is Salesforce Net Zero Cloud?

Salesforce Net Zero Cloud is a tool that enables companies to track and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through their energy consumption. This tool is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (aka GHG Protocol), an international protocol designed to establish a regulatory framework for better defining greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions fall into three categories. Scope 1 and Scope 2 categories correspond to emissions emitted directly or indirectly during product manufacturing. Scope 3 corresponds to indirect emissions produced, for example, during the transport of raw materials or products, or during employee air travel. They are more difficult to account for because they are generally issued by third parties – partners, subcontractors and other suppliers.

2 – Why did Salesforce develop it?

Salesforce wanted to become a “net zero emissions” company. To achieve this, the publisher built a tool initially for internal use to measure its carbon footprint, identify ways to reduce and optimize it, or offset the residual footprint in partnership with eco-entrepreneurs. In fact, the publisher has financed some of them.

3 – What advantages does it offer over competing tools?

Other platforms offered by IBM, One Trust and Sinai Technologies occupy the same niche as Salesforce Net Zero Cloud. Forrester Wave lists around fifteen of them, but puts Salesforce Net Zero Cloud in the lead. Among its qualities is the ability to run simulations over several years, for example to measure future emissions in the event of moving house, changing energy supplier or installing solar panels.

4 – Why deploy such a solution in 2024?

Until 2023, the implementation of such a tool was essentially a matter of internal desire, comparable to that of Salesforce, to reduce its GHG emissions. The benefit was measured in terms of image, through internal and external communication. Today, companies are driven by accelerating regulation. In 2022, it took the form of a European directive called CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting), which also covers the social aspect (equal opportunities, working conditions, human rights) and the governance aspect (ethics, anti-corruption). The CSRD first obliged large companies to provide reports on their environmental impact and the actions taken to reduce it. Since the beginning of 2024, this obligation has been extended to companies with at least 250 employees and sales of at least €20m in Europe. This perimeter will be gradually extended. Switzerland has adopted a similar approach, with an ordinance in force since January 2024.

5 – Is Net Zero Cloud customizable and open?

Salesforce Net Zero Cloud can be highly customized in no-code mode. The tool is also very open, thanks to APIs and the possibility of developing in-house connectors, notably through access to the data model. We can connect to energy suppliers (to collect consumption data), marketplaces (to buy carbon credits) or cloud platforms (to import the carbon footprint of applications or choose greener options). Thanks to this openness, the company can publish its data or encourage its suppliers to do the same.

6 – Can the solution be deployed quickly and easily?

Net Zero Cloud offers standard reports and calculation engines based on best practices, enabling the solution to be deployed fairly quickly in standalone mode, as long as the Scopes 1 and 2 categories are restricted. This approach is within the reach of most companies. However, ORNIDEX and the other Nextedia group entities are offering a 4-6 week support package called the Net Zero Cloud Starter Kit, which includes awareness-raising, auditing, carbon footprint measurement and configuration phases.

7 – When to call on specific skills?

Integrating Scope 3 data is more complex, as it is external to the company. To gain greater precision, rather than working on the basis of assumptions, you then need to collect this data and customize the calculation engines, indicators and other reports, which can be complicated because the tool’s data model is quite heavy. It may also be necessary to automate the extraction of data from PDFs using AI algorithms, or to develop a secure portal that will enable certain suppliers to enter their emissions data themselves. Thanks to its Net Zero Cloud-certified consultants, ORNIDEX and the other Nextedia group entities are able to assist companies with even the most complex projects.

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Fatiha Zelmat, CEO & Co-Founder of Ornidex

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Lamine Hadj-Arab, COO & Co-Founder, Ornidex

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Cyril Louis, CEO & Co-Founder of Mavericx


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