Goldman Sachs off to a flying start in the race for sustainable finance
7 August 2019 at 8:25 am
Fighting climate change and creating a more inclusive economy are top priorities for US finance giant Goldman Sachs’ newly launched sustainable finance group.
The finance firm, announcing the initiative late last month, said helping to address issues that impacted society had long been important to the company’s culture and good for business.
“Increasingly, these persistent and accelerating drivers represent a strategic growth opportunity and competitive necessity for our firm and our clients,” a company spokesperson said.
They said the group would partner with businesses in ethical ventures to stay ahead of the game, as sustainable growth became increasingly important for investors, institutions and companies on a global scale.
The group will be led by John Goldstein, who co-founded Imprint Capital, a dedicated sustainable investing firm acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2015.
Simon O’Connor, the CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), told Pro Bono News this marked the beginning of a global race by finance groups to step up and own the space.
“It just further reinforces the seriousness of which the global finance community is now taking responsible investing and impact investing,” O’Connor said.
He said as the finance world was preparing for trillions of dollars to transition to younger generations that wanted their money invested in ventures that would do good in the world, Goldman Sachs was thinking ahead of the game.
“They are very clearly in a position that’s helping the world to be ready for that,” he said.
With a July report from RIAA finding that nearly half of all professionally managed assets in Australia are responsibly managed, O’Connor said this announcement would encourage momentum in the Australian market.
“It confirms and continues the trend that is well and truly underway in Australia where more and more people want to make sure their money is aligned with their values and is having a positive impact on the world,” he said.
He added he hoped it would not only encourage the larger finance players to follow suit with similar initiatives, but encourage more money globally to flow into impact investment opportunities.
The sustainable finance group will be steered by senior business figures, and will develop specific goals and targets in the coming months.