Smart Energy Voices - Episode 5

Smart Energy Voices - Episode 5

Goldman Sachs’ Renewable Energy Journey with Cindy Quan 

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Renewable energy is not a new conversation at Goldman Sachs as they have found a way for the last 10 years to ensure corporate profitability alongside operational sustainability. From their new LEED Gold Certified World headquarters to Sustainable Finance, Cindy shares a comprehensive synopsis of how Goldman Sachs and it’s leadership is being “front footed” in setting an example for social equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

Don’t miss hearing John Failla have a high-level conversation with Cindy Quan about ESG and how renewable energy plays into their vision of sustainability at Goldman Sachs & Co. Cindy is the Chief of Staff and Head of the ESG, Corporate and Workplace Solutions Division at Goldman Sachs, and is passionate about integrating environmental, social, and corporate governance across all their resources, including buildings, people, and communities.

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

  • Meeting Cindy Quan, Global Head of ESG, Corporate and Workplace Solutions [2:56]
  • The “WHY” behind the ESG initiatives at Goldman Sachs? [5:38]
  • Two Highlights from Goldman Sachs CEO’s sustainable vision [7:53]
  • The Current Renewable Energy portion of ESG at Goldman Sachs [11:12]
  • How the US and UK energy use dominates global consumption [13:28]
  • Goldman Sachs’ diversity preferences for onsite or offsite wind/solar/PPA [15:11]
  • How RE sustainability plays into the future for Goldman Sachs? [18:03]

Changing markets and a changing climate

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was an anchor year for achievements in organizing sustainable changes to the market landscape. In December 2019, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon wrote an Op-Ed for the Financial Times sharing how Goldman Sachs would begin immediately integrating sustainable financial expertise across all departments. Rather than waiting for 2025 commitments, he chose to start now.

What motivates a decision like that? It’s a commitment to creating the new future that our planet and future generations need. Listen to hear how Goldman Sachs is leading the way among organizations.

Can climate transition be an opportunity for growth?

During this conversation, Cindy shares how the core of ESG goes beyond corporate responsibility, but rather drives the scaling of ESG to full integration and best practices. The effective model comes down to stewardship and community — if people and resources are not managed well and appreciated, they can be lost quickly. To provide an example so other organizations can see how it works practically, she shares their targeted metrics on what this looks like within the new Corporate and Workplace Solutions Division.

Portfolio Diversity of Renewable Energy

Goldman Sachs knows a thing or two about portfolio diversity and Renewable Energy is no different. However, you have to look at an aggregate cross-section of their 224 global locations totaling over 11 million square feet of real estate to see this exemplified. Onsite installation of a solar array is not always an option, so they are willing to consider other options, like a virtual PPA. In Tokyo, Goldman Sachs successfully pioneered requesting the landlord for a non-fossil fuel RE onsite installation and since then many others in the area have followed suit.

Join John and Cindy for this insightful episode to hear what Goldman Sachs is doing and continues to do, and to glean ideas that could be applied to your organization.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Cindy Quan

Cindy Quan, Global Chief of Staff and Head of ESG, Goldman, Sachs & Co

As Global Chief of Staff and Head of ESG at Goldman, Sachs & Co, Cindy Quan oversees global sustainability and social initiatives including the green building portfolio, the firm's energy and carbon reduction strategy and the local community engagement and vendor diversity program. She was responsible for the LEED Gold Certification of the World Headquarters building at 200 West Street in Battery Park City in New York City. Cindy is currently a board member of CoreNet NY and the chair of the external relations committee. Cindy is also an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council's National Market Advisory Committee. Cindy received her executive MBA at Columbia University and London Business Schools in 2014. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Cindy graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Facilities Management and Policy Analysis from Cornell University.

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