24 July 2017

More than 1,300 senior HSBC managers have done fieldwork to support original scientific research as part of the bank’s Sustainability Leadership Programme.

Started in 2009, the Sustainability Leadership Programme aims to help employees understand environmental challenges, as well as encouraging them to think about what they can do to make HSBC a sustainable business.

The video above gives an insight into a typical event, including classroom sessions and group discussion as well as a practical project to support climate research – in this case, testing the soil in mangrove forests in southern China. The tests help scientists gauge the impact of human activity on the ability of wetlands to store carbon, which could inform future strategies to manage climate change.

We want senior leaders to be role models for their teams

Matthew Robinson, Sustainability Engagement Head, HSBC, said: “We’ve contributed more than 19,000 hours to science. What’s different and unique from other leadership programmes is that experience of getting you out into nature and doing research on behalf of scientists.”

The programme also aims to make a lasting difference to HSBC by prompting employees to think and act differently when they get back to the office. Helen Wong, Chief Executive, Greater China, HSBC, said: “We want senior managers to be role models for their teams, and for other people in the bank to come to, so we can pursue the sustainability we’re wanting.”

Each programme ends with participants making commitments to integrate environmental considerations into their work. This could include supporting customers to adopt a more sustainable business model, taking steps to encourage the growth of green finance , or playing a part in reducing HSBC’s own environmental footprint.

The programme is one of a number of ways that HSBC encourages its employees to act in an environmentally responsible way. The bank’s eco-efficiency fund, for example, pilots suggestions made by employees that could mitigate the impact of its operations. Projects to have received support include:

  • LED lighting
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Composting systems for organic waste
  • Measure to increase the efficiency of HSBC’s data centres (large banks of computers which store and process information)