HSBC announces US$90 million Global Environmental Efficiency Programme



    New programme will reduce bank's impact on the environment

    VANCOUVER, June 28 /CNW/ - HSBC, the world's first major bank to become
carbon neutral, has committed a further US$90 million over five years to
reduce the bank's impact on the environment through a series of initiatives,
including the introduction of renewable energy technology, water and waste
reduction programmes and employee engagement.
    The Global Environmental Efficiency Programme will enable HSBC offices
worldwide to showcase environmental innovation and share best practice to help
the bank achieve its environmental reduction targets. The programme will be
reviewed annually to consider the success of trials, emerging technology,
innovation and business needs.
    Simon Martin, HSBC Head of Group Sustainability and Corporate
Responsibility, said: "HSBC is determined to develop a sustainable business.
Our shareholders, customers and employees consider these issues to be
important - and this clearly demonstrates our continuing progress in placing
sustainability at the very core of how we do business."
    The environmental efficiency initiatives focus on some key areas:
    
    -  Benchmarking - developing flagship buildings to recognised
       environmental standards which are independently certified;

    -  Footprint management and innovation - reducing energy and water
       consumption, business travel and carbon dioxide emissions, paper use
       and waste production. This will include piloting innovative and new
       technologies and working with our clients in the environmental sector,

    -  Behaviour - training, awareness raising, flexible working practices;
       and

    -  Environmental Management Systems - systems and processes optimising
       the efficiency of the bank's operations.

    Some of the projects already completed during the pilot phase of the
Global Environmental Efficiency Programme include:

    -  Designing and building HSBC's first 'zero carbon' branch in Greece,
       New York, which optimises energy efficiency using geothermal ground
       source heat pumps;

    -  Installing solar photovoltaic panels at the First Direct offices in
       Leeds, UK;

    -  Introducing a bio-diesel plant for back-up generators in the Global
       Technology Centre, Pune, India; and

    -  Reducing waste by installing composting vessels in Hong Kong to
       recycle organic kitchen waste; and removing the majority of personal
       desk bins at the global HQ, London, in favour of a full recycling
       system.

    Further initiatives will be introduced across the bank's global operations
over the next five years.
    Engaging HSBC's global workforce of 315,000 employees will be a key factor
in the success of the Global Environmental Efficiency Programme. The HSBC
Climate Partnership, a separate US$100m, five-year programme launched on 30
May 2007 will facilitate employee engagement by:

    -  Creating a 25,000-strong 'green taskforce' worldwide who will
       undertake field research and bring back valuable knowledge and
       experience to their workplace and communities; and

    -  Help HSBC employees use their business skills and knowledge of climate
       change to help the Group build a more sustainable business.
    

    HSBC has a long-standing commitment to the environment. HSBC was awarded
the Climate Protection Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency in
2007 in recognition of the Group's contributions to global environmental
protection. HSBC was awarded top spot in the Banks and Diversified Financials
Sector of the Carbon Disclosure Project's latest Climate Leadership Index and
named as the best performing bank in the 2006 ethical reputation rankings
published by Geneva-based consultancy Covalence.

    Note to editors

    HSBC Holdings plc - www.hsbc.com
    The HSBC Group is one of the largest banking and financial services
organisations in the world. The Group has around 10,000 offices in 82
countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas,
the Middle East and Africa, serves over 125 million customers and has assets
of US$1,861 billion as 31 December 2006. HSBC was the first major bank - and
the first FTSE 100 company - to become carbon neutral.




For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries to Nhan Chiem on 020 7991 0639
or at nhanchiem@hsbc.com


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