Corporate Sustainability - Environment | HSBC



For HSBC, being sustainable means managing our business across the world for the long term. That means achieving sustainable profits for our shareholders, building long-lasting relationships with customers, valuing our highly committed employees, respecting environmental limits and investing in communities.

Protecting and preserving the environment is a key focus of our philanthropic and volunteer efforts. We are committed to finding ways to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce our impact on the environment and make our communities healthier places to live. We support varied initiatives and organizations that focus on environmental policy development, public awareness and education, and scientific research to improve the sustainability and resilience of eco-systems.

  • More than 1,100 employees engaged in climate change-related local volunteer projects in 2011
  • 85,000 individuals benefited by HSBC-funded environmental projects in 2011
  • Through the Climate Partnership, HSBC employees in the US completed nearly 15,000 hours of climate research, the equivalent of eight years of scientific research by one scientist
  • Nearly 300 employees in the U.S. are HSBC Climate Champions who measured over 38,000 trees as part of climate change research

"Over the years, HSBC has successfully partnered with the American Forest Foundation to identify fun and creative educational projects to increase environmental awareness with youth and encourage them to be more protective of their surroundings."
Bojan Savanovic, Manager, Specialized Compliance, Government and Institutional Banking, HSBC and for the American Forest Foundation

We thoroughly analyze and report on our environmental performance in the U.S. and around the globe. HSBC collects data on all aspects of our environmental footprint (including the consumption of energy and water, and the production of waste and CO2) and track our performance against a defined set of sustainability goals. This information is included in our global environmental reporting system and detailed in our annual HSBC Holdings plc Sustainability Report and our Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Index.

Case Studies

HSBC Climate Partnership

Climate change is believed to be 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, HSBC announced a five-year, $100 million program 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 WWF, along with thousands of HSBC employees worldwide, we have mobilized a "climate taskforce" that is making a meaningful and measurable difference.

View the full HSBC Climate Partnership case study

Chicago Botanic Garden

With so much of our giving and volunteerism dedicated to 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 programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden that are focused on protecting and enriching the environment, and providing environmental education to youth and adults.

View the full Chicago Botanic Garden case study

Environmental Volunteers

Since 2007, HSBC has contributed a total of $160,000 in grants to Environmental Volunteers, a California-based group dedicated to promoting understanding of and responsibility for the environment among children and teachers. In part through our support, Environmental Volunteers is equipping and helping hundreds of California teachers to deliver quality science education, while inspiring a sense of environmental stewardship among their students. As a result of the partnership, schools throughout Bay Area counties have received innovative environmental science programs and curriculum that they might otherwise never have benefited from or experienced.

City Parks Foundation

City Parks Foundation's Seeds to Trees program, with HSBC's continued support, is bringing unique environmental education programs to underserved schools throughout New York City. Since 2001, we have contributed more than $570,000 to Seeds to Trees, enabling thousands of elementary and middle school students to experience in-school environmental education programs, as well as hands-on "field experiences" in which they explore and learn from (and in) their local urban environments. Seeds to Trees uses the richness of students' natural surroundings to teach science concepts and ecological principles, making seemingly abstract topics, such as pollution, tangible and relevant to city students.

American Forest Foundation

Since 2007, HSBC has contributed $65,000 to the American Forest Foundation to help fund the "Greening the Capital City: One Schoolyard at a Time" program. This program provides grants to elementary schools in the heart of Washington, D.C., who are in urgent need of schoolyard improvement and "greening." Our most recent support of the program is providing professional development opportunities to educators across Washington, D.C., to help them provide hands-on service-learning programs through which students gain an increased awareness about environmental issues and the importance of sustainability in their own neighborhoods. Beyond financial support, our employees have actively volunteered in service projects with the American Forest Foundation, including cleaning and planting a vegetable garden/greenhouse at McKinley Technology High School and weeding, planting and harvesting garden beds and creating a mural with students at Paul Middle School.

Eco-Schools USA - National Wildlife Foundation

Through the Eco-Schools USA program, HSBC partners with the National Wildlife Federation to develop a global network of schools that are actively learning about climate change and finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and energy use in their schools and local communities. Two Eco-School Climate Initiative pilot programs are currently in progress in Chicago and Buffalo. We are working to train a minimum of 20 staff volunteers in the U.S. (and nearly 1,000 across the globe) to address climate change in the classroom and teach children about the importance of protecting the world's environment. "It was the highlight of my year to be able to engage young people at this level on such important topics," said Ray Johnson, an HSBC Eco-Schools USA volunteer in Chicago, Illinois.

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