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Prioritizing data-driven climate action: Crowley navigates its net zero goals

Summary

  • Companies have a responsibility to hold themselves accountable and be transparent about their environmental impact.
  • Sustainability is an opportunity to rebuild corporate structures with smarter technology and more inclusive values.
  • Understand where emissions come from and how tracking their sources across the enterprise can be challenging. 

The growing commitment to sustainable business practices is more than a trend — it’s a global imperative. The drive toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions can have a tangible, real-world impact on humanity. It extends beyond spreadsheets, board meetings and quarterly reports, into the very air we breathe.

Companies have a responsibility — to themselves, to their stakeholders and to the global community at large — to hold themselves accountable for their environmental impact.

59%

of business executives say they’re either planning to use or actively using cloud technology to improve their ESG strategy.

Source: PwC Cloud Business Survey



Indeed, more and more consumers and investors expect transparency from the companies they patronize as a prerequisite to earning their trust and justifying their buy-in. Looking at The Climate Crisis: 77% Say Businesses Aren’t Doing Enough, a recent survey Salesforce conducted, of over 2,300 adults in the US and UK, 57% believe they have the power to influence change in businesses through actions such as boycotts, while 81% feel a company’s values influences consumer spending. In addition, the SEC’s latest climate change disclosure rules mean that companies must quickly transition to investor-grade reporting, powered by technologies such as Salesforce Net Zero Cloud.

Charting an ESG strategy and sustainability journey — where to start?

Sustainability is also an opportunity. Companies like Crowley, a logistics, government, maritime and energy solutions company serving the government and private sectors, understand that the push toward sustainability, while necessary in its own right, also provides the perfect moment to rebuild corporate structures with smarter technology and more inclusive values.

The VP of Sustainability’s take

“Being the first maritime user of the Net Zero Cloud, Crowley is streamlining its functionality and providing feedback to Salesforce to make the tool even more robust. The ultimate goal is to have an accountable, transparent and science-based platform that helps us reach our ambition.”

Alisa Praskovich
Vice President, Sustainability — Crowley
View Crowley’s 2021 Sustainability Report

By the year 2050, Crowley aims to reach net zero emissions across all scopes by implementing an ambitious suite of changes. This includes reframing its corporate values to include sustainability as a pillar and initiating an effort to help improve benchmark reporting to uncover opportunities to help reduce operating costs by reducing carbon emissions. The organization has also set a goal to become the most sustainable maritime and logistics solutions company in the Americas. 

To accelerate carbon reporting that’s critical to charting its net zero journey, Crowley turned to Salesforce and PwC. Together, we’re collaborating to implement Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, a cloud-based solution for tracking and executing net zero emissions accountability that can help increase visibility while integrating, automating and streamlining data collection.

With Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, Crowley is able to more efficiently monitor and manage its path to net zero.

Why is sustainability reporting important?

From the groundswell of public opinion in favor of sustainability to the clear benefit of reducing carbon emissions, companies have incentives for getting a more complete picture of their carbon footprint. 

It’s one thing for a company to say it values sustainability. It’s another thing to do something about it. Developing and executing an effective program that helps drive ESG objectives can be a herculean challenge and many companies currently rely on outdated, manual methods of emissions data collection. This results in a lengthy, tedious reporting process, involving disconnected data sources all over the world, which can take a full-time employee months to compile.

So why haven’t more companies taken the leap like Crowley and why is technology necessary to the sustainability story? For one, it helps collect and verify data faster. The SEC's recent proposed rules on climate disclosures have increased the needs and expectations to accelerate timelines. Tech solutions like Net Zero Cloud can help capture the data regulators are expecting, while also playing a critical role in helping define ESG metrics, scope and boundaries, what systems the information comes from and who the owners are inside the company.

Where do emissions come from?

Tracking emissions across the enterprise can be challenging because they come from so many sources.

Scope 1

Scope 2

Scope 3

Direct emissions from owned and controlled sources such as emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces and vehicles.

Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling.

Other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain by customers and/or suppliers.

Crowley needed a single source of truth that could take emissions data from a variety of disparate resources — including company fuel consumption in 36 countries and island territories — and present it in a single, unified platform. PwC was able to help connect the ESG strategy dots by introducing the Salesforce Net Zero Cloud tool to Crowley.

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This cloud-based technology offers automated dashboards that populate in real-time with emissions data from a multitude of sources, providing greater visibility of previously siloed information and enabling up-to-the-minute insights on carbon emissions accountability. The increased transparency helps build trust internally and with customers.

What’s next?

Crowley is now developing a decarbonization plan with leaders across its business units to meet near-term and long-term emissions reductions goals. Net Zero Cloud can enable Crowley to track and reduce emissions across its value chain, but integrating data from owned sources of emission is just the first step.

Crowley estimates that it can reduce overall emissions by 4.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, or the equivalent of removing more than 900,000 cars from the road every year.

With a view of its carbon footprint — coupled with automated dashboards that provide unified, actionable insights — Crowley can first track and reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Down the road as the system evolves, PwC can help Crowley source and integrate data from outside its immediate ecosystem to set a course to track and help reduce Scope 3 emissions and calculate an even clearer picture of its carbon footprint. 

Net Zero Cloud can also help Crowley conduct an annual greenhouse gas inventory to stay on target. Other future forward enhancements to the tool will include extending a solution to suppliers for Scope 3 emissions and implementing a community portal as a system of engagement.

Because Net Zero Cloud is a clicks-not-code solution, it saves on implementation and ongoing optimization costs. It works out of the box to create configurable data sourcing, aggregation, calculation, validation, reporting and analytics. As Crowley’s needs evolve, admins can configure the application on their own, without possibly requiring assistance from IT development staff.

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Ron Kinghorn

ESG Consulting Solutions Leader, PwC United States

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Ian Kahn

Salesforce Practice & Alliance Leader, New York, PwC United States

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Nithin Bendore

Principal, Salesforce Consulting, PwC United States

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Sammy Lakshmanan

ESG Partner, PwC United States

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