Corporate Sustainability - Case Studies | HSBC

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Case Studies


Corporate Sustainability - Community

Doe Fund - HSBC and the Doe Fund: Helping Men Help Themselves and the Environment

A commitment to community service and environmental stewardship are two of the passions we share with our New York-based partner The Doe Fund.

The Doe Fund's mission is to develop and implement cost-effective, holistic programs that meet the needs of a diverse population working to break the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism. Built on the premise that "work works", its cornerstone program Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) offers homeless and formerly incarcerated men paid job opportunities and occupational training through the organization's social enterprises, such as Resource Recovery. This innovative Resource Recovery program trains Ready, Willing & Able participants to collect thousands of gallons of waste cooking oil from restaurants and offices from across the city and sell it to biodiesel producers who convert it to biofuel. HSBC supports these individuals as they work to change their financial futures while helping to improve New York City's environmental landscape.

Nationwide, 67 percent of people released from prison are re-arrested within three years, and 52 percent are re-incarcerated. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of the homeless men who enter a RWA facility have a history of incarceration. RWA combines full-time paid work with transitional housing, access to social services, and mandated, frequent drug testing in an effort to break these cycles.

The opportunity can be life-changing, as it was for Marshall G. (last name undisclosed for privacy purposes). Finishing his second prison term at age 25 and transitioning out of Queensboro Correctional Facility, Marshall determined that more jail time was not going to be in his future. "I didn't want the street lifestyle. I wanted to be different, but didn't know how."

After learning about RWA Resource Recovery Program, Marshall took the opportunity to improve his situation and head down a path toward a productive future. "That was the draw – the chance to do something with my life, get skills and an opportunity to apply them." Marshall worked as a full-time Resource Recovery employee in 2009 and 2010, and has since moved on to become a fleet mechanic for a charter tour bus company.

Not only does RWA Resource Recovery Program create jobs and eliminate the illegal dumping of millions of gallons of waste cooking oil in to New York City's sewer system, but it helps improve the city's air quality. The high level of pollution in New York City is an ever increasing problem and leads to many respiratory illnesses. By converting waste cooking oil into renewable biofuel, 78 percent less carbon dioxide is emitted into the air, ultimately relieving the effects of global warming and poor air quality.

"Through RWA Resource Recovery Program, The Doe Fund not only is making New York City cleaner and greener, but is providing jobs and training to formerly homeless individuals," says George T. McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund. "The men of Ready, Willing & Able have proven that waste cooking oil isn't garbage, but is, in fact, an urban resource. With HSBC at our side we are rapidly expanding our efforts across New York City."

Through our committed support, totaling more than $1 million to date, The Doe Fund is able to continue development of RWA Resource Recovery Program and remain New York's only ecologically and socially conscious on-demand, free, pick-up service of waste cooking oil converted into premium grade biodiesel fuel.

By working to improve air quality in New York City and empowering formerly homeless and incarcerated men, The Doe Fund's initiatives are benefiting not only the community at large, but also the environment. Our partnership with The Doe Fund is mutually beneficial as it leads to creative opportunities to "green" the community and help those in need.

Source: Doe Fund/RWA's website

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Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) - Revitalizing Neighborhoods with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation

There are times when a community needs a helping hand to get back on its feet. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has been that helping hand for almost three decades.

LISC connects local organizations and community leaders across the country with resources to revitalize neighborhoods and improve quality of life. Dedicated to helping residents transform their neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities, LISC assembles private and public resources and directs it to locally-defined priorities. Since 2001, HSBC has given more than $1.9 million to LISC groups across the U.S. so that local organizations can access national resources to help achieve remarkable results within their communities.

This remarkable impact can be seen on a micro level within communities through LISC's Neighbors Excelling Together (NExT) Program. By targeting specific local needs, NExT helps communities articulate the vision of what they want in their communities and find the resources they need to achieve their goals. Designed as a long-term approach to transforming neighborhoods, residents are encouraged to develop and execute a community action plan around the following five areas: affordable housing, financial and economic stability, commercial revitalization, education, and health and environmental concerns.

Currently, NExT is transforming three neighborhoods of San Francisco, CA's Chinatown, Oakland, CA's San Antonio and Richmond, CA. HSBC's grants help provide planning and technical assistance for the green development of local buildings, and advance programs that promote healthy lifestyles and green neighborhoods in these low-income areas.

The success of the program can be seen across neighborhoods including Oakland, CA's San Antonio, where NExT is supporting affordable housing, economic development, community safety and education. The San Antonio neighborhood celebrated the groundbreaking for 720 East 11th Street in May of 2011, which will provide 55 green affordable homes for low income families, with 11 homes set aside for residents with special needs. Bay Area LISC provided $500,000, as part of the Lower San Antonio Community Development Fund, to Resources for Community Development for them to purchase the site.

Across the country, LISC continues to help communities take hold of their situation and gain the resources to change their neighborhoods for the better. Through our partnership with LISC, we are able to align with a company that shares our values of community enrichment.

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Corporate Sustainability - Education

Junior Achievement - Increasing Financial Literacy One Child at a Time

HSBC understands that there are many challenges facing today's youth as they prepare to engage in the increasingly changing and complex aspects of the "real world." Recognizing the importance of educating, inspiring and equipping youth of all backgrounds to succeed in a global economy, we began a partnership with Junior Achievement USA®(Junior Achievement) in 1942. We expanded this partnership to launch a global initiative in 2006 and began working with JA Worldwide®.

Junior Achievement gives young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement's corporate and community volunteers deliver relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Since 2005, HSBC has been one of the largest providers of volunteers to Junior Achievement in the U.S. Our employee volunteers teach students at elementary and secondary schools in their communities how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace, with the goal of encouraging future economic success for thousands of students.

"Working with and inspiring children creates an undeniable sense of satisfaction, and that's something our employees embrace every time they participate in this program," said Pat Cozza, Senior Vice President of Insurance at HSBC and chairman of the board at Junior Achievement of New Jersey. "Through Junior Achievement, our employees help these students develop the financial and business skills necessary to go out and be better stewards within their communities and more responsible adults."

The staff members at schools involved with Junior Achievement report a positive relationship between our volunteers and their students. "The volunteers demonstrate a genuine warmth and eagerness as they work with the students," said Principal Diane D. Pistilli from PS#25 in Jersey City. "With the level of engagement we see, we're optimistic that the knowledge they received from the volunteers will stay with them as they manage their own financial decisions."

Students also enjoyed the experience. "My favorite part of the day was when we did the budget project, because it taught me that you have to be responsible with money," shared one student from PS#25 in Jersey City. Another student from the school reflected, "I learned that no matter what age you are, you can contribute to society."

The programs are equally, if not more, rewarding for employee volunteers. "I have facilitated many Junior Achievement classes over the years. If someone is considering volunteering, but hasn't yet had an opportunity like this, I would encourage them to look outside of themselves and see that just a few hours can make a huge impact on a child's life," shared volunteer Tricia Howard, HRIS Analyst.

Additionally, we participate in the JA Bowl-a-Thon. Since it began in 1987, we have raised more than $6 million for local JA offices as a result of our employee fundraising activities.

Most recently, we contributed to JA in the sponsoring and underwriting of its Global Signature Program: "More than Money". This three-year program teaches third through fifth grade students about managing money and the various jobs they can perform to earn money.

"There are numerous volunteer opportunities available to participate in, but Junior Achievement is by far one of the most rewarding experiences," said Patrick Nolan, CEO, Global Banking & Markets, Americas, who recently led a group of volunteers through a Junior Achievement day project. "Not only did it give us a chance to interact with kids in our community and grow as a team, but we were able to help invest in these students' futures by providing valuable information and coaching."

Our strong relationship with Junior Achievement is centered around our shared belief in the need to actively prepare and equip our future generations to succeed. We know the success of our youth is vital to the success of our communities and businesses. In partnering with JA, we plan to continue empowering the youth of today and tomorrow to own their economic success.

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YourMoneyCounts - HSBC's YouMoneyCounts Helps Customers' Money Go Further

Through HSBC's financial education platform, YourMoneyCounts®, we are committed to helping consumers across the country become more confident in managing their money and making informed financial decisions. Starting with the basics, we help consumers understand the value of their money, the importance of saving and how to spend wisely. Even if consumers are only able to save a little money every month, we provide routes for them to explore that will help improve their financial situation.

We have provided consumers with financial education since 1929. The YourMoneyCounts® education platform, managed by our Corporate Sustainability department, further advances this longstanding commitment to financial education. Since 2003, the program has offered clear, unbiased financial information to consumers through the YourMoneyCounts website, consumer education booklets, financial education workshops and educator resources. YourMoneyCounts.com has experienced more than 5.9 million visits since 2003.

YourMoneyCounts helps individuals and families develop goals and plan for the future. We understand that everyone has certain immediate needs and wants, but we also work to instill an appreciation of the importance of securing a comfortable future. Whether saving for homeownership, college, establishing a small business, or retirement, YourMoneyCounts helps consumers develop a road map to assist in achieving their goals.

For example, YourMoneyCounts provides a user-friendly explanation of the different types of investments a consumer can consider to maximize their returns and assists people in determining how to reduce their debt or properly finance their mortgage.

YourMoneyCounts has an impact not just on individuals, but at the community level, as well. The University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) used our YourMoneyCounts resources in its local workshop. Located in New York City's Bronx neighborhood, UNHP provided a free tax preparation workshop which assisted more than 1,000 low and moderate income Bronx residents last year. Equipped with HSBC's "Using Credit" and "Banking" booklets, tax clients were able to learn from materials on financial issues of interest while waiting in line to have their taxes completed.

"We have found the HSBC materials very helpful and the people who have attended our workshops liked having detailed information to take home with them," said Catherine Clarke, UNHP Development Director. "The HSBC materials and online training portal have been an important part of the organization's work to help community members make wise money decisions and avoid predatory products," said Jumelia Abrahamson, UNHP Program and Outreach Coordinator.

Additionally, the Women's Brooklyn Enterprise Center and the Local Development Corporation of East New York (LDCENY) use our materials to assist low-income women and minorities looking to start and grow their own businesses.

"One of our counselors completed HSBC's YourMoneyCounts 'Train-the-Trainer' program and she incorporates the knowledge into her one-on-one financial literacy counseling," said Elisa Balabram, LDCENY Brooklyn partner. "It has helped her to intensively counsel clients on their personal and business management needs."

Whether an individual is looking to develop more effective ways to budget or prepare to borrow money, or an organization looking to pass on valuable financial information, we are committed to providing the best information and tools to help create a prosperous financial environment in communities across the country.

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Corporate Sustainability - Environment

HSBC Climate Partnership - Championing for a Better World

Climate change is one of the most significant environmental challenge of this century and will have a major impact on our employees, customers, shareholders and communities. As a result, in 2007, we announced a five-year, $100 million program called "The HSBC Climate Partnership" to help reduce the impact of climate change on the world's rivers, forests and cities.

By partnering with The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), along with thousands of our employees worldwide, we have mobilized a "climate taskforce" that is making a meaningful and measurable difference in the U.S. and around the world. Our program goals are ambitious and strive to make a substantial difference in the communities where we live and work. These goals include:

  • Protect rivers and the livelihoods of people who rely on them
  • Research the long-term effects of climate change on the world's forests
  • Create cleaner and greener cities

Through the program, 2,200 HSBC staff have been trained as "Climate Champions" at one of five Regional Climate Centers worldwide (including 325 at the U.S.-based location in the Chesapeake Bay area) where they are involved in scientific research and associated learning to help them understand climate change and the action they can take in their personal and professional lives. So far, in the U.S. our Climate Champions and more than 350 of their colleagues have conducted close to 15,000 hours of research, the equivalent of eight years of scientific research by one scientist. The research included the identification of approximately 100 species of flora, as well as taking the measurements of more than 39,000 trees and seedlings.

The Climate Champion program is an integral part of the HSBC Climate Partnership, and is designed to provide our employees with unique leadership and development opportunities, while tackling the macro issue of climate change.

"As a Climate Champion, I'm inspired to think about sustainable ways in which we enhance our business," said Ray Johnson, one of the HSBC Climate Champions in the U.S. "The fact that HSBC defines sustainability for our business and our clients brings value to our world and the business. Whether a project related to sustainability reduces our carbon footprint, or provides opportunity for clients involved in the low-carbon economy, we're making a lasting difference. "

All Climate Champion teams share their field experience and reflections with colleagues back home via a team blog, and upon returning to work, individuals take on leadership roles and initiate projects that support HSBC's sustainability strategy.

"Many Climate Champions have made significant changes to the way our businesses function," added Johnson. "We set specific goals in different areas of sustainability, such as reducing waste, water and energy. This demonstrates how HSBC understands the importance of sustainability to our business, employees and the communities we serve."

"The partnership delivered one of the largest ever forest research projects. Working side by side, HSBC volunteers and scientists measured the effect of climate change on 150,000 of the world's trees.", states Douglas Flint, Group Chairman HSBC Holdings. Mr. Flint adds, "This study will continue to benefit academics and policy makers for years to come, as they establish what role these forests play in helping to reduce the impact of climate change."

Key Achievements

  • Climate Week NYC: Sponsored in part by The Climate Group, an HSBC Climate Partner, with support from HSBC the five-day program of events held in partnership with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg throughout New York City facilitated high-level meetings between the worlds leading businesses and governments. Over the last three years it has also hosted over 150 individual events, helping engage 40,000 people around climate action opportunities.
  • 13.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity saved in HSBC North America through a project implemented by Climate Champion Linda Bartos, a Director for HSBC Technology and Services in Buffalo, NY. Working with Climate Champion colleagues across the businesses, Linda ran an extensive campaign to encourage employees to manually shut down their computers each night before leaving. Called "Turn It Off', the campaign featured posters entitled "Don't Make Your Computer Work Any Longer Than You Are." As a result of this campaign, the business decided to automatically power down computers if a warning is ignored.
  • 30 peer-reviewed articles published by the Smithsonian: Smithsonian researchers contributed peer-reviewed articles to a number of prestigious international scientific journals, including Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Each article reported a major new discovery from the research taking place within the HSBC Climate Partnership.
  • Over 160,000 LED lamps to light Central Park, New York: The Climate Group worked with New York City based Climate Champions to transform how Central Park was lit. Light emitting diode, or LED, lamps cut energy use by more than fifty per cent compared with standard bulbs.
  • WWF's work in key rivers basins around the globe, including the Yangtze and Ganges, the Thames, and the Amazon, has improved freshwater resources that will benefit 32 million people.

Source: HSBC Climate Partnership 2010 Report and The HSBC Climate Partnership - Notes from a five year journey

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Chicago Botanic Garden - Planting the Seeds for Environmental Protection and Education

Based in Glencoe, IL, the Chicago Botanic Garden provides a range of programs that serve and enrich the environment, and provide environmental education to youths and adults. With so much of our giving and volunteerism dedicated to both environmental causes and education, the Chicago Botanic Garden has made an ideal partner with us for more than 20 years.

HSBC supports a range of unique Chicago Botanic Garden programs, including those within the Garden's Science Career Continuum, such as Science First and College First. We also support the efforts of such Garden community programs as Green Youth Farm. Together, all of these programs provide meaningful education through experiences with plant and environmental science, ecology, and nature. In keeping with our commitment to education and environmental protection, these programs impact youth and build the next generation of scientists, horticulturalists and concerned citizens.

Specifically, the Green Youth Farm program helps approximately 70 at-risk students a year from four low-income Chicago communities - three of which are considered food deserts - learn about sustainable agriculture, nutrition, teamwork and leadership. The program has provided access to affordable fresh produce for 8,000 residents in these communities. College First and Science First work with approximately 60 children each summer in an effort to improve their performance in science education, encourage them to attend college and ultimately increase the representation of people of color in professions related to environmental science. Since 2006, 92% of College First students have enrolled in college, and 60% of them are majoring in a science field.

Andrew Armishaw, HSBC's Group Head of Technology and Services Audit and a member of the Chicago Botanic Garden's board of directors, said, "The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect example of how an organization can make vital, year-round contributions to its community in a variety of ways, from educating our youth to increasing access to good nutrition and fresh produce."

With world-class gardens, as well as four natural areas, a wide range of volunteer opportunities exist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. HSBC employees have participated in various projects, including seed banking, invasive species removal, prairie restoration and more. Volunteers have participated in volunteer days at the Garden annually since 1991.

"The Chicago Botanic Garden relies on partners like HSBC and its employees," said Steve Ball, Director of Corporate Relations. "As members of our community, they recognize the importance of the environment and its integral connection to the people and the neighborhoods we serve."

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Corporate Sustainability - Employee Engagement

Legal Pro Bono Program - HSBC Legal Team Steps Away from their Day Jobs to Help Families In Need via the New York Family Court Attorney Volunteer Office

In 2010, more than 57,000 families were served by the New York City Family Court, including more than 84,000 children. Many of these families do not have legal representation and do not understand their basic rights. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 7,000 families sought the services of volunteers to provide direction on how to proceed in Family Court.

One day a month, a group of HSBC's attorneys put aside their usual corporate legal duties to help families in need. They are part of our innovative Legal Pro-Bono program with the New York City Family Court Volunteer Attorney Office designed to aid families in need of advice and guidance with respect to the complex legal issues they face in the Family Court.

According to Cristina Pérez, Associate General Counsel, HSBC Securities USA Inc., "When we first talked about doing pro bono work, the idea was to step out of our day jobs and usual corporate legal environment and give back to those in need, who may not know their basic rights or, in the case of this particular project, feel comfortable operating in the family court system."

Pérez and her colleagues volunteer one day a month at Family Court Volunteer Attorney Offices in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. They offer free legal consultation on family law and procedural matters, such as child custody and visitation, paternity suits and family offenses, among others.

Victoria Cumings, Senior Legal Counsel and an avid volunteer, remembers one case in particular.

"One client's ex-boyfriend was threatening to seek sole custody of their 8-year-old child, despite the boyfriend having had minimal contact with the child over the years. My colleague and I walked the client through the issues and implications - the boyfriend's rights as father of the child, the client's options with regard to seeking sole custody herself, whether joint custody was an option, her concerns about her immigration status, what would be entailed in getting some form of protective order and practical steps she could take and how she should prioritize her concerns to get immediate help.

The client was very appreciative of our guidance and left the meeting with some good resources, more clarity on the options to consider and a better sense of how to navigate her way through the process in the family court. The experience was very worthwhile for us as lawyers too, as we were able to help a client in need while analyzing interesting issues and learning something new in the process."

"It's been very eye-opening for us as it exposes us to a whole different reality that most of us don't encounter on a professional or personal level," added Pérez.

"I'm very proud of my team for initiating this program and for signing on to help at the Family Court Volunteer Attorney Office for a year," states Stuart Alderoty, Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel, HSBC - North America. "The new pro bono program says a lot about my team's dedication not only to volunteerism but also to each other, to choose to spend their personal time working together to assist those in need."

Source: 2010 NYC Family Court Annual Report

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Habitat for Humanity Buffalo - HSBC and Habitat for Humanity Buffalo: Rehabilitating a Community

In early November 2011, several of HSBC's employees attended the dedication of a house in Buffalo, N.Y. The owners were grateful that they came because without these people and HSBC, they would not be standing in front of their new home.

These employees were part of 362 volunteers from our Payment Operations and Mortgage Corporation that worked with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo, committing 36 days and 2,257 service hours from June to October to rehabilitate that house. We provided funding to provide a new roof, siding, windows, mechanical systems and interior finishes. This marked the sixth year of HSBC's partnership with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo.

"This has been a remarkable experience," said Marilyn Hickey-Quattro, Business Support Analyst, HSBC Payment Operations. "You go in not knowing what's being expected of you, and by the end of the day the site leader has you working a complicated wiring project. You come away knowing you can do this and the final product blows you away!"

Habitat for Humanity Buffalo was founded in 1985. Since then, it has dedicated more than 225 homes in the Buffalo area, providing housing for more than 940 people, including more than 615 children. Rehabilitated houses help to transform derelict properties into homes. New houses built on empty lots help to stabilize neighborhoods. The families receiving the houses have to do their part, dedicating 500 hours in sweat equity. Habitat for Humanity Buffalo works in partnership with these low-income families to provide simple decent housing and help ensure their success as homeowners.

The organization prides itself on working efficiently, so that the investment of its partners and the work of its volunteers translate directly into the gift of home ownership. In fact, nearly 90 percent of all money spent goes to construction, with the City of Buffalo selling lots to the organization for $1. Their benchmark for selling a rehabbed home is $45,000 to $60,000, with new builds costing up to $90,000.

Hickey-Quattro added, "It makes a difference in our city, it gets noticed, and it makes you feel good about your neighborhood and HSBC. It's nice to know that Habitat and HSBC are working together to improve our community."

Over the course of this six year partnership with Habitat for Humanity/Buffalo, nearly 2,300 of HSBC's employees have contributed 14,500 hours to restore or construct homes in Western New York. In keeping with our strong commitment to help preserve and protect the environment, the homes built or restored by Habitat for Humanity feature energy efficient windows and insulation, Energy Star appliances and high-efficiency furnaces.

Source: Habitat for Humanity Buffalo Website

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