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Sustainability

Forestry policy

HSBC has had a forestry policy since 2004 and we review and update our policies regularly. HSBC commissioned two independent reviews on its Forestry Policy in 2013.

The first review was by ProForest into how our policy standards compared to good practice and whether they could be improved. We published the review on our website in March 2014, together with the new Forestry Policy and Agricultural Commodities Policy reflecting the recommendations.

The second review was by PwC into whether the Forestry Policy had been implemented well and whether we could improve implementation. This review found some inconsistent application of the Policy as well as examples of good practice.

HSBC has – through the new Forestry and Agricultural Commodities Policies – implemented many of PwC’s recommendations. We will make further changes in 2014 and 2015. For our full response to the review and our revised policies - Read more

Sustainability Report 2013

Learn about HSBC's approach to sustainability: how we incorporate it into our business and what we did in 2013.

Download the report

in News and insight

Sustainability in 2013

HSBC invested USD117 million in community programmes to support education and the environment last year.

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Key facts

Our annual contribution to community investment projects around the world is around:

USD100 million


Our Climate Change Centre of Excellence estimates that by 2020 the ‘climate business’ sector could exceed:

USD2.2 trillion

At HSBC we know how important it is that banks play a positive role in the economy and society at large. We believe that a sustainable bank must be consistently profitable, but not solely concerned with making a profit.

Success for HSBC means providing our customers with the products and services they need and want, understanding and managing the impact we have on society and the environment, and investing in the future of our employees and the communities we serve. These measures help us to carry out our work in a way that is both commercially astute and ethically sound.

Reports and documentation

Find out more about our approach to Sustainability within HSBC and around the world.

Putting sustainability into practice

We recognise that we have a responsibility to assess the environmental and social impacts of our business – and to manage these impacts. Here's how we do it:

Environmental efficiency

We aim to reduce our annual carbon emissions per employee from 3.5 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes by 2020.

Climate business

We're helping our customers by developing products and services that will support the transition to a low carbon economy.

Youth education

By investing in educational partnerships, we commit time, money and resources to help young people reach their potential.

HSBC Water Programme

Our five-year partnership with Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF is focused on water provision, protection and education.

Sustainability risk

Through our policies, we anticipate and address potential social or environmental risks that may arise through our lending and investment.

Case studies

Here are some examples of how we are working with our stakeholders to build a more sustainable future.

Equator Principles

We want to be sure that the way we do business takes into account any impact on local communities and the environment.

PwC assurance

We appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to provide independent assurance on selected information in our HSBC Sustainability Report 2013 covering CO2 emissions, and our application of the Equator Principles.