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 57% of our global office space portfolio (over 6 million sq ft) has now achieved LEED or BREEAM certification. To date, our green building portfolio consists of 26 offices with 16 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: Disclosing the use of materials that are non-toxic, sustainably produced and recyclable (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council certified wood) contribute to indoor environmental quality, less waste, and greater transparency 

• Low Flow Water Fixtures: Use of modified fixtures to conserve water use in restrooms and pantries

• Bicycle Storage and Shower Facilities: Providing facilities encourages our people to avoid driving and consider alternate forms of commuting to work

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

London and Bengaluru Developments

In addition to responsibly managing our firm’s on-going real estate operations, we also aim to ensure we are integrating ESG best practices on major development projects, where we can. In 2018, through creative partnerships with our strategic vendors, we were able to achieve the following accomplishments on our active development projects in London and Bengaluru:

London, United Kingdom – Plumtree Court (PTC)

In 2019 Goldman Sachs will open its new European headquarters in London, Plumtree Court. This building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM New Construction rating of ‘Excellent’. Through smart and efficient design, the building will significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption relative to the legacy London campus. Additionally, installing efficient cooling systems, bathroom and kitchen appliances will result decrease water usage as well. Environmental sustainability has also been promoted throughout construction, with 99% of demolition and construction waste being diverted from landfill and only FSC/PEFC certified timber being used.

The building was constructed with a strong focus on engagement with local small businesses and other community groups. More than £68M has been spent with local small businesses, helping to boost the local economy and support jobs. Apprentices and trainees completed 4% of the total hours worked on site, and alongside everyone else working on the project, were paid the London Living Wage as a minimum. English lessons, financial advice and on-site health assessments were provided to the site workforce, helping to promote a supportive and inclusive working environment. More than 40 educational engagements were held with local schools and universities to encourage careers in construction, in addition to neighborhood events focused on cycling safety and project updates.

Bengaluru, India - 150 Outer Ring Road (150ORR)

In 2012 the firm made the decision to build a state-of-the-art consolidated campus that would be a great place to work, enhance productivity and collaboration, maintain excellence in design, and reflect and support the culture of Goldman Sachs. Our new 10-acre campus features a total building area of 1.22mm square feet, 2.5 acres of landscaping and is a part of a larger business park comprising 22.5 acres. Workspaces and amenity spaces are in line with global standards and facilities, enabling collaboration, enhancing productivity and providing a greater sense of community.

During the building’s construction, the project has been committed to supporting economic growth, addressing social challenges and promoting environmental sustainability.

The campus is expected to achieve premium global certifications such as LEED Platinum and WELL Gold and would also achieve a 50% reduction in carbon footprint as compared to the current campus at Embassy Golf Links. The campus has also achieved zero construction waste to landfill and 100 percent incineration of hazardous waste. In addition to our environmental efforts, during the construction phase of the building, we achieved close to 18 million safe working hours, offered free health camps, and English classes to over 1,000 workers.

Operational Resiliency Management

As a part of our day-to-day operations, our Corporate Services and Real Estate and Technology teams, together with our dedicated Corporate Environmental Management team, conduct regular resiliency reviews of our office space and data center assets. Our infrastructure and business continuity assessments, for example, include the hazards posed by climate-related risks, including tropical cyclones, temperature changes, rising sea levels and severe weather conditions/natural disasters. We also consider such risks at all stages of our real estate strategy – from site selection, building design, through occupancy. Further, this has afforded us the opportunity to safeguard our facilities in vulnerable areas by maintaining a robust Business Continuity Program that includes dedicated people recovery backup sites, in addition to our remote access infrastructure that allows a large percentage of our non-trading employee base to work from home.

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. Since 2016, we have certified our entire Americas regional portfolio, London campus, Bengaluru campus, numerous EMEA regional offices, and all of our Asia Pacific regional offices. To date, 95% 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 2018, we certified 100 % of our on-site events through a sustainable events management system (SEMS) to the ISO 20121 standard for sustainable events. This certification ensures 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 tristate 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

2018 Carbon Emissions Verification Statement

2018 Verification Statement Water Withdrawal

Environmental, Social and Governance Report