Emma Stewart

Director, Urban Efficiency & Climate and Director, Urban Finance


Emma Stewart leads WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities' global work on urban efficiency, climate and finance. This includes the Center's research and technical assistance to cities worldwide on climate planning and financing, clean and efficient buildings and vehicles, and waste-to-energy.

Prior to joining WRI in 2018 she was the Chief Business Development Officer at Impact Infrastructure, a software start-up automating social cost-benefit analyses in order to cost-justify greener infrastructure. She keeps one foot in the sustainable design software world in her role as an Advisor to start-up PlanitImpact.

Prior to WRI, she founded and directed design software giant Autodesk’s Sustainability Solutions department, where she led a product and go-to-market team to make sustainable design a “no-brainer” for millions of engineering and design customers. In 2009, she founded Autodesk’s Sustainable Design Living Lab program, which uses Autodesk facilities as a testing ground for new software to rapidly green existing buildings. In 2008, she founded its Sustainable Operations program, which was named best-in-class by the Carbon Disclosure Project. She co-authored Autodesk’s C-FACT methodology (a Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-stabilizing Targets), an open-source, science-driven, business-friendly approach to greenhouse gas target-setting, which was named #1 of public company targets by Climate Counts.

Prior to Autodesk, she was a Senior Consultant to Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnerships Program and founded and directed the Environmental R&D Division at Business for Social Responsibility.

Emma has been a Board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the group behind LEED ratings for buildings, the elected Chair of U.S. Green Building Council’s Advisory Council, and is a member of the professional faculty at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Stanford Graduate School of Business where she has taught a self-created course on “Intrapreneurship for Sustainability.” 

She holds a PhD from Stanford University and a BA Honours from Oxford University.


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