Today we’re thrilled to be hosting an international contingent of energy ministers, government officials, and corporate leaders in the Autodesk Gallery. This event comes at the end of a momentous week at the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial Conference (CEM7), hosted this year in San Francisco. Energy Ministers and government officials from around the world came together with visionary leaders from the private sector to build on the progress made at the Paris Climate summit last December. Autodesk, together with Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft; and leaders from the investment community urged the public and private sectors to continue taking bold leadership and action.
CEM7 was a celebration of public and private sector entities leading by example. On that note, we made three important announcements about our own efforts to lead by example in the transformation to a clean energy future: 1) We are powering our facilities with 100% renewable energy – 4 years ahead of schedule. 2) We are building on this accomplishment with a commitment to procure renewable energy that is more additional, local, and that spurs innovation in markets around the world. 3) We set an internal price on carbon.
1) We are powering our facilities with 100% renewable energy – 4 years ahead of schedule
To accelerate global demand for renewable energy and continue meeting our annual science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, C-FACT, we committed to power our buildings with 100% renewable energy in 2015. Today, we are proud to announce that we achieved RE100 for 2016 through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs). While we celebrate this achievement, we aspire to more, so…
2) We are deepening our commitment to procure renewable energy that is more additional, local, and that spurs innovation
In achieving 100% renewable energy, we learned that there is a lot more to renewable energy procurement than just the number. To truly accelerate innovation and recognize all of the co-benefits renewables have to offer, today we are committing to purchase renewable energy that is additional, local, and that spurs innovation. This is the kind of renewable energy procurement we need to see from the corporate sector, and we hope to help guide the industry on this journey.
We want to catalyze and accelerate renewable energy markets in the areas Autodesk and our customers work. Our goal is to work with our customers to implement the new technologies that they are designing with our solutions, and to experiment with new procurement and financing approaches. In doing so, we hope to pave the way for many more companies, of all sizes, to pursue 100% renewable energy goals.
Renewable energy and clean technologies are essential in the transition to the low-carbon economy. They are also good for business. Our customers and employees have come to expect us to lead by example in driving sustainable business practices ourselves. Investing in renewable energy gives us a hedge against future energy price volatility. Lastly, taking a leadership role in helping to stimulate the market for renewable energy helps us anticipate and respond to the challenges our customers will increasingly face as they design and make the low-carbon built environment for the future. .
3) We have set an internal price on carbon.
We are pleased to have set an internal price on carbon, which is an important step in continuing to meet our renewable energy and GHG reduction goals. The price enables us to communicate the cost of emissions in financial terms across our business and will help align business decisions and investments with a low-carbon economy, while preparing us for future carbon taxes and energy price increases. The price we set represents a floor which we will periodically assess and increase as needed to align with market conditions. We expect that setting an internal price on carbon will help spur smart investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as innovation and new partnerships with customers who share our commitment to a low-carbon economy.
We are proud to be the first US company to have set 7 of the We Mean Business commitments. We applaud We Mean Business for working closely with the private sector to set bold and ambitious commitments. Just as with governments, bold action starts with commitments.
Our greatest contribution we can make toward a low-carbon future
As noted at CEM7, the transition to a clean energy future is analogous to an ascent of Mount Everest – a long arduous climb to the summit. The Paris agreement was monumental, yet is probably equivalent to arriving at the Everest Base Camp. The real work lies ahead as we move forward from here, bringing other companies along with us. We are committed to helping pave the way and remove barriers for other companies, especially small and medium-sized companies to join us on this climb.
The greatest contribution we at Autodesk can make toward a low-carbon future is through the design technology that is used by millions of people to design and redesign everything on the planet – from computers, to cars, buildings, highways even whole cities. We are continuing to develop design technology that enables people to make better design decisions about everything that gets made. This is core to everything we do and an enduring commitment.
An important theme at CEM7 was innovation and entrepreneurship – with a Tech Showcase of over 80 technologies and solutions toward a low-carbon future. We were pleased to have 12 of our customers showcasing their technologies. Through the Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact program, we provide free software to any entrepreneur anywhere in the world who is creating positive impact and designing solutions to social or environmental challenges. We call these people Impact Entrepreneurs and they include companies like FreeWire which has built an EV charger using 2nd life EV batteries, Nexus eWater has a grey water solution enabling us to recycle 2/3 of our water, and Lightning Motorcycle has a solar powered, electric battery motorcycle which holds the land speed record.
The future of making things is about entrepreneurs like these who are designing solutions that the world needs. We are proud to do what we can to support them and help bring these solutions to market at scale as rapidly as we can.
The transformation towards a low-carbon economy requires creativity, imagination, innovation and leadership from every sector. CEM7 was a celebration of such bold leadership. We applaud these leaders who are bolding paving the way forward.