As one of Hong Kong’s largest listed companies, we are well positioned to champion environmental stewardship.
We are working to reduce our consumption of energy and natural resources, to reduce waste, and to use environmentally friendly products and services wherever possible. We ensure that our operations comply fully with environmental laws and regulations enacted by the Hong Kong government. We use internal channels and engage in volunteer service to raise environmental awareness and communicate green values to our staff. Our policies, services and community engagement activities encourage suppliers, business partners and customers to improve their environmental performance.
We set annual targets for minimising the negative environmental effects of our business, such as a two per cent annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Through various efforts, the Bank exceeded its target by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use by 3.18% and cutting its consumption of electricity by 3.23% in 2019.
As Hong Kong’s first domestic bank to attain ISO 14001 certification for all offices and branches, we strive to lead by example in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.
We monitor our environmental management system (EMS) to ensure it continues to meet ISO 14001 standards. A committee established under our Environmental Policy verifies that our EMS and business strategies complement each other and support continual improvement in our environmental performance. The committee’s instructions – regarding issues such as procurement and waste management – provide a guide to adopting green practices and achieving a greener workplace.
Our Environmental Initiatives
|We promote green messages among our internal and external stakeholders through various channels, including training and volunteer activities.|
|In 2019, we approved two green financing applications for mid-market enterprise customers, totalling HK$1,008 million.|
|53.3 per cent of our statements and advices are sent out to customers through electronic channel in 2019. 89.82 per cent of shareholders adopted our e-communication services in 2019 that saved approximately 13.39 million sheets of paper.|
|For Commercial Banking, 78.6 per cent of customer transactions were being processed via different digital channels for 2019. The digital channels include our internet banking service, mobile apps, ATM and phone banking services.|
|We supported various environmental initiatives such as the Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong)’s Power Smart Energy Saving Contest, WWF (Hong Kong)’s Earth Hour, the Green Power Hike and the Environmental Bureau’s Charter on External Lighting.|
|To support the conservation of biodiversity, at bank functions in our penthouse, we do not serve shark fin and have removed endangered reef fish species from our menus. We provide a WWF (Hong Kong)-endorsed sustainable seafood menu at our banquet hall.|
|We closely monitor our greenhouse gas emissions and take steps to stay informed of environment-related regulatory developments that could directly or indirectly impact our business. (For detailed environmental performance, please refer to our latest Report.)|
|We have adopted the Equator Principles, and have specific guidelines on lending to businesses operating in environmentally sensitive sectors such as chemicals, energy, forestry, freshwater, mining and metals, agricultural commodities, and World Heritage Sites and Ramsar wetlands.|
|We continue to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which provides a forum for the world's largest institutional investors to collectively consider the business implications of climate change.|
|Through training programmes and our internal practices, we empower our staff to act as Green Ambassadors among their associates, families and friends by raising their awareness of environmental issues.|
|In 2017, Hang Seng 113 became Hong Kong’s first domestic bank office building to be awarded Platinum certification – the highest attainable level – under the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) scheme. In 2019, the office earned a Merit Award in the Green Building awards.|
|In 2019, we purchased Renewable Energy Certificates worth a total of 330 MWh from the local electricity suppliers. The Bank’s efforts to support local renewable energy generation were recognised with a Renewable Energy Contribution Award in the CLP Smart Energy Award 2019.|