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  • Chantal Le Goff

HSBC on Global and Local Sustainability

In 2020 HSBC announced its global ambition to become a net- zero bank by 2050. Providing between USD750 billion and USD1 trillion of financing and investment by 2030 to help our clients transition to lower carbon.

It’s an ambitious plan, but one that will prioritise financing and investment that helps build a thriving, resilient future for society and businesses.

Being sustainably focused isn’t new for HSBC. We’re already a leading player in the transition to a low-carbon economy. In 2017, we committed to providing USD100 billion of sustainable finance by 2025 and have since launched a number of award-winning products, and been recognised as a leader in this area – including being named The World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance by Euromoney in 2019 and 2020. Supporting our customers through the transition – we aim to:

  • Work with our portfolio of customers to support them on their journey to lower carbon emissions, bringing together our dedicated ESG Solutions team, our award-winning products and experts across the bank to develop tailored solutions for our customers

  • Prioritise financing and investment that supports our customers in all sectors to transition to lower carbon emissions

  • Increase our portfolio of transition finance solutions to help enable even the most heavy-emitting sectors to progressively decarbonise, while helping to ensure a just and stable transition to maintain economic stability

  • Unlock next-generation climate solutions and develop ways to finance the management of natural environments, and invest in activities that preserve, protect and enhance nature over the long-term

  • Apply a climate lens to our financing decisions, taking into account the unique conditions for our clients across developed and developing economies

+ How is HSBC becoming a net-zero bank? We’ll align our financed emissions - the carbon emissions of our portfolio of customers, to the Paris Agreement goal to achieve net-zero by 2050 or sooner. Using the Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment Tool (PACTA) to develop clear, measurable pathways to do so.

We’ll make regular, transparent disclosures to communicate our progress in line with the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures guidelines, and encourage our customers to do the same. We’ll work with our peers, central banks and industry bodies to mobilise the financial system around a globally consistent, future-proofed standard, to measure financed emissions and a functioning carbon offset market. HSBC’s vision, is that being sustainably focused becomes normal business practice, that it is embedded in our culture and no longer thought of in isolation. Sustainability will be at the core of how we operate, do business and train our people.

+ How do all these global ambitions translate to here in the Channel Islands? We’ve rolled out a comprehensive sustainability training programme, beginning with our most senior leaders and relationship managers, to ensure our commitment to green is embedded from the top. HSBC University, our online dedicated training platform, hosts a range of courses that have been developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Everyone is actively encouraged to complete these courses.

As part of the Bank’s 10-Goal Reduce programme, we’re working hard to adapt our local operating model to be sustainably focused. Our achievements to date:

  • 46% (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) reduction in our office and carbon footprint in the last five years

  • 60% reduction in energy consumption, thanks to our new air conditioning and lighting projects

  • Our energy for Jersey and Guernsey is carbon neutral

  • Our new technology is more energy efficient through replacing our employee hardware with the latest more efficient technology

  • We use recycled paper and have reduced our number of printers by 60% (Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

  • Our suppliers are encouraged to comply with the Bank’s ethical and environmental code of conduct

  • A number of parking spaces have been replaced with bike racks

  • We provide full recycling facilities in our buildings and all waste that can be recycled on island is processed

  • Everyone is supplied with a non-plastic reusable water bottle

  • Flexible and home working is actively encouraged, to help cut down on travel and carbon emissions, and positively promote wellbeing.

+ Green products for our Channel Island and Isle of Man customers. We are listening to our customers’ needs and continue to develop a suite of sustainable products that enable and empower our customers to make green, sustainably focused choices. In 2020 we launched our green loans for personal customers to purchase sustainably focused items, such as solar panels, double glazing or electric vehicles. Each approved loan directly supports local Wildlife Trusts carbon capture, biodiversity and habitat connectivity projects.

To help journey towards a carbon-neutral future, we also continue to enhance our digital banking platforms and apps to help customers cut down on their carbon footprint and branch visits. Islanders can now apply for selected credit cards online, sign their mortgage documents digitally, and switch to e-Statements.

+ HSBC is on a journey of intent. Becoming sustainably focused and transitioning to net-zero is, as outlined earlier, a bold and ambitious journey. We don’t have all the answers when it comes to sustainability, but we’re listening to our customers, learning and reviewing our processes, products and operating model, with the absolute intent to preserve and protect our planet and beautiful islands for future generations.

This article was written by Chantal Le Goff, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, for the publication of the 2021 Jersey Good Business Charter report.

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