The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. Goldman Sachs have been publishing an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Impact Report since May 2013, where they illustrate the impact that their people, ideas and capital have on supporting economic growth, while addressing social challenges and promoting environmental sustainability.
Since 2008, Goldman Sachs has committed in excess of $1.6 billion to philanthropic initiatives. By supporting programs that help solve crucial social and environmental issues, they have committed themselves to taking philanthropic action based on discipline, innovation and a strategic approach over the long term. Goldman Sachs works with over 100 academic and nonprofit partners and is routinely among the leaders identified in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. In 2011, one of Goldman Sachs’ philanthropic programs, 10,000 Women, received the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s coveted Chairman’s Award.
Goldman Sachs’ latest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report (2014) provides details about how their commitment to these efforts creates a lasting impact and how they strive to improve the economy and strengthen communities.
At the core of Goldman Sachs’ efforts is a focus on cultivating and sustaining a diverse workplace, which is critical to meeting the varied needs of their global client base and the numerous communities where they operate. Their goals are to maximize individual potential, increase commercial effectiveness, reinforce the firm’s culture, expand their people’s professional opportunities and help them contribute positively to their respective communities. Their people represent 164 different nationalities and speak 106 different languages. In terms of training, the firm equips its people with targeted, high-impact programs that provide role models, promote commercial development, encourage networking and address relevant issues that can affect their employees throughout their careers. In addition, through the Community TeamWorks global volunteer initiative, Goldman Sachs illustrates the impact of mobilizing their talent to improve communities. In 2014, more than 25,000 of Goldman Sachs’ people, family and friends joined together to contribute more than 125,000 hours to the communities where they work and live. Open to all professionals at Goldman Sachs, employee affinity networks and interest forums are designed to increase engagement retention of their people and to promote professional development.
Economic capital is one of the most valuable assets for improving lives and communities. Capital markets enable people to save for retirement, buy homes, finance education and grow businesses. As a provider of financial capital, they have supported promising businesses with the resources they need to grow, such as offering a loan or making an equity investment. They are able to maximize their impact by leveraging its global investor network or investing alongside clients in industries that create jobs and promote economic growth. These include major infrastructure projects, clean energy and technology companies, and cutting-edge healthcare businesses. When it comes to providing philanthropic capital, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services.
The firm regularly sponsors and participates in conferences attended by clients, investors, nongovernmental organizations, policymakers, educators and their people where these ideas are introduced, discussed and implemented. Some of these conferences include the North American Energy Summit, the US-China CEO Bilateral Investment Dialogue, the Environmental Finance Innovation Summit and Talks@GS. Through their Global Investment Research Division, the firm provides macroeconomic insights to help their clients and communities. Among these research insights is a study on the oil industry’s transformation, the case for women’s economic empowerment, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the influence of millennials.
When it comes to finding innovative ways to solve social and economic challenges, Goldman Sachs established the Urban Investment Group which deploys a “double bottom line” strategy to invest the firm’s capital to produce strong financial results, while also benefiting urban communities. Through public-private partnerships, UIG addresses capital needs in low- and moderate-income communities by creating and incubating innovative, sustainable investing models, including comprehensive community development structures, social impact bonds and a first-of-its-kind Social Impact Fund that both have positive social impact and produce strong financial results.
In addition, their framework for responsible and sustainable investing encompasses many different approaches. They offer investments in equity products focused on companies that are ESG leaders. Finally, their Global Investment Research Division has developed GS SUSTAIN, an investment strategy focused on identifying the companies in each industry that are best positioned to deliver long-term outperformance through sustained leadership and profitability.
Goldman Sachs have long recognized that a healthy environment is the foundation for economic progress and the well-being of society. They are committed to finding market solutions that benefit the environment as shown by their deployment of nearly $27 billion in capital since 2012 towards their 10-year $40 billion goal. They have also expanded GS SUSTAIN’s research platform to cover approximately 3,300 companies on stakeholder factors. The form has contributed $13 million through partnerships to further market-based solutions to environmental challenges.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management is a signatory to the UNPRI and continues to further its integration of ESG factors into their investment and company engagement processes. Their seventeenth office was certified LEED Gold, making over 50 percent of our global corporate real estate portfolio (5.3 million sqft) LEED-certified. Moreover, they are listed on Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) leadership indexes for climate change disclosure for four consecutive years