Green Buildings and Certified Management
We are committed to targeting 70% LEED Gold or equivalent building certification and to certifying 100% of our operational controlled spaces to the ISO 14001 standard. As a result of our consistent use of green building standards, approximately 61% of our global office space portfolio (over 7.2 million sq ft) has now achieved LEED or BREEAM certification, and 100% of our on-site events and facilities are certified to the ISO 20121 and ISO 14001 standards, respectively.
2025 Commitments around Green Buildings and Certified Management
- Continued commitment to target Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification or equivalent for new buildings and major renovation projects
- Extend commitment to ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management to include off-site events
We are committed to achieving green building certification for new buildings and major renovation projects and investigating on-going certification for our operations and events.
Universal Green Building Standards
We are committed to targeting 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 year-end 2020.
As a result of our consistent use of green building standards, approximately 61% percent of our global office space portfolio (over 7.2 million sq. ft.) has now achieved LEED or BREEAM certification. To date, our green building portfolio consists of 26 offices with 14 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 buildings standards help ensure that the design, construction and operation of our facilities support a healthy, more energy-efficient environment.
Key environmental features in our green portfolio include:
- Daylight Harvesting: Use of light sensors that respond to daylight by dimming the light
- 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 that encourage 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 sustainability best practices into major development projects, where we can. Through creative partnerships with our strategic vendors, we were able to achieve the following accomplishments on our recently completed development projects in London and Bengaluru:
London, United Kingdom – Plumtree Court (PTC)
In London, our new 1.14mm square feet Plumtree Court office achieved a BREEAM New Construction rating of ‘Excellent’, scoring 77.9%, which is among the top 10% of new non-domestic buildings in the UK.
The focus on sustainability started during the design phase, with passive design strategies being adopted to reduce operational energy and carbon emission, and extended into the construction phase, where all construction materials were responsibly sourced and 99% of construction waste was diverted from landfill.
Plumtree Court minimizes its operational impact on the environment by achieving over 50% reduction in utility consumption when compared to the previous London campus.
Leading-edge heating and cooling technology naturally assists cooling the building for circa 80% of the year, and 100% LED lighting with occupancy and daylight sensors, reduces annual CO2 emissions by 25%. The on-site combined heat & power (CHP) plant provides an additional efficient energy source contributing circa 10% of our overall net demand.
Beyond energy efficiency, other sustainability highlights of Plumtree Court include:
- a green roof that features native plantings and facilities for composting and harvests rainwater for landscaping, irrigation and cooling;
- reduction in water usage, achieved through the specification of less water intensive cooling systems; bathroom and kitchen appliances which use 40% less water than standard appliances; and
- passive design strategies, including deep floor plates, triple height atrium and large façade glazing panels reduce heat loss and solar gain and further reduce operational energy and carbon emissions.
Sustainability remains a core focus since the occupation of the building, with centralized waste bins and waste segregation moving off-site to increase recycling rates, on-site composting and the removal of all disposable cups and single-use plastic across the building.
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 committed to supporting economic growth, addressing social challenges and promoting environmental sustainability.
The campus achieved LEED Platinum certification and WELL Gold certification in 2019 and early 2020, respectively. It is the first Goldman Sachs office building to get the WELL certification and the largest certified interior fit-out in the world. WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being of occupants. The parameters for evaluation were across air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind
The buildings are also designed to achieve a 50% reduction in energy intensity, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint, as compared to the former campus at Embassy Golf Links. 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.
When Goldman Sachs moved from the Embassy Golf Links campus to 150 ORR, ~1300 crockery/cutlery and ~50 electronic items (e.g. Refrigerator, Microwave Oven) were identified for donation to charity, and then sent to the government schools, hospitals through Rotary in Bengaluru (Non-profit Organization).
The following are key energy efficiency attributes featured at 150 ORR:
- Over 60% of the campus is powered from clean energy sources, including an on-site 50 kW rooftop solar panel installation that feeds power to the building and its heat pumps for use in hot water generation.
- Building orientation provides maximum exposure to daylight and outdoor views, while reducing heat load. Furthermore, the building’s façade consists of double glazed units, which maximize daylight and outdoor views, and contribute to reduced heat load.
- All lighting fixtures are comprised of highly efficient LED lights. Smart controls reduce energy usage; they include automatic daylight harvesting systems to shut off lights when natural lighting is adequate, and occupancy sensors throughout the workspace to reduce the use of lights when occupancy is low.
Beyond energy efficiency, other sustainability highlights for 150 ORR include:
- The workplace features under-floor air conditioning to enhance indoor air quality, thermal comfort and allow individuals to personalize or control their environment.
- 700,000-liter on-site storage tanks reduce fresh water demand through the use of rainwater harvesting and recovery.
- Partnered with a local paper recycling vendor to turn our shredded paper back into notebooks that are supplied in the firm’s office supplies stock points. Over 600 notebooks are produced each month from the firm’s shredded paper
- As part of the Go Green initiative to reduce CO2 and offer sustainable and alternate modes of commute for our employees, we have engaged with Yulu which provides app enabled rental bicycle service. They have provided an exclusive Yulu Zone at GS 150 ORR campus in Basement 1 with 20 vehicles stationed. Currently ~ 100 GS staff are leveraging this service.
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 and are committed to having the ISO 14001 EMS certified by a third party verification company. We have successfully expanded our implementation of the ISO 14001 EMS to all operationally controlled facilities; meeting one of our 2020 public goals. See below for our journey below with 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, London campus, Bengaluru campus, EMEA regional offices, and all of our Asia Pacific regional offices. As of 2019, we certified the remainder of our operationally controlled facilities to reach 100% certification to the ISO 14001 standard.
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.
Since 2018, we have third-party 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 on-site events. As one of our 2025 Commitments around Green Buildings and Certified Management, we will extend this ISO 20121 commitment to also certify off-site events.
Green Restaurant Certification
Our cafés in both New York and New Jersey hold 3-star certifications from the Green Restaurant Association for environmentally environmentally responsible performance across seven categories. We also purchase goods from local farms and diverse businesses. 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.