HSBC announces continued success of climate partnership programme

Saturday, 19 February 2011 01:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Programme reveals environmental and commercial benefits

The HSBC Climate Partnership is celebrating the continuing achievements of a pioneering programme creating long-term environmental and commercial value.

Speaking at the launch of the HSBC Climate Partnership Review 2010 at Canary Wharf, Simon Martin, Head of Group Corporate Sustainability said, "Solutions to climate change require collective action involving governments, NGOs, the public and the business community. The scale of the achievements announced last week by the HSBC Climate Partnership shows that tangible results can be achieved by going beyond corporate sponsorship and adopting a more collaborative approach.

"HSBC has seen direct commercial benefits from the Climate Partnership through a number of initiatives implemented by our employees. To date more than 100,000 colleagues have actively taken part in the Climate Partnership, creating a more engaged workforce."

Since 2007, the innovative Climate Partnership programme with The Climate Group, Earthwatch, The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF has:

Generated scientific information to help the Panama Canal Authority secure the long-term viability of the Panama Canal and its vital role in global trade by researching the factors that control seasonal water flows, and the role that different types of trees and vegetation play in regulating these flows

Increased the income of 56,000 fish farmers in China by encouraging them to employ sustainable aquaculture techniques which significantly reduce water pollution

Involved more than 100,000 HSBC staff in primary field research, local volunteering projects and online learning modules about climate change

Invested 75,000 staff hours in field research, contributing to scientific understanding about the role of forests in climate change and increasing organisational commitment among employees

Worked to embed sustainability across HSBC’s global operations by implementing sustainable business projects. One such project saw the introduction of automatic shutting down of PCs overnight. Since 2008 this has saved over 4.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 907 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 363 cars off the road for a year

Enabled the Partners to work with government bodies. As a direct result of the programme’s work on the Yangtze, the Chinese Ministry of Water has asked WWF to advise on its next 25 year master plan for sustainable water management

Established three practical initiatives across 12 global cities, bringing together business and government to roll out clean technologies – LED lighting, electric vehicles and Smart IT applications. These could cut global emissions by 15%.

Trial of a low carbon, low tech, bacteria technology to reduce sewage pollution into the Ganges, the municipal authorities of Kanpur and seven other major cities on the Ganges are about to implement this cost-effective model.

Improving freshwater sources, directly benefiting 26 million people in China and two million in Brazil

Preventing pig slurry from polluting the Yangtze through a simple unit which captures the slurry and turns it into methane, providing free gas to local villages

Introducing sustainable aquaculture to reduce pollution and increase the income of 56,000 fish farmers along the Yangtze

Developing a methodology with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for calculating the financial value of ‘environmental services’ provided by the forests along the Panama Canal, helping to keep the canal open for the 5% of global trade that passes through it

Implementing trials of key low carbon technologies in cities around the world

Significantly increasing organisational commitment among staff who have participated directly in the programme through the Earthwatch Institute.

Achievements to date as reported by HSBC’s Partners (includes targets already exceeded):

Objective achieved (2010) Goal (2012):

Increased protection of forest land: 2,900,000 hectares protected target; 3,000,000 hectares protected

Businesses and cities involved in new actions to scale-up key low carbon technologies: Achieved 12 cities; target five cities

Improved freshwater sources benefiting people: Achieved for 28,000,000 people; target 32,000,000 people

Protecting and managing wetland areas: Achieved 18,500,000 hectares; target 300,000 hectares

Increase HSBC employee understanding of and engagement with climate change: Achieved 1,400 Climate Champions; target 2,200 Climate Champions.