Since its founding in 1981, Bloomberg has been guided by the principle that transparent markets empower investors, fuel entrepreneurs and support economic growth. Better data leads to better decisions. Moving forward, the world needs sustainable economic growth, and people at this corporation have evolved their mission to provide clients with the data they need to navigate the changing landscape and successfully transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes decision-useful sustainability data, analytics and news.
Bloomberg’s Corporate Philanthropy programme harnesses the skills and resources of employees to create lasting impact. The company is committed to giving back to the cities in which it thrives, using employees’ expertise and the company’s resources to address unmet needs in the surrounding communities, deepen engagement with colleagues, clients and partners and improve lives around the world. In 2019, 12,915 employees in 80 cities took part in the Best of Bloomberg corporate volunteer programme, contributing more than 158,000 hours of volunteer service.
Bloomberg is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). The vast majority of the profits from Bloomberg L.P. goes to Bloomberg Philanthropies, which works to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
The report that follows features content about business, environmental and social issues that have a direct and significant impact on the company, employees and strategic partners as well as about issues that the organization has a unique opportunity to influence. Bloomberg identified these issues through a materiality assessment they initially conducted in 2015. Their business units and operational divisions provided content and data for this report.
Writes Mike Bloomberg aka Bloomberg L.P. Owner and Co-founder Michael R. Bloomberg:
“The past few months have been extremely difficult for communities all over the world and for businesses in every industry — and most of all, for those who have lost loved ones to coronavirus, or who have lost their jobs because of it. The pandemic has brought about the most severe economic downturn the world has seen in many years, but it can also be a turning point that propels us forward — including in the fight against climate change.
As governments in every region pursue policies to get their economies back on solid footing, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make smart investments that accelerate our transition to a 100% clean energy economy and lay the foundation for strong and sustainable growth in the years ahead.
The fact is: Fighting climate change and growing the economy go hand in hand. Investments that reduce carbon emissions also create jobs and protect businesses and investors from risks. Because much of the world’s carbon emissions and air pollution are produced by the same sources, actions to address climate change also clean the air, which helps cities attract more private sector investment. People want to live where they can breathe clean air — and where people want to live, businesses want to invest. Clean air also leads to better health and less vulnerability to respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 — as well as chronic conditions like asthma and lung disease. So fighting climate change brings immediate benefits that can save lives and make our communities stronger and more resilient.
At Bloomberg, we’re committed to doing our part. We are a member of RE100, a global coalition of companies committed to using 100% clean energy. In 2019, just under 50% of the power our company used came from renewable sources. They have also improved the energy efficiency of our operations by nearly 50%. These steps don’t just benefit the environment — they have saved us over $120 million since 2008. And over the next year, we will develop a new set of strategic targets across our business to raise the bar for sustainability in the years ahead.
More businesses and investors want to take similar steps — and to help them, we have continued to expand the environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and in-depth research we provide, and we’re working to make that data and information easier to access and put to use. In 2019, we released new tools that help our clients visualize risks and opportunities and incorporate ESG data into their existing decision-making processes. We also created Bloomberg Green, a new global multi-platform media brand fully dedicated to covering climate change, which launched in early 2020.
We have also formed coalitions of business and civic leaders to make financial markets more transparent and help them price in climate risks. Two industry-driven organizations that Bloomberg helped launch — the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) — are providing guidance on assessing climate-related risks. Meanwhile, the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), which I chair, is mobilizing private finance to address climate change in ways that also spur economic growth.
Virtually all of our company’s profits go to fund the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which continues to expand its efforts to drive action on climate change. In June 2019, we launched Beyond Carbon, a coordinated national campaign to speed the adoption of clean energy. In 2019, Bloomberg employees contributed more than 158,000 volunteer hours in cities and countries around the world, including projects that are helping us protect the environment and cut carbon emissions.
Climate change, like the coronavirus, is a global challenge that no country or industry can defeat alone. But by working together and forming partnerships, we can build a stronger economy and a healthier planet for the generations to come.”
2. Company overview
Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held Limited Partnership headquartered in New York City. They have nearly 20,000 employees based in 172 locations around the world, with primary offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates.
2.1. Bloomberg Professional Services
Bloomberg Professional Services — the Bloomberg Terminal® and enterprise data management and integration services — provide real-time data, breaking news, in-depth research, powerful analytics and world-class execution capabilities to help financial professionals make smarter, faster and better-informed decisions.
2.2. News & media
Bloomberg Editorial & Research draws on the work of 2,700 journalists and analysts across 120 countries. Bloomberg Media, the company’s consumer-facing media organization, delivers a suite of content, products and strategic marketing services that connect audiences to ideas and intelligence across every platform — digital, TV, streaming video, radio, print and live events.
The business operates in 5 million owned and leased square feet of space in 72 countries, including 3 significant data centres crucial to operations and customers, 10 television studios, 12 radio studios and 6 printing facilities. They publish two magazines, Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets, printing and distributing almost 31 million copies globally as of 2019.
The corporation’s Management Committee oversees corporate strategy and operations. The Management Committee has seven members: the company Founder, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Global Head of Finance, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Co-Chief Operating Officers (Global Head of Engineering and Global Head of Financial Products).
In 2019, the company evolved its governance structure to embed sustainability into relevant business units, including Workplace Operations and the newly formed Sustainable Finance Solutions group in the Financial Products division. Each business head is responsible for formulating the company’s sustainability strategy for their business unit, including addressing climate-related risks and opportunities. The Management Committee is consulted and updated on a regular basis and provides direction and resource allocation.
3.1. Climate-related governance
This corporation considers short-, medium- and long-term climate-related risks and opportunities at the Management Committee level. Internal sustainability professionals develop climate-related targets and strategies to mitigate risks and foster opportunities across the organization.
Operations develops infrastructure that will be resilient in the face of physical risks posed by climate change. And business units identify opportunities and develop climate-related products and content in response to a market in transition to a low-carbon economy. They disclose governance around climate-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the recommendations of the FSB Task Force on climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
4.1. Promoting STEM skills
Business is built on innovation, and this company believes in the power of data and technology. That’s why they developed programmes to use the skills of employees to engage and educate the next generation. The engineers serve as mentors through a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes around the globe. In 2019, Bloomberg held regular Python coding workshops, designed and led by engineers in our New York City office, to ensure a diverse spectrum of students develop the skills they need to unlock opportunity — and drive progress.
They also hosted a Girls Go Tech boot camp in their Hong Kong office, helping to inspire female students to consider careers in STEM, and, through FIRST Robotics, their engineers coached teams of high school students in a year-long project to design, build, code and operate robots to compete in a series of challenges. Bloomberg is committed to expanding education opportunities to all students, especially in STEM fields.
5.2. Increasing access to financial careers
The company is committed to making the world of finance more accessible and diverse. In 2019, they launched Girls Take Wall Street, a day of workshops, panel discussions and motivational talks for high school girls with women leaders in finance and business, including Bloomberg employees. They then expanded the Girls Take Finance programme to Mumbai and Ahmedabad and made plans to expand to 12 cities globally in 2020.
5.3. Supporting sustainable communities
They also launched the Bloomberg Startup Diverse Leaders programme in London, connecting 28 high-potential economics and business students from underrepresented communities with mentors from our Black Professional and Pan-Asian employee communities.
5.4. Financial journalism training
The Bloomberg Global Business and Financial Journalism Training Programme includes a range of courses designed to strengthen reporting on financial markets and global economies around the world, including in China, India, Dubai and several African countries.
The CSR programme includes: academic/university-affiliated curriculum leading to a completion certificate or a master’s or undergraduate degree; training for working journalists and college students co-designed by Bloomberg reporters and editors; and community and philanthropy partnerships focused on increasing interest in journalism careers and diversity in business journalism. In 2019, the Global Business and Financial Journalism Training Programme trained a total of 252 students.
A key initiative of the programme is the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) financial journalism training programme, a six-month course that has trained 652 journalists and mid-level professionals from 14 African countries since 2014. In 2019, they expanded the programme to five new countries — Ghana, Zambia, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania — graduating 84 journalists from Ghana and Zambia.
6. Arts & Culture
Through a wide range of sponsorships and partnerships, the global conglomerate advances creativity, innovation, public access and new technologies in the arts while connecting employees and clients to unique cultural experiences. In 2019, they commissioned public artwork in collaboration with the charitable trust Artichoke and art collective NOVAK to inspire climate action.
Imminence, a light and sound installation, illuminated the full length of Bloomberg Arcade, a public space outside their London office, through December, as world leaders met in Madrid for the COP25 climate change conference. Its shape-shifting projections invited pedestrians to reflect on the consequences of climate change — from deforestation to bee extinction, coral bleaching and global warming — as images unfolded beneath their feet.
They also supported Year 3, a Tate Britain exhibition of artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen’s class portraits of 74,000 London schoolchildren. Brought together in a single, large-scale installation, the artwork offers a glimpse into London’s future. In collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public art partner Artangel, special editions of the class portraits were also posted on billboards in London’s 33 boroughs, exposing the exhibition to an even wider audience.
To celebrate the golden anniversary of Australia’s Kaldor Public Arts Projects, which brings groundbreaking art to public spaces, we supported a retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales that included Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones’ monumental installation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Today, almost all of Bloomberg’s philanthropic programmes in Sydney aim to support indigenous communities and artists.
7. Human Services
7.1. Supporting those in need
In 2019, Bloomberg helped some of the communities’ most vulnerable citizens. In the U.K., they collaborated with the Mayor of London on the Winter Programme for rough sleepers and supported the expansion of the StreetLink app, enabling those experiencing homelessness to connect directly with expert advice. Employees also played their part, joining the Mayor to host 100 homeless people at a City Hall lunch featuring on-site access to essential support services.
7.2. Providing legal assistance
Since 2016, members of the firm’s Legal & Compliance (L&C) Department have provided their legal expertise to assist under-served communities through the Best of Bloomberg Legal Pro Bono programme. In 2019, 97% of L&C Department employees globally participated in the programme, collectively dedicating approximately 5,300 hours of pro bono service through in-depth legal representation, consultations, training, research and advice.
They formally launched the EMEA programme in 2019, with notable successes including building and strengthening several pro bono partnerships and hosting the inaugural In-House Pro Bono Roundtable for the UK community. In the Asia Pacific region, they established and deepened pro bono partnerships and participated in projects including training people in the creative industry through negotiations workshops, helping refugees obtain work authorization for their employment in Hong Kong and participating in a dual-citizenship research project.
In the U.S., the L&C Department provided pro bono assistance through programmes supporting immigrants, small business entrepreneurs, veterans and victims of domestic violence. In partnership with law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, they also sponsored an Equal Justice Works fellow at the Anti-Violence Project, focusing on assisting undocumented immigrant LGBTQ survivors of hate violence.
In 2019, Bloomberg employees planted 25,973 trees and plants globally to help counter CO2 emissions, provide shelter in the hottest parts of cities, support biodiversity and beautify their surroundings. Volunteers in London planted 500 saplings provided by their partner Trees for Cities and, in Tokyo, 100 employees assisted forest farming and preservation charity Donguri no Kai with its efforts to repopulate Japan’s forests with native broadleaf trees. The trees were wiped out during World War II and largely replaced with non-native cedar and cypress trees, causing an ecosystem imbalance and contributing to the high rate of hayfever in Japan. The employees nurtured native acorns and other saplings at their homes for two months to improve the trees’ chances of survival when planted.
9. Protecting coastal communities
A new initiative between Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative partner Global Fishing Watch (GFW) and the company brought GFW’s data on global fishing activity to the company’s Terminal via an interactive map that allows subscribers to see global fishing activity and overlay relevant climate, weather or coral reef data.
Marine ecosystems and coastal communities increasingly face pressures due to overfishing and climate change. Making fisheries data available to Terminal subscribers will help inform global efforts to combat these mounting challenges, enabling investors to drive capital toward responsible actors, increasing transparency for businesses and governments and supporting the monitoring of global fishing activity.
Disclaimer: This article contains excerpts from the Bloomberg Impact Report 2019. This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards; the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and its industry-specific accounting standards; the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations; and select content from the CDP. In addition, the company consulted with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The sustainability data, disclosures and claims in this report have been verified by Cventure LLC.