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Our Operational Impact
Green Buildings and Certified Management

We are committed to achieving green building certification for new buildings or major renovation projects and to obtaining certification of our operations and verification of our environmental data in an effort to drive continuous improvement in environmental, social and economic performance

Universal Green Building Standards

We are committed to achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification or equivalent for new buildings or major renovation projects. We are targeting green building certification across 70% of our portfolio by 2020.

As a result of our consistent use of green building standards, approximately 55 percent of our global office space portfolio (over 5.4 million sq ft) has now achieved LEED certification. To date, our LEED portfolio consists of 22 offices with 9 additional projects in the pipeline for LEED or equivalent green building certification.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) international standard for measuring building sustainability. Goldman Sachs’ green building standards help ensure that the design, construction and operation of our facilities support a healthy, more energy-efficient environment.

Key environmental features on our green portfolio include:

Daylight Harvesting: Use of light sensors that respond to daylight by dimming the lights

Occupancy Sensors: Use of lights that turn on or off based on floor occupancy

Under Floor Air Conditioning: Ability to adjust the amount of airflow at workstations, which reduces the need to cool the entire office space

Sustainable Materials: Use of Forest Stewardship Council Certified wood and non-toxic, sustainably produced and recycled materials contribute to indoor environmental quality and result in less waste

Greenguard-Certification: Use of furniture systems that promote good indoor air quality

Operational Resiliency Management

We are committed to assessing and planning for climate-related risks across our operations through infrastructure, business continuity and resiliency reviews of our office space and data centers. Our assessment monitors the hazards posed by climate-related risks, including temperature changes, rising sea levels and severe weather conditions, and we utilize predictive weather modeling to inform our short-term preparedness and long-term resiliency planning.

Certified Management Systems - International Standard Organization (ISO 14001, 20121)

We have developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) that complies with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) 14001 standard and are committed to having the ISO 14001 EMS certified by a third party verification company. We will seek to expand our implementation of the ISO 14001 EMS to all operationally controlled facilities by 2020. See examples of where we are already implementing these certifications.

In June 2014, we received the ISO 14001 certification in recognition of the firm’s efforts to manage a comprehensive environmental program that we implemented at our 30 Hudson Street office in Jersey City, and in March 2015 earned the same certification for our global headquarters at 200 West Street in New York. In 2016, we certified our entire Americas regional portfolio and London campus as well as rolled out our certification process in India. In 2017, we will launch our EMS throughout the Asia Pacific region (including Australia and New Zealand). To date, over 65% of our operationally controlled facilities are ISO 14001 certified.  

ISO is a Swiss-based nonprofit that provides environmental certifications and benchmarks. The ISO 14001 certifications are the result of a multi-phased, third-party audit of the firm’s Environmental Management System. The Environment Management System defines the roles, responsibilities and actions to be taken to ensure that we operate with the goal of minimizing our environmental impact.

In addition, we aim to align 100% of our on-site events through a sustainable events management system (SEMS) with the ISO 20121 standard for sustainable events by 2020. This certification will ensure that environmental, social and economic performance is integrated into our practices and processes for onsite events.

Green Restaurant Certification

Our cafés in both New York and New Jersey hold 3-star certifications from the Green Restaurant Association for environmentally responsible performance across seven categories. We also purchase goods from local farms and diverse businesses. Nearly all of our used cooking oil from the cafés is converted to biodiesel fuel that is used by delivery vehicles in the tri-state area. We also recently implemented a food donation program that supports local non-profit organizations. Additionally, almost all of our food service containers, including all cutlery and napkins, are either compostable or recyclable, aiding in the reduction of waste to landfill. 

Nearly all of our used cooking oil from the cafés is converted to biodiesel fuel that is used by delivery vehicles in the tri-state area. We also implemented a food donation program that supports local non-profit organizations in both New York and New Jersey.

Environmental Data Verification

We ensure the accuracy of our environmental metrics and data collection processes by maintaining a robust internal inventory management plan, by continuously enhancing our carbon accounting methodology, and through obtaining third party verification of our Scope 1, 2, Scope 3 business travel and water use.

Additional Links

Carbon Accounting & Reporting Methodology

2016 Carbon Emissions Verification Statement

2016 Verification Statement Water Withdrawal

Environmental, Social and Governance Report