HSBC aims to cut its annual per employee carbon emissions to 2.5 tonnes worldwide by 2020

Increased recycling has helped HSBC Mexico hit its zero waste to landfill target for all its main office buildings.

Waste is one of the main areas in which HSBC is reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, and Mexico is the first country in the bank’s global network to reach this key milestone.

All waste produced in two buildings in Mexico City (HQ Tower HSBC, the bank's Latin America headquarters, and Tecnoparque) as well as two other buildings in Toluca is being diverted from landfill.

Waste management is a big issue in Mexico and we are committed to play our part in helping the environment

HSBC aims to recycle all office and electronic waste worldwide by 2020, one of a series of goals set by the bank to make its operations more sustainable. It has also committed to cutting its annual per employee carbon emissions from 3.5 tonnes in 2011 to 2.5 tonnes by 2020. By the end of 2014, HSBC had reduced emissions to 2.9 tonnes per employee.

Enrique García Basterra, Head of Facilities Management and Sustainability Leader for HSBC Mexico and Latin America, said: “Waste management is a big issue in Mexico and we are committed to play our part in helping the environment.”

He highlighted that the initiative is bringing broader benefits. HSBC Mexico is now generating about USD100,000 a year from selling waste to local recycling businesses and other companies – money that it is using to support local charities via a range of independent foundations.

Reducing waste

In 2014, HSBC Mexico:

  • Recycled 511 tonnes of paper, cardboard, aluminium, glass and PET

  • Recycled 59.3 tonnes of e-waste

  • Converted 82.5 tonnes of organic waste into compost

  • Converted 490 litres of used cooking oil into biofuel

As part of HSBC Mexico’s commitment to sustainability, all employees working in its main office buildings, including some branches, now sort waste such as glass, paper, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminium. This is then sold for recycling.

HSBC is also turning cooking oil used in employee canteens in Mexico into biodiesel for use in emergency power generators at its main buildings.

Organic waste is collected and processed into compost by a specialist vendor, while hazardous materials are treated by authorised companies, preventing toxic waste from being sent to landfill. The bank has also signed agreements with specialist companies to recycle old computers and other electronic equipment from its main offices.

Mr García Basterra said one of the biggest challenges was how to dispose of waste such as unopened or partially opened containers of food and drink (known as inorganic non-recyclable waste). However, in 2014 HSBC signed an agreement with a cement company to use this waste as an alternative fuel to help power their kilns. Any emissions produced in the process are captured and neutralised, meaning this type of waste offers a low-carbon alternative to using conventional fossil fuels.

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