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Environmental Market Opportunities

Center for Environmental Markets

We recognize that many critical environmental issues cannot be solved through voluntary action alone and that establishing partnerships and ecosystems that bring together key public and private sector stakeholders is important.

In 2006, we launched the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets to undertake partnerships with corporations, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations. Since then, we have established numerous partnerships that have facilitated independent research, the development of new environmental tools, and high-level convenings that have informed climate policy, valuation of forest ecosystems, energy and resource efficiency, renewables in underserved markets, and water risk.

As we look forward, the Center will continue to advance partnerships that synergistically bring together the core competencies of the public and private sectors to help catalyze much-needed capital flows towards environmentally beneficial solutions.

Through these partnerships, we will also facilitate case studies and independent research that inform public policy options. We will share our findings through publications, research papers and convenings, as well as through targeted outreach.

 

Renewable Energy

THE CLIMATE GROUP (TCG)

Our ongoing partnership is focused on providing access to off-grid energy in rural India. TCG has been working on a pilot project to explore innovative business models and financing solutions in the off-grid energy sector in India that have the greatest potential to achieve scale and attract private sector investment. As part of this partnership, we produced the report, The Business Case for Off-Grid Energy in India, which identified access to debt capital as one of the primary unmet needs for renewable energy businesses to scale up. Informed by this research, we're working with The Climate Group and other local partners to design potential financing vehicles which may enable access to lower cost debt.

 

Sustainable Development Goals

INVEST NYC SDG

We have partnered with the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business as a founding member of Invest NYC SDG to design a roadmap to help businesses achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The project will work with the NYC Mayor’s office, the UN, civil society, and private sector representatives to identify sustainable development priorities for the city by developing an investment plan of high impact opportunities. 

 

Energy and Resource Efficiency

THE CLOSED LOOP FUND (CLF)

The Closed Loop Fund is an innovative investment vehicle that seeks to increase recycling rates across the U.S. The partnership seeks to demonstrate that with added recycling infrastructure, increased awareness and communications and community incentive programs, there can be a measurable increase in recycling rates and job creation opportunities. This may have the potential to be funded through innovative financing structures that rely on the value created by avoiding landfill disposal fees and the sale of commodities. To test these concepts, CLF piloted a project focused on the multifamily affordable housing sector in New York. Findings from this pilot were used to inform affordable housing developers and owners on establishing robust cost-effective recycling programs within their buildings.

 

Climate and Health

THE GOLD STANDARD FOUNDATION

We facilitated the Gold Standard Foundation’s development of a new standard that quantifies and verifies impacts of initiatives towards the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. The methodology focuses on the societal and environmental benefits delivered by technologies that promote low carbon development. The first of its kind approach seeks to use Averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) as an impact metric to measure the health outcomes, while also contributing to addressing air pollution and climate action.  

 

Water

WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE

We have worked closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and GE as a founding member of the WRI Aqueduct Alliance, a partnership that brings together leading companies to address water risk through a global water risk mapping tool. In 2016, WRI released a series of reports which analyzed and assessed baseline water risks for corporations and governments using the web-based interactive mapping platform.

 

Climate and Weather Risk Solutions

RE:FOCUS PARTNERS

Given the increasing focus on resiliency measures by policymakers and the need for greater investment in this field, we partnered with other private-sector leaders on an initiative called the RE.bound Program. The initiative seeks to design a new catastrophe bond-like product that would realize the potential benefits from infrastructure improvements that have greater resiliency measures and monetize the associated physical and financial risk reductions. In addition to traditional grey infrastructure solutions, improved resiliency measures can include seawalls and green stormwater infrastructure. By identifying the financial value from enhanced resiliency, the partnership seeks to promote greater investment.

 

Other Partnerships

  • In 2019, CEO David Solomon joined the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) as a founding member. The initiative convenes seven financial sector leaders to help facilitate the private financing objectives included in the landmark Paris Agreement.
  • In 2018, we joined the Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) convened by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). BELC brings together more than 30 of the largest US-based corporations to address the challenges of climate change.
  • In 2018, we joined the US Alliance for Sustainable Finance, as a founding member alongside 14 other financial institutions. The alliance will provide the resources and expertise to identify and streamline existing climate-finance initiatives, encourage greater transparency across climate-related financial risks and opportunities, and ultimately, drive more capital to sustainable investments.
  • In 2015, we joined the RE100 Initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, committing to 100% renewable energy use by 2020. We will look to share best practices with partner companies in supporting the renewable energy market.