Salesforce's Erin Decker: Renewable energy provides return on investment

For sustainability managers or leaders who care about the environment, pushing for renewable energy can be tough when company leadership doesn't see the green light in front of them. As Salesforce's Erin Decker pointed out in this Studio C interview, fighting the good fight often means showing the leadership that going green can mean saving cash, not just trees.

Decker, Salesforce's senior manager of sustainability, sat down with GreenBiz's Shana Rappaport at GreenBiz Forum 2015 in Phoenix to talk about how companies can help fight climate change.

"Obviously, climate change is the most serious and pressing environmental issue of our time, and it's sometimes been a challenge to move the needle for some companies," Decker said. "But renewable energy is a really great way to do that."

Using renewables, she pointed out, can make both company accountants and environmental groups happy. "To me, that's the panacea of sustainability: where you can both do things that are changing systems that are for the good of the environment (actually helping the environment while doing it), and providing business value back to the companies," she said.

This is possible because the falling cost of renewables such as photovoltaic panels are presenting real competition to conventional grid power sources such as gas and coal.

"There's return on investment now," Decker said. "We're seeing in a lot of places that renewables, from a cost perspective, has parity with grid energy."