Director of Urban Efficiency and Climate at World Resources Institute
Emma Stewart, Ph.D., is the Urban Efficiency & Climate Director at World Resources Institute, where she is responsible for the Institute’s global work on building and vehicle efficiency, distributed renewables, and city climate strategy.
Prior to joining WRI in 2018 she was the Chief Business Development Officer at Impact Infrastructure, a software start-up automating triple-bottom-line costbenefit analyses in order to cost-justify greener infrastructure. She keeps one foot in the sustainable design software world in her role advising 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-tomarket 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, where her team designed corporate initiatives to analyze and adapt to horizon issues such as payments for ecosystem services, water footprinting, carbon offsets and trading, voluntary supply chain standards, and sustainable product design.
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”.
Emma was rated a "top 3 speaker" by The Economist Summits in 2015, and has been named a “one of the most powerful women under 45” and an “urban pioneer” by FORTUNE Magazine, a “sustainability insurgent” by MIT Sloan Management Review, and one of the “Top 10 Women in Sustainability” by American Builders.
Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, Fortune, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Chicago Tribune, The International Herald Tribune, The Huffington Post, Environmental Finance, Environmental Law Journal, Quartz, and GreenBiz, among others. She is a contributing author to Corporate Responses to Climate Change and The Encyclopedia of Sustainable Business, and her work is featured in books Frugal Innovation and The Big Pivot.
Emma has been named a Next Generation Fellow by Columbia University (2007), a Cabinet Member of the World Economic Forum’s Low Carbon Taskforce (2008), and a First Mover Fellow by The Aspen Institute (2010). She has lectured at dozens of universities and Fortune1000 companies, and was an invited speaker at the National Press Club in DC, the UN Conference of the Parties, the World Conservation Congress, Greenbuild, Ecobuild, CityAge and The Economist. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Management from Stanford University and a B.A. Honours degree in Human Sciences from Oxford University.