As Goldman Sachs, California, Cargill and Moody's focus on Sustainability

Photo by Gustavo Quepón

Photo by Gustavo Quepón

Last week, Goldman Sachs Sustainable Finance Group's Managing Director John Goldstein said, “We were getting deeper, more fundamental questions on ESG and sustainable finance, from the senior-most decision-makers at many of our largest clients and from senior colleagues around the firm.

  • "Somewhere along the way, two important factors – inclusive growth and climate transition – had become significant drivers of growth, risk, and operational efficiency for businesses and investors and thus, for Goldman Sachs.”

  • Separately, the California Air Resources Board announced a “framework to reduce emissions that can serve as an alternative path forward for clean vehicle standards nationwide. Automakers who agreed to the framework are Ford, Honda, BMW of North America and Volkswagen Group of America.”

  • Also, Cargill, Inc. said, “Global demand for protein is rising rapidly, challenging farmers, ranchers and agribusiness to feed a growing population while protecting the planet. Across the food and agriculture industry, there is a pressing need to do more with less impact

  • "Cargill is launching BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative committed to achieving a 30% greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reduction across its North American beef supply chain by 2030 …

  • "The initiative will focus on four key areas: grazing management, feed production, innovation and food waste reduction."

  • Finally, Moody’s Investors Service announced a majority investment in Four Twenty Seven, a climate risk analytics firm. CEO Emilie Mazzacurati said joining with Moody’s will, “help market participants integrate climate impacts into risk management and investment decisions.”


  • As several European cities recorded record high temperatures last week, the initiatives above illustrate that managing environmental risks is becoming an important part of the business and investment landscape.

  • As changing weather patterns increase health risks and reduce crop yields, rising sea levels, along with coastal and inland flooding can trigger a variety of economic dislocations. Major U.S. urban real estate markets at risk include New York City, San Francisco Bay area, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Boston. Global urban centers include Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, among others.

  • Reducing greenhouse gas levels and adapting to environmental risks will require changes across supply chains and new approaches by consumers, businesses and policy makers.

Paul Dravis