From restoring river habitats in the UK to providing access to safe drinking water in India, HSBC’s investment in water projects has transformed environments and communities around the world over the past five years.

The HSBC Water Programme is a partnership between HSBC and Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF, as well as more than 60 other non-governmental organisations.

Since it launched in 2012, the programme has provided access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for more than 2 million of the world’s poorest people. Rivers and wetland habitats have been restored and protected. And the programme has helped to safeguard fresh water sources by teaching thousands of people how to farm and fish in a more sustainable way.

Since it launched in 2012, the programme has provided access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for more than 2 million of the world’s poorest people

HSBC employees have volunteered hours of their time to support the programme. More than 8,000 have been trained by Earthwatch to test the quality of fresh water in their area. Their data is now being used by scientists to understand issues such as the impact of urbanisation on water quality.

Volunteers have also taken part in water projects in their local community. In 2016, Sunil Kumar was named HSBC Global Champion of the Year for his work with teams of volunteers at water projects around Bangalore in southern India.

“The ability of the programme to deliver real, tangible benefits for people who don't have access to water makes me feel really happy,” says Sunil in an HSBC film. “We're here creating a real difference on the ground.”

Villagers glide through a river in Tra Su Forest in Vietnam

Making a splash

Over the past five years, the HSBC Water Programme has:

  • Worked on projects in 43 countries

  • Provided 1.5 million people with access to safe water and 2.2 million people with better sanitation

  • Helped to protect 537,239 hectares of wetland and 1,824 kilometres of river

  • Taught 149,000 people how to reduce the impact of farming and fishing on freshwater sources

  • Trained more than 8,000 HSBC employees as Citizen Scientists so that they can test the quality of freshwater in their area

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