HSBC Bank Sets Ambitious Reduction Targets for Air Emissions, Waste

HSBC Bank Sets Ambitious Reduction Targets for Air Emissions, Waste

HSBC has, for the first time, set group-wide targets for reducing its impact on the environment. The world's second largest bank will cut its CO2 emissions by an average of 5%, water and energy by 7% and landfill waste by 8%, across 90% of its operations by the end of 2007.

Most of the savings will be achieved over the next three years by the introduction of new, efficient technologies during upgrades to the bank's 10,700-strong property portfolio, and improvements to individual regions' environmental maintenance and management programs.

The targets follow a series of initiatives introduced by the world’s local bank to reduce the impacts of its operations across the world, and to support its customers in doing the same.

In December 2004, HSBC became the first major bank to commit to going carbon neutral by reducing energy use, buying green electricity and offsetting the remaining CO2 emissions by investing in carbon credit or allowance projects.

It has since published a freshwater sector guideline governing its project finance activities in the freshwater infrastructure arena. The guideline -- the second lending directive launched by HSBC -- sets out principles for good management to which prospective clients working in the sector should adhere.

Stephen Green, HSBC Group chief executive, announced the new environmental targets, saying: "We all have an obligation to help reduce our impact on the environment, including the impact resulting from the use and operation of our buildings.

"In particular, reducing energy use and hence our carbon dioxide emissions will help the group in its commitment to be the world's first carbon neutral major bank."