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Carbon footprint

Reducing our carbon footprint

From planning conferences and business travel to designing more efficient facilities we continually work to improve our environmental performance. We focus primarily on energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, since those represent the most significant environmental impacts from our operations.

For the latest information related to our carbon footprint see our Sustainability Progress Report FY2015. Learn more about how we’re improving our overall environmental performance across our company.

Employee travel and meetings

Since Autodesk is a global company, employee travel is vital to our business. We reduce travel by using virtual collaboration technologies when possible. But when travel is unavoidable, we encourage our travel vendors to improve their environmental performance, provide employees green travel tips, and offer electric vehicle rentals in the San Francisco Bay area.

As part of our strategic meetings management program, we educate our meeting planners and the hotels we partner with about sustainability issues and industry standards.

Through this program, we also measure the carbon impact of meeting-related travel and rate the hotels we use for accommodations and meetings in terms of energy use, waste management, water conservation, and other sustainability factors. During fiscal year 2015, this program saved Autodesk more than $1 million.

Eventually, we hope this program will help us establish carbon budgets for meetings the same way we set financial budgets.


There are many ways we work to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities, including the use of our own Sustainability Solutions to build and renovate sites. We now have 19 LEED certifications, representing 32% of our total square footage,* and we purchase renewable energy for all of our LEED-certified spaces.

In 2013, we opened our San Francisco Pier 9 workshop—a LEED-Platinum certified facility with a dedicated solar photovoltaic system. The power this system generates saves more than 43 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year compared with using standard utility power, the equivalent of planting more than 1,100 trees.

With this solar photovoltaic system in place, 37% of our global electricity consumption is now provided by renewable sources.

*As of January 1, 2015.

Major events

Each year, Autodesk participates in industry tradeshows and hosts conferences that attract tens of thousands of attendees. These events bring together people who share ideas about how to create a better world. However, they also impact the environment through GHG emissions from travel, energy use, lodging, and materials use and waste.

In 2014, we focused on making the exhibit hall at Autodesk University as sustainable as possible. We planned ahead to reduce food waste, reused and donated carpet and booth materials, and asked exhibitors to reduce giveaways and printed materials. We also implemented many of these waste reduction practices at our One Team Conference.

See how we integrate sustainability into one of our largest annual conferences.

Data centers and IT operations

Data centers enable Autodesk to operate and host cloud-based tools, which are critical to the future of how our customers design. At the same time, data centers consume a significant amount of energy. We use server virtualization to optimize the use of equipment and decrease the need to run and cool physical servers.

We use ENERGY STAR to select hardware for our data centers and the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) to select desktop hardware and have an e-waste program to responsibly dispose of IT equipment when it reaches the end of its usable life.

In 2014, we did some analysis to estimate the emissions attributable to Autodesk that are generated by third-party data centers hosting our cloud services. Although relatively minor, we’re exploring collaborations with our cloud-service providers to further understand those GHG emissions and mitigate them in the future.

Supply chain

Autodesk’s supply chain includes manufacturing, assembling, and delivering physical software media and powering electronic software downloads and cloud-based services.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, the number of Autodesk software downloads exceeded the number of boxes we shipped for the first time. During the year, electronic downloads replaced shipments of more than 624,000 boxes, reducing the associated GHG emissions by nearly 760 metric tons CO2e.

Finding the right GHG emissions reduction target

In 2010, we introduced our Corporate-Finance Approach to Climate-Stabilizing Targets (C-FACT) methodology.
C-FACT is a unique approach to help companies develop GHG emissions reduction targets. Learn more

See our FY2015 Sustainability Report to learn more.