In a significant development, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc has outlined plans to channel funds and advice projects that fight climate change, or help financially disadvantaged people saying it is not only the right thing to do but can also generate income.
The bank’s loft target of $750 billion for this purpose, includes a mix of underwriting, advisory services, loans and investments projects it expects to be involved in by 2030.
In a statement, Goldman says, the quantum reflects “the total size of loans, deals and other arrangements Goldman expects to perform as a bank or intermediary with companies and projects focused on renewable energy, sustainable transportation, affordable education and several other areas”.
Goldman has also implemented a formal ban on financing certain drilling and coal activities.
The development comes midst pressures from investors and activists which has ratcheted up globally on banks’ activities financing fossil fuels as well as other sectors which have increasingly come under crosshairs, including gun makers.
Banks have increasingly come under scrutiny over their role in increasing economic inequality by catering to wealthy customers while shunning patrons who could do with improved access to financial services.
Goldman catered almost exclusively to the elite until it was forced to rethink its business model in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
While announcing this goal, in an editorial in the Financial Times, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive David Solomon wrote, there is “a powerful business and investing case” for working with companies that are taking steps to address climate change and inclusive growth.
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs handled a bond offering for Italian electricity company Enel which raised $1.5 billion. This is one of its recent commitment to increase its renewable energy base by 25% before 2022.