Smart Energy Voices- Episode 37

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 37

The State of Sustainable Finance


Listen on your Preferred Podcast Player » 

Sustainable finance has emerged as a key driver in the energy transition. In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla is joined by Kara Mangone, Managing Director and Global Head of Climate Strategy at Goldman Sachs. Kara has worked at the forefront of Goldman Sachs’ sustainability commitments over the years, first leading sustainability reporting and investor engagement, then as Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs’ Sustainable Finance Group and now as Global Head of Climate Strategy. Listen in to learn more about Kara’s efforts at Goldman Sachs.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Kara Mangone’s role at Goldman Sachs [01:52]
  • What is sustainable finance? [03:48]
  • Growing activity around sustainable finance [08:18]
  • Global investments in Net-Zero [13:39]
  • The role of the financial community [19:49]
  • How did Goldman Sachs get started in sustainability? [26:42]
  • Sustainable finance in long-term strategy [29:15]
  • The future of sustainable finance [36:00]
  • Kara’s career path at Goldman Sachs [41:16]

What is sustainable finance?

The role of a financial institution in sustainability isn’t always straightforward. At Goldman Sachs, the approach to sustainable finance starts with the firm’s purpose: to advance sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity. This philosophy sits at the center of everything they do. The manifestation of that philosophy has taken the form of a $750 billion commitment to finance, invest, and advise in sustainable finance by 2030. 

Sustainability is representative of risk and opportunities for markets and economies. Climate, for example, can be a transition and physical risk relevant for corporate strategy and portfolio decisions. For Goldman Sachs, sustainable finance shows up in its work with clients, how the firm is managed and the gaps it looks to identify and address in the broader ecosystem. Its work with clients involves engaging at different points in their journeys as they consider the impact of sustainability on their business strategies and performance.

Goldman Sachs’ climate strategy role

Kara has a dynamic position leading climate strategy at Goldman Sachs. Her role covers multiple areas, including advancing business practices, the firm’s work with its clients, and its impact on a more resilient future. Every day provides unique opportunities and challenges. One day they could be collaborating with colleagues on their approach to climate risk management and related reporting. Another day could be spent advising clients on their climate considerations and applying them to their business strategy. They also work with nonprofits and the public sector to advance global ambitions on climate.

The journey for sustainable finance

Goldman Sachs has a long history of sustainable finance. Their journey started in 2005 with the release of its inaugural environmental policy framework that acknowledged the detrimental impacts of climate change. Several years later, they had their inaugural green financing target. The firm also has demonstrated a track record of investing in inclusive growth. Its urban investment group was founded in 2001, which drives investments in communities and economic development, and in the subsequent years the firm has launched high-impact signature programs to promote economic empowerment for women and small businesses, including its One Million Black Women initiative. 

There’s an incredible multiplier effect of having the experience and capabilities that Goldman Sachs has developed by partnering with their clients and stakeholders. They use their experience not only to improve their mark but to help other institutions learn to advance their approach as well.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kara Mangone

Kara has spent her career at Goldman Sachs at the intersection of shareholders, policymakers, interest groups, and the firm’s leadership, helping the firm define and execute on its sustainability objectives. 

Currently, she is the Global Head of Climate Strategy and is responsible for working across all divisions of the firm to deliver on the firm’s signature climate initiatives. In this capacity, she plays an integral role in the firm’s leadership on climate change, including advancing the firm’s thought-leadership, policy positions, business practices, and external engagement efforts on climate.

Previously, she was Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs’ Sustainable Finance Group, which partners with the firm’s businesses to deliver sustainability-related solutions to clients. These solutions include helping clients to develop capabilities to address climate transition and drive more inclusive growth.

Prior to that, Kara was a managing director in Investor Relations, where she led engagement with the firm’s investors globally on corporate governance and sustainability and worked with management and a diverse array of external partners to develop best-in-class sustainability reporting and disclosure.

Kara earned a BS in English and Finance from Boston College and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She was named a 2020 Millennium Leadership Fellow by the Atlantic Council.

Interested in becoming a Smart Energy Voices Sponsor Partner?

To become a Sponsor Partner of Smart Energy Voices Season 3, please reach out to [email protected] for packages, pricing, and further details.

Connect With Smart Energy Decisions

  • LinkedIn
  • Subscribe

Smart Energy Decisions Content Partners