“During the last 18 months, we have all experienced unprecedented change, uncertainty and upheaval, primarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” The company said in a statement. “The global health crisis, coupled with the racial justice crisis and the climate crisis, create both risks and opportunities that companies, governments and society must address to succeed in this changing world. We have been reminded that we are all connected, and that taking care of our stakeholders, including our planet, has never been more important.”
Billionaire Marc Benioff, 57, and his wife Lynne have pledged $200 million to plant trees and encourage environmentally conscious companies.
In addition, the software company he founded and lead, Salesforce, announced that it will donate $10 million annually for the next decade to NGOs focusing on ecosystem restoration and climate justice.
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Half of the Benioffs’ recently pledged $200 million would benefit 1t.org, a World Economic Forum initiative started in January 2020 to “conserve, repair, and grow” one trillion trees globally by 2030. The Benioffs previously contributed an undisclosed sum to 1t.org.
The remaining $100 million will go to Benioff’s Time Ventures fund for impact investment in support of “ecopreneurs”, entrepreneurs whose company’s are driven by a concern for the environment such as decreasing emissions, sequestering carbon, and safeguarding natural resources.
Time Ventures fund has already invested $100 million in climate-focused firms such as Planet Earth Imaging and Mango Materials, which manufacture renewable bioproducts.
The Benioffs had previously donated $200 million to UC San Francisco’s children’s hospitals since 2010.
According to Forbes, and the San Francisco Chronicle Salesforce, headquartered in San Francisco and employing 65,000 people, paid no federal income tax in 2020 while earning $2.6 billion in the fiscal year ending in January 2021,
Benioff’s net worth is estimated by Forbes to be slightly more than $11 billion; he was rated 74th on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans issued earlier this month. According to Forbes, Benioff has a philanthropy score of 3, indicating that he has donated between 5% and 9.99% of his fortune to charitable causes. The Benioffs have signed the Giving Pledge, which commits them to give at least half of their wealth to charity organizations.