Corporate social responsibility is no longer a fad, and sustainability reporting has made its way into many large corporations' annual financial reports. Companies in the energy intensive sector typically say they are streamlining their processes. Carmakers report increasingly more hybrids and electrics on the road and in production. But what does a software company say?
Autodesk, familiar to most designers and engineers, released its 2015 sustainability report this past June, which was entitled, "Sustainability in Action." The report highlighted everything from the company's 27% reduction in internal carbon emissions en route to a 100% renewable energy commitment, to the sustainability solutions it has embedded within its software, to the support of cleantech startups through the Autodesk Foundation. The highlights of the report are contained in this infographic.
Now, the company has taken another step. In line with the reporting framework of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), an international consortium of businesses and environmental NGOs whose supporters include Samsung and BT, it included its sustainability results as part of its 10-K financial report.
Lynelle Cameron, Autodesk's senior director of sustainability and philanthropy, gave Design News the following statement:
"We believe shareholders and other beneficiaries have an interest in viewing sustainability and climate change information alongside financial information. Our future and continued profitability depend on our ability to reveal both the business risks and the business opportunities associated with climate change. Along with more than 100 companies in support of CDSB's statement on Fiduciary Duty and Climate Change Disclosure, we are committing to include sustainability progress in our 10-K report. This is only the latest step Autodesk is taking to address climate change, as we have been transparent about our efforts in every one of our seven sustainability reports includes the progress towards our sustainability goals. Additionally in 2009 we launched C-FACT, our science based methodology, to help other businesses and cities set responsible economic and environmental targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
This latest step continues the alignment by the company with sustainability. Cameron said in an interview earlier this year, "The door is beginning to open for designs that embrace and embody sustainability principles to become more fully appreciated in the marketplace. Autodesk is well-positioned to tackle sustainable design with tools."
RP Siegel, PE, has a master's degree in mechanical engineering and worked for 20 years in R&D at Xerox Corp. An inventor with 50 patents, and now a full-time writer, RP finds his primary interest at the intersection of technology and society. His work has appeared in multiple consumer and industry outlets, and he also co-authored the eco-thriller Vapor Trails.
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