Emma Stewart is the head of Autodesk Sustainability Solutions, a team that aims to make sustainable design easy, insightful, and cost-effective for Autodesk’s millions of engineering and design customers.
While at Autodesk, Emma has founded the company’s Sustainable Design Living Lab program which uses Autodesk facilities to test software that greens existing buildings. She’s also founded the Sustainable Operations program, named best-in-class by the Carbon Disclosure Project and co-developed Autodesk’s a Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-stabilizing Targets (C-FACT) methodology, an open-source, science-driven and business-friendly approach to greenhouse gas target-setting.
We’re happy to announce that this good work hasn’t gone unnoticed as Emma has been appointed to the Advisory Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB); a standards organization serving publicly traded US corporations, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the investment community. In this role, Emma will advise and raise awareness of SASB, enabling capital markets to recognize the environmental and social capital sustainability depends on.
According to a report on Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P500) by CDP, 77% of public companies are facing material risks due to climate change, while 78% recognize it as a business opportunity. Also, 98% of cities reported climate change as a material risk.
Investors are increasingly demanding disclosure from companies on material environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. Currently, corporate disclosure comes in standalone annual reports and is not integrated with SEC financial filings. Oftentimes ESG information is inconsistent and incomparable, which makes it difficult for investors to use.
SASB is filling this gap by creating sustainability accounting standards for 80+ industries. The standards are designed for the disclosure of material sustainability issues in mandatory SEC filings, such as the Form 10-K. SASB standards help companies comply with existing regulation—Regulation S-K—to report on material issues in the Form 10-K. SASB standards also help companies improve performance on sustainability issues most likely to impact long-term value creation. With SASB standards, investors gain a complete view of sustainability risks and opportunities facing companies. Investors can then use this information to benchmark companies and direct capital accordingly.
Autodesk is also doing their part to make sustainable design “easy, insightful, and cost-effective” with two offerings: new and emerging commercial Sustainability Solutions for engineers, architects, and designers as well as C-FACT for Cities and C-FACT for Corporations, free and public tools for cities and enterprises to set their climate targets with scientific recommendations to stabilize the climate.