The Shek Mun building in Hong Kong has many environmentally friendly features

Two new HSBC buildings are designed to make efficient use of lighting, water and energy to help us achieve our goal of reducing our carbon emissions.

The Shek Mun office and data centre in Hong Kong features an energy-saving automatic lighting system that uses a combination of motion and daylight sensors to turn lights off when they are not needed. Water is heated by solar power. The office is kept cool by chilled water pipes embedded in the ceiling panels, while carbon dioxide sensors optimise the flow of air according to how many people are working at any time.

Meanwhile in Leeds in the UK, about 30 per cent of the money spent on materials for our new contact centre went on recycled components, which have helped to reduce the building’s impact on the environment.

Its roof features 300 sq m of grass that absorbs heat during the summer and insulates in the winter. Fittings like low flow taps help to reduce the amount of water used.

Ensuring the buildings we use are designed to greener standards is only part of the answer to reducing the bank’s impact on the environment. But by combining it with efforts to reduce waste and to buy renewable energy, we hope to meet our target of cutting annual carbon emissions per employee from 3.5 tonnes in 2011 to 2.5 tonnes by 2020.

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