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5 Insights on How Sustainability Meets Career Innovation

Bridgette Austin

June 28, 2022

Customer Success leaders share how leading with personal values like sustainability can create a satisfying career in tech — and improve the planet.

There’s a fundamental shift happening in the modern workforce. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are contemplating their sense of purpose — not just in their personal lives but also at work. In fact, 65% of respondents to Gartner’s Hybrid and Return to Work Survey➚ stated the pandemic made them rethink the role of work in their lives while shifting their views on the value of the world beyond the workplace.


At Salesforce, our constant is that business is the greatest platform for change. We’re also driven by a core set of values — trust, customer success, innovation, equality, and sustainability — that help make our work at Salesforce meaningful. In our Sustainability Meets Career Innovation webinar, Carlos Villalpando➚, Success Architect Director for Net Zero Cloud, and Cristina Miller➚, Client Partner Senior Director for Public Sector, shared how our values-driven culture enables them to align their careers in a way that’s authentic and impactful, while improving one of our company’s key stakeholders: the planet.


Carlos and Cristina highlighted their work accelerating customers’ journey to net-zero emissions with Net Zero Cloud➚, how Salesforce’s Customer Success team➚ is helping companies and government agencies reach new heights in their industries, and why when it comes to hiring sought-after tech talent, it all comes back to values.Here are five valuable takeaways from their virtual conversation on how you can align your own career with your passions and core values.


1. On helping organizations reduce their carbon footprint with Net Zero Cloud

CARLOS: Salesforce officially announced sustainability➚ as a company core value earlier this year. It's one of our north stars for how we do everything as a business, and it guides us into the future along with our other core values trust, customer success, innovation, and equality.


We want to help organizations accelerate their journeys to a net-zero emissions world. That's why we created Net Zero Cloud — a global solution that enables companies to take tangible steps to achieve carbon neutrality. The planet needs climate action now and Salesforce is on a journey to help make that happen in a scalable way.


CRISTINA: One reason I love Net Zero Cloud is that it’s the same platform used to run apps like call centers aiding emergency response workers ... you're not going to need to become an expert in something new in order to make a difference in our future and reduce emissions.


It's the same tool you're using for something else, and that's super exciting. And it makes it that much more frictionless to make an impact on your emissions.Another cool thing about our industry is that people weren't necessarily talking about sustainability as a value in their businesses 5 years ago. I could pivot, start working on Net Zero Cloud, and help government clients leverage it. I think that's what's so cool about how this industry evolves. It keeps you current, taking your skills and applying them in different ways.


Learn how Salesforce is helping to create a sustainable, low-carbon future for all. 


2. On creating a more sustainable future for tomorrow’s generation

CARLOS: I'll tell you a personal story. I have a 9- and 11-year-old. The 11-year-old is starting to really care about the environment. The other day, he wanted to buy something with some money he had saved. He started asking questions about two different companies that provided the same product he wanted. His decision came down to which company was doing more things to help the environment.


It was a very dawning moment, because, eventually, this 11-year-old will become a purchaser of the future. And he will start asking for certain things that maybe 5 years ago were not there. So, in this new digital landscape, we need to start thinking about every action that we do as a company and every action that we advise a customer to do to make sure they don't have an impact on our environment and the emissions they generate.


Read how Carlos, a 25-year veteran in technology, is using his job to change the world. How One Director Is Using His Job to Change the World➚

Carlos and his family at Arches National Park in Utah

3. On encouraging cross-industry innovation and collaboration

CARLOS: When talking about sustainability, this is one of the few areas where you can grab two competitors in a roundtable and discuss the efforts they're doing to make their companies more sustainable and environmental-friendly. They will talk to each other. We haven't seen that in any other industry.


CRISTINA: In my industry, I see the benefits of Salesforce as a platform vs. a point solution. If you think about it, the government is the biggest purchaser in the U.S. Just like Carlos’s son being able to make purchasing decisions, the Salesforce platform could be used to facilitate the types of purchases the government makes. By being able to easily insert that next-level feature and saying “let’s make buying decisions based upon how this is going to impact our future and report upon it”. It could become a naturally integrated part of their process and that’s the cool thing about being a platform and adding whatever next thing we need to work on together as a world.


4. On staying true to your values

CARLOS: Look back to your values and determine what makes you tick. It's not just, “I know these five technologies work for these industries.” Of course, that helps. But for me, it was to have a purpose and demonstrate an impact on what I do. It's not just walking into the virtual office and making a dollar for a day's worth of work. It was to look my son in the eye, and be able to say, “What I did today had an impact on the world.”


CRISTINA: Where I see some consultants fall short is not being able to see the forest for the trees if I can use another sustainability pun. If you are not thinking about customers — what’s their mission, why they're paying you to be here, and what problem you're solving — you're not going to give them the best value of a solution. When thinking about what is actually going to move the meter on emissions, it all comes back to values. And that applies to every industry.


5. On pivoting your career into tech

CRISTINA: What I think is really cool about our Customer Success Group is that it combines technically skilled people with those who are more functional. For instance, when I started, I had a CRM background, which gave me great context to become a consultant. I also love getting to know people, selling a little bit, motivating them, and getting them excited. Those are very applicable skills, even though, technically, I didn't start my career with a technical background.

There’s no cookie-cutter fit. We're looking for alignment with values. In fact, we're kind of anti-cookie cutter in terms of what we're looking for in candidates. We love a variety of experiences, perspectives, and types of personalities that are going to ultimately help our clients solve their hardest problems. That's the work that we do.

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