At a breakfast press conference on Wednesday morning at its North American headquarters in Midtown, HSBC announced a five-year, $100 million partnership to address global climate change. The world’s third-largest bank will work with The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund in order to quantify the impact of climate change on the world’s cities, forests, and rivers through extensive field research. The bank will also educate its 300,000 employees on sustainable principles, designating approximately 3,000 as “climate champions” who will disseminate knowledge and acquired field experience to their local communities. The donation by HSBC is the largest ever by a British company. Paul Lawrence, President and CEO of HSBC, N.A., stated at the press conference that “[b]y working with four of the world’s most respected environmental organizations and creating a ‘green taskforce’ of thousands of HSBC employees worldwide, we believe we can tackle the cause and impacts of climate change.”
I am enthusiastic about the bank’s commitment to obtaining empirical data in the field- from forests to oceans to cities- about the impacts of climate change. Much of what’s been written on this web log has called for objectivity in analyzing claims about performance in the green building context. What HSBC has proposed is entirely consonant with that goal (obviously on a much broader and more profound scale), and I applaud Lawrence and his HSBC colleagues for taking this significant and worthwhile initiative with its four partners.
My thanks to Paul McGinniss, Hill & Knowlton, and Francine Minadeo at HSBC for coordinating gbNYC’s invitation to Wednesday morning’s event.
- HSBC Announces Program to Combat Climate Change (HSBC)
- HSBC Invests in $100M Partnership (Daily Green)