As the leader of a responsible business, I believe that we must balance the interests of society with those of our stakeholders–our customers, employees, and investors. And increasingly these interests are aligned.
Last year was tumultuous, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global inflationary pressures, increasing political polarization in the United States–amidst other crises. These immediate concerns are exacerbated by the longer-term issues of climate change and inequality. As I look back on fiscal year 2023, the significance of these societal challenges continues to grow, as does Autodesk’s response to them.
Autodesk technology is the digital foundation of the built environment, industrial production, and media and entertainment sectors. Our ability to enable better, sustainable outcomes through our tools is a responsibility we take very seriously. As the world’s premier Design and Make Platform, we have a consequential opportunity to support the creation of a better world for all. You will see the results of our endeavors to date outlined in Autodesk’s FY23 Impact Report.
We continue to drive meaningful progress against our corporate Impact Strategy, with concomitant investments across our Carbon Fund, Diversity & Belonging initiatives, and the Autodesk Foundation. All of this is in service of our continuing investments in our customers’ ability to deliver on their sustainability and diversity goals.
We organize our work into three complementary strategies: managing our own environmental, social and governance (ESG) opportunities and risks, delivering on our customers’ ability to meet their climate and diversity goals, and finally, investing in innovations that will advance our industries toward positive outcomes.
We apply innovative, industry leading solutions to measure and manage the ESG risks associated with our business.
We are well on our way toward achieving our Diversity & Belonging goals that we set forth a few years ago. And we are moving up the value chain with our climate commitments–specifically investing in renewable energy grid capacity and evolving our procurement of carbon offsets to transition from avoidance toward removal.
All these initiatives add value to Autodesk by reducing risk, and cost, associated with running our business–through higher employee retention rates, lower energy costs, and increasing regulatory compliance.
Our millions of customers are our biggest lever supporting positive change.
In addition to providing free access to our portfolio of professional tools and curriculum to more than 100 million students, educators, and accredited institutions worldwide, we also believe in equitable access for under-represented populations. Our recent $1-million grant to Howard University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering underscores this commitment to build the pipeline of Black engineering talent in the US.
We are investing in solutions that are purpose-built for carbon management. We have deployed energy modeling and embodied carbon capabilities across our industry solutions this past year. Our water management tools improve efficiency and reduce waste by design. And our new industry cloud offerings have native sustainability capabilities, like energy analysis and environmental modeling features.
Our overarching technology strategy is to deliver an end-to-end platform that enables a seamless flow of data for our customers. Designers, architects, engineers, construction and manufacturing professionals, building and asset owners–all our customers–will be able to seamlessly access data and insights at the right time to achieve their most important sustainable outcomes.
Through investments in R&D as well as our wider ecosystem, we are supporting the innovations that will transform industries.
Our investments in generative design and artificial intelligence are yielding real-time insights into embodied carbon, and our Foundation has recently invested in low-carbon concrete, chemical recycling of critical metals and innovations in nuclear fusion. These investments will yield meaningful breakthroughs in materials efficiency, energy generation, and circularity.
And innovation will not succeed in a vacuum. We have partnered with several organizations driving collective solutions to cross-industry challenges–including World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Global Alliance for Building and Construction, as well as the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers.
We recognize the increasing significance of this work.
We need to do our part in the global transition toward a low-carbon and inclusive future, and are excited about the opportunities and benefits this will yield for our business–and for society. By focusing on these issues internally, we can then help our customers to address the same challenges, and subsequently transform the industries we serve.
We appreciate your support on this journey. Autodesk has a significant role to play in helping our customers design and make a better world for all. Together, we can deliver a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future.