Longtime USGBC member and 2020 USGBC Leadership Award recipient, Autodesk, is not just leading in 3D design and engineering and entertainment software. With 15 LEED certifications under its belt, it also includes the Autodesk Foundation and is at the helm of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
From its LEED Platinum Silver Oak Winery in Napa, CA, to the LEED Platinum Dubai Museum of the Future, to registered LEED Gold San Francisco International Airport, Autodesk powers its buildings, data centers, and cloud services with 100% renewable energy. It has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, and beginning in fiscal year 2021, Autodesk has set a new target for making its entire business climate neutral. This is not only good for the environment, but also humans who rely on the environment for resources to survive.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees used AutoDesk 3D software to design a refugee settlement city of 600,000 people in Bangladesh. This resulted in — literally — life saving designs for the Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
While the Autodesk Foundation makes an immense number of contributions, the people and programs Autodesk supports in the name of a healthier future are extremely notable.
Products and services that low-income consumers can afford are often inadequate, inappropriate, or simply unavailable. With the Autodesk Foundation’s support, Catapult Design helps organizations develop, prototype, and commercialize solutions that meet the cultural, social, and financial needs of underserved communities.
Off-grid communities lack the infrastructure for wired appliances like kitchen equipment, fans, electric razors, or even reliable lighting. With backing from Autodesk, Amped Innovation solar power generators and electronics are affordable for people earning less than $4 per day, yet powerful enough to support the demands of a small business.
And in off-grid homes, open fires for cooking and light can create health problems and often don’t meet household energy needs. But with a grant from the Autodesk Foundation, Biolite, a team of innovators on a mission to “transform the way we Cook, Charge, and Light our lives off the grid,” has brought life changing technologies — and particularly its regenerative stoves — to communities who need them the most. And in large part because of Autodesk’s support, BioLite has successfully delivered cleaner energy to more than 127,000 people, offsetting 137,300 tons of carbon dioxide and saving users in energy-poor communities $25.5 million in fuel costs.
Companies like Autodesk, and foundations like the one at its core, exemplify the idea that effective, meaningful corporate social responsibility is still possible and will still play a critical role in forging a healthy path forward.