Founded in New York in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the leading banks in the world, providing financial services such as asset management, advice on mergers and acquisitions and brokerage to public and private clients, as well as undertaking operations of its own in trading, private equity and treasury securities.
Goldman Sachs and its people are committed to helping in communities where we work and live, and in places more distant, where our ideas, people and resources can make a difference. By pioneering initiatives and supporting programs that help solve crucial social and environmental issues, we commit ourselves to taking philanthropic action based on discipline, innovation and a strategic approach over the long term. Philanthropy is deeply ingrained in our firm's culture; our contributions help create significant change and far-reaching success. The Office of Corporate Engagement advances the firm's objective to make a difference in its philanthropy by programming and coordinating charitable activities, including the following:
10,000 Women: A five-year initiative to provide a business and management education to under served female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets.
10,000 Small Businesses: An investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.
Goldman Sachs Gives: A donor-advised fund, from which current and former Goldman Sachs partners can recommend grants to qualified non-profit organizations.
Community TeamWorks: A global volunteer initiative that allows our people to take a day out of the office and spend it volunteering with local nonprofit organizations.
Regarding climate change, the firm believes that a healthy global environment supports the growth of economies and communities. The firm therefore depends on strong and sustainable economies and communities in order to survive and thrive. It is committed to leveraging its people, capital and ideas to develop and implement effective market-based solutions that help address critical environmental issues such as climate change.
Goldman Sachs is working towards low carbon growth through workplace sustainability, an Environmental Policy Framework and innovative work in the environmental markets.
The firm’s Environmental Markets Group (EMG) coordinates and oversees the Environmental Policy Framework. Each of the business areas have an important role to play in implementing the commitments under the Environmental Policy Framework and contributing to enviromental progress. The Board of Directors reviews the Framework and its implementation, and the EMG reports to the Office of the Chairman.
The bank considers carefully the environmental consequences of its investments. When it makes business selection decisions, it evaluates the environmental impacts and practices of its clients and potential clients. Its advice to clients helps them develop business strategies that both take advantage of growth opportunities and have more benign environmental and social impacts.
Carbon neutral goal
Goldman Sachs is committed to reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2020. It has a strong focus on accounting and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions data, through accredited third-party assessments and reporting of emissions from its own daily operations and its ‘external’ emissions such as from business travel.
Sustainable finance and green investment
Since establishing its Environmental Policy Framework and as of the end of 2010, the bank has helped raise $19 billion in financing for clean technology and renewable energy enterprises, and has invested $3 billion in clean energy and environmentally beneficial projects.
In addition to the bank's clean energy investments, its Urban Investment Group (UIG) is responsible for deploying the firm’s capital to underserved domestic communities. It has invested more than $1.3 billion to revitalize emerging urban areas in the past ten years, of which a growing part has been green initiatives to facilitate lower energy costs and more sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods. In 2010, UIG invested $171 million in green initiatives.
Since 2005, the firm has invested over $3 billion towards the greening of its office space: it now has 3.8 million square feet of LEED certified buildings and is one of the world’s largest owners of green buildings under the new rating systems. During the same period, the bank has reduced power consumption of its data centres by 42% while increasing computing capacity by 60%.