Goldman Sachs has reaffirmed its sustainability commitments in a new pledge to reach carbon neutrality by the end of the decade. The investment banking giant says it will develop climate data, improve disclosure, and integrate climate-risk considerations throughout its operations in a bold statement penned by its chairman and CEO David Solomon, who said the demand for sustainable finance is showing “no signs of slowing down”.
After announcing US$750 billion in investment into its climate transition and inclusive growth plans last year, which included an end to financing Arctic oil drilling, Goldman Sachs is now doubling down on its sustainability commitments, after demand from its clients and the broader public pressure eclipsing the finance industry. In a statement released in early March, the Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon now says that it will work towards net-zero, setting the deadline for 2030.
For our part, in addition to driving capital to climate solutions and accelerating the climate transition of our clients, we’re advancing on three separate fronts.David Solomon, Chairman & CEO, Goldman Sachs
To achieve its end-of-decade goal, the investment bank says it’ll make public its progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and develop more comprehensive climate data to oversee how sustainability is being integrated into its business operations.
Goldman Sachs will “redouble” efforts to equip clients with tools to track their individual progress too, partnering with tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft in the OS-Climate Initiative to create an open-source data commons platform aimed at reaching net-zero. It’ll require their customer base to disclose their own climate data, encouraging the companies that Goldman invests in to also adopt sustainability frameworks.
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We are committed to working with our clients, our industry peers, and the public sector to make this commitment a reality.David Solomon, Chairman & CEO, Goldman Sachs
In the short-term, Solomon detailed how the bank has joined the U.N. Principles for Responsible Banking “to make sure our strategy is in line with the Paris Agreement goals” and conduct regular impact analyses, collaborate with other industry players and set interim climate targets by the end of this year towards its overarching mission to reach carbon neutrality across its entire supply chain by 2030.
“We are committed to working with our clients, our industry peers, and the public sector to make this commitment a reality,” said the bank’s chief. “For our part, in addition to driving capital to climate solutions and accelerating the climate transition of our clients, we’re advancing on three separate fronts.”
Solomon added that its efforts to make sustainable finance “a core offering from Goldman Sachs” has already shown greatly positive responses, and that the “demand among our clients shows no signs of slowing down” – an observation that other banks have also highlighted over the past year, with the likes of UBS reporting record growth in sustainable investments from its private banking clients, especially in Asia.
Meanwhile, HSBC could soon be forced to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels next year, after its key investors tabled a shareholder vote urging the bank to end its reliance on climate-harming financing, indicating the growing pressure that the finance industry at large is facing to clean up its act.
Lead image courtesy of Goldman Sachs.