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Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it is setting a new goal to reach a carbon-emission level of net-zero by the year 2030. The commitment comes after the company moved toward incorporating sustainability into its structures to work with clients last year.
David Solomon, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, released a statement on the company’s position on sustainability and future goals, which reads in part, “[I]n 2015, we became the first of our peers in the financial-services sector to reach carbon neutrality in our operations and business travel. Today, we are expanding our operational carbon commitment to include our supply chain, targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
The firm also formed a new team at the beginning of their climate change initiatives, called the Sustainable Finance Group, to combine sustainability endeavors across the company.
The statement details the progress the company claims it has made in the past, and where it plans to go.
We’ve made a concerted effort to make public our own progress in cutting our greenhouse-gas emissions. We were the first U.S. bank to disclose under the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards, and last year, we issued our inaugural Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) report, which explained how the management and oversight of climate change is integrated into our business.
After hearing from clients that they lack the tools to track their own progress, we’ve redoubled our efforts to better equip them. We’ve joined the OS-Climate Initiative as its founding U.S. bank member. As part of this broad coalition, we, alongside partners including Amazon, Microsoft, Allianz, and the U.N. Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance will work to develop an open-source data commons and net-zero alignment tools that can be used across industries.
Citigroup also announced earlier this week that it is seeking a similar goal — “to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and the activities of its clients by 2050,” according to The Hill.
Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser weighed in on the issue on Monday, writing in a blog post, “Net zero means rethinking our business and helping our clients rethink theirs. For banks, what some don’t realize is that net zero includes not just our own operations but also our core business impacts — in other words, our financing.”
Fraser went on, “As the world’s most global bank, we are interconnected with many carbon-intensive sectors that continue to help drive global economic development. We are committed to bringing as many clients as we can along with us on this journey and working with them relentlessly to get it right.”
Other corporations have taken similar measures in recent months. The Daily Wire reported on Coca-Cola’s sustainability efforts last month, including its commitment to create a plastic-free bottle.
The Daily Wire reports:
The goal, as reported by BBC, is to make a bottle that is “100% recyclable” and “plastic-free” that is also able to prevent “gas escaping from carbonated drinks.” Another requirement is to make sure that no parts of the container can fall into the liquid, which would change how the drink tastes, and make the beverages “potentially fall foul of health and safety checks.”
Coca-Cola has reportedly set a goal of “producing zero waste by 2030.” This comes after a charity group called “Break Free From Plastic” ranked the company as the top polluter of plastic in the world last year. The group conducted a survey that found “[Coca-Cola’s] drink bottles were the most commonly found item left on beaches, rivers, parks and other litter sites in 51 of the 55 countries that took part in the survey.” This was an increase in Coca-Cola’s numbers from the previous year, when the beverage giant was only the “most frequently littered bottle in 37 out of 51 countries.”
Goldman-Sachs also pointed to the Paris Climate Agreement that President Biden re-entered once he took office, stating that the company has long been a supporter of the deal. It joined the U.N. Principles for Responsible Banking to work in conjunction with the Paris Climate Agreement tasks.