Goldman Sachs pledges net-zero supply chain by 2030, financed emissions by 2050

Pictured: Jersey City

In a statement and related blog released late on Thursday (4 March), the firm announced the long-term goal on financed emissions and confirmed that it will develop interim, sector-specific climate targets by the end of 2021.

“While long-term aspirations are important, business leaders must not lose sight of what we can do in the here and now to accelerate climate transition,” the blog reads.

Goldman Sachs has not yet revealed whether it will update its exclusions policy as a result of the new targets. Solomon’s blog states that the business has been asking clients to disclose their climate data in line with the recommendations of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), so that achievable but ambitious targets can be drawn up. Goldman Sachs made its own inaugural disclosures in line with these frameworks last year.

Also, the blog reiterates Goldman Sachs’ commitment to allocate $750bn of financing, investing and advisory activity to businesses and projects designed to accelerate the low-carbon transition and to foster inclusive growth.

This commitment was made last year but several green groups argued that it did not go far enough. Goldman Sachs was named along with other asset management firms that were accused of collectively failing to drive alignment with the Paris Agreement in their business models and policy lobbying by InfluenceMap. The organisation found that it had begun engaging with clients on climate change but, broadly, had a non-Paris-Agreement-aligned portfolio, and insufficient plans to drive full alignment.

Following that accusation, Goldman Sachs produced its first TCFD-aligned report. It also joined the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and the OS Climate Initiative.

As well as the updates on disclosure and on financed emissions, Solomon’s blog details a commitment to reach net-zero emissions across the Goldman Sachs supply chain by 2030. Such an ambition had already been developed for direct operations.

Citibank and the wider sector

The news from Goldman Sachs comes just days after Citi Group’s new chief executive Jane Fraser announced a new net-zero financed emissions target on her first day in post. Under that target, deadlined at 2050, Citi will develop sector-specific emissions reductions targets for high-emitting sectors like energy.

Also this week, Aviva pledged to reach net-zero across its operations, supply chain and financing activities by 2040, in what it claims is the most ambitious net-zero pledge from a large, UK-based financial services firm.

Recent months have seen a swathe of similar commitments being made across the global financial sector. Drivers include changing national policy and the looming COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Sarah George

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