8 Canada Square
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CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
- 2020 Treasury4Good Awards
- Outstanding Treasury4Good Leader of the Year
- Best Provider of Green Cash & Liquidity Solution 2020
- The Banker Investment Banking Awards 2020
- Investment Bank of the Year for Sustainability
- Investment Bank of the Year for Sustainable SSA Financing
- Investment Bank of the Year for Green/Climate Action Bonds
- Investment Bank of the Year for Islamic Finance
- Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2020
- Global Excellence in Leadership (during the Covid-19 pandemic)
- World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance
- World’s Best Bank for Transaction Services
- Excellence in Leadership in Asia (during the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Asia’s Best Bank for Financing
- Asia’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance
- Hong Kong’s Best Bank
- Hong Kong’s Best Investment Bank
- Excellence in Leadership in the Middle East
- (during the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Middle East’s Best Investment Bank
- Middle East’s Best Bank for Transaction Services
- Middle East’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance
- Kuwait’s Best Investment Bank
- Oman’s Best Investment Bank
- Western Europe’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance
Report created by Kavita Kripalani
HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world, with operations in 64 countries and territories. The bank is dedicated to enabling businesses to thrive and economies to prosper, and, ultimately, helping people to fulfill their hopes and realize their ambitions.
Their customers range from individual savers and investors to some of the world’s biggest companies, governments and international organizations. They aim to connect them to opportunities and help them to achieve their ambitions.
The products and services HSBC offers vary widely according to customers’ needs. They provide individuals and families with mortgages that help them buy their own home, as well as savings accounts and wealth management products that help them plan for the future.
HSBC offers businesses loans to invest in growth and products such as foreign exchange and trade financing that enable them to expand internationally. And for large companies and organizations operating across borders, they offer tailored advice on decisions such as financing major projects, issuing debt or making acquisitions.
HSBC has a strong wealth business with client assets of $1.4 trillion in 2019, supported by a premier international wealth proposition and leading, full-scale banking operations in Hong Kong, the UK and Mexico.
Furthermore, HSBC is a leading trade and payments and cash management bank with $17 billion of transaction banking adjusted revenue (in 2019). This is supported by their international network of 64 markets, which covers approximately 90% of global GDP, trade and capital flows.
Company Sustainability Activity
HSBC recognizes the potential impact of climate change and has set out an ambition to align their financing portfolio to the Paris Agreement goals. Their aim is to accelerate the transition to a thriving low-carbon global economy through finance.
- 29.4 % women in senior leadership and 52% women overall.
- Reduced operational CO2 emissions by 2.26 tonnes used per FTE.
- 35% reduction in carbon emissions per FTE compared with the 2011 baseline.
- HSBC contributed to charitable and community projects around the world 101 million dollars in 2019.
- Reduce financed emissions from its portfolio of customers to net-zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- An ambition to provide between USD 750 billion and USD 1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to help their customers achieve sustainability goals.
- Use the Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment Tool (PACTA) to develop clear, measurable pathways to net zero.
- Make regular, transparent disclosures to communicate our progress in line with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures guidelines, and encourage their customers to do the same.
- Work with 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.
- Achieve net zero in their own operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.
- HSBC pledged to provide 100 billion dollars to sustainable financing and investment by 2025.
- Achieve 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 with an interim commitment of 90% by 2025.
- Reduce carbon emissions to 2.0 tonnes per full-time equivalent employee (‘FTE’) by the end of 2020.
- Reduce their total waste by 75% from their 2011 baseline.
- Recycle 100% of their office and electronic waste to be recycled by 2020.
- HSBC provided 52.4 bn dollars to sustainable financing and investment.
- In 2019, it also trained over 800 employees on climate risk to strengthen engagement with customers.
- In 2019 HSBC signed 29.4% renewable electricity from power purchase agreements.
- By the end of 2019, HSBC reduced carbon emissions to 2.26 tonnes per FTE.
- Since 2011, their carbon emissions have fallen by 35% per FTE, to a total of 530,000 tonnes by 2019.
- By the end of 2019, HSBC contracted up to 29.4% of their electricity consumption through PPAs in various countries.
- At the end of 2019, HSBC has reduced its total waste by 66%.
- In 2019, it recycled 62% of its office waste.
The bank does not disclose this information.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN SDGs Compliance
The Impakter Index aligns current sustainability initiatives with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
SDG 4: Quality Education
- HSBC supports investments such as the construction of public schools, vocational training and education activities that promote the inclusion of women and minorities in education.
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
- HSBC has highlighted sustainable water and wastewater management as an eligible category. Projects may include water treatment, supply and distribution as well as improving sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
- HSBC and WaterAid launched an initiative in 2017 to improve water and hygiene service facilities within the communities their workers live
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- HSBC strengthened its energy policy in 2018 so that it will not finance any new coal-fired power plants, with the targeted and time-limited exceptions of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam to appropriately balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Committed to procuring 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030
- HSBC acted as a mandated lead arranger in the refinancing of the £2.5bn Beatrice offshore wind farm off the north-east coast of Scotland
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and HSBC Global Asset Management created the first global green bond fund targeting “real economy” issuers in emerging markets, increasing access to climate finance and promoting the further development of green bond markets.
- The Real Economy Green Investment Opportunity (REGIO) Fund is expected to catalyse at least $500 million to $700 million in multilateral and private sector capital to support well-diversified climate-smart investments in developing countries around the world—largely through green bonds issued by non-financial, or real sector, companies.
SDG 13: Climate Action
- HSBC invests in funds that are defined as socially responsible investments (SRI). These funds primarily avoid investing in companies that can have a negative impact on society. Some of the SRI funds are investing in companies that aim to reduce the detrimental impacts that climate change can create, while others have defined transition strategies.
- Since 2011, HBSC carbon emissions have fallen by 35% per full-time equivalent employee to a total of 530,000 tonnes by 2019
- HSBC supported projects in 45 countries and territories, which have included renewable energy, green buildings and electric vehicles
Secondary SDGs: 3, 8, 11, 12
HSBC has been making steady efforts toward sustainable financing.
HSBC is listed in some indices, and was given many awards in the banking sector, but doesn’t have any certificates. In HSBC’s Sustainability Reports are no key performance indicators, which would show the company’s sustainable progress.
HSBC is committed to providing financing, investing and advisory activities that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, however, the bank does not explicitly align its business operation with the goals.
HSBC has also financed extreme fossil fuels with $110.745 B invested in the industry since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016–2019).
HSBC is rated a C rating on Impakter Index.
Analyst Outlook: Negative
HSBC’s sustainable initiatives are mostly concerned with renewable energy and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
While HSBC is financing sustainable projects and is considered a leader in the banking sector, it could set a better example of a sustainable company by continuing to divest from the fossil fuel industry. One cannot ignore its clear involvement in the fossil fuel industry.
In addition, the lack of certifications and listings do not support the company’s initiatives and strategies.
- HSBC continues the financing of fossil fuel industry
- HSBC’s increasing sustainable financing is notable.