Environmental

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Our objectives

We aim to be a domestic leader in reducing the environmental impact of our daily operations by adopting a smart environmental policy and offering customers a wider range of green business and sustainable finance solutions to promote environmental stewardship.

Key figures

Sustainable finance: approved 14 green loans with loan amount of HKD7.1 billion (as of September 2021)

Projected annual reduction on electricity consumption by 14.6%[1] (as of September 2021)

Projected annual reduction on GHG (Scope 1 and 2) emission[2] by 19.8%[3] (as of September 2021)

Highlights

Green Business and Sustainable Finance

Green Business and Sustainable Finance

Transitioning to a greener business model requires investment. We recognise business opportunities while supporting our customers to pursue environmental betterment.

  • Our Green Financing Promotion Scheme offers cash rebates to corporate customers who invest in environmental-friendly equipment that enhances efficiency and reduces pollution
  • Our Greenness Assessment programme was launched in 2020. Through this programme, corporate customers who obtain loans for financing various types of green projects can apply the second opinions and green credentials provided by a qualified third-party verifier
  • In 2020, we approved two green loan applications for mid-market enterprises, totalling HKD495 million (For 2021 green loan applications, please refer to "Progress update") 
  • We offer green and ESG investment funds and bonds via branches and/or Personal e-Banking. We continually explore opportunities to offer new investment products that match our ESG ambitions

Overview

We are committed to conducting our activities in an environmentally responsible manner and developing a range of environmental policy and corporate environmental management practices to promote sustainable development.

Our ambition is to achieve carbon-neutrality for our operations by 2030. Accordingly, we have established targets to reduce our electricity consumption and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions and to source electricity from renewable energy schemes hosted by local providers.

We have also set short, medium and long-term targets for water consumption, paper consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste reduction and recycling.

For details, please refer to the key metrics in our 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report.

Greening our buildings

  • 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 EMS (Environmental management system) to ensure it continues to meet ISO 14001 standards
  • We have adopted measures to help reduce energy usage. For example, all lighting and air conditioning in our core buildings are programmed to switch off outside of office hours
  • Our workplace has been enhanced with technology and digital solutions to achieve paperless operation
  • To contribute to climate change mitigation, we also actively explore opportunities to support local renewable energy development. In June 2021, solar panels have been installed at Hang Seng 113 Office to generate renewable energy

Greening our customer communications

  • 66% of our retail customer statements and advice slips were sent to customers via electronic channels in 2020
  • 94% of shareholders adopted our e-communication services in 2020, saving over 16 million sheets of paper

Advocating for the environment

As one of Hong Kong’s largest listed companies, we are well positioned to champion environmental stewardship. In 2020, our work in this area has included: 

  • A partnership with the Conservancy Association (CA): nurturing a low-carbon village model in the Yunnan province, following the successful completion of a biogas initiative in the preceding 10 years
  • Continued support for the Hang Seng – CA Eco-Rangers: a signature orienteering competition
  • A commitment to protecting our community and planet through the WWF HK and the Business Environment Council’s corporate membership programmes
  • Seasonal internal newsletters: featuring green facts quarterly to raise employee awareness of environmental protection in our daily operations

Through training programmes and our internal practices, we empower our staff to act as Green Ambassadors in their associates, families and friends by raising their awareness of environmental issues.

Climate risk management

  • We are aligning our financing portfolio to support the Paris Agreement goals. In accordance with HSBC Group’s specific lending guidelines for climate sensitive sectors, we manage the Bank’s credit exposure to such industries to better promote climate change mitigation. 
  • We are establishing a Climate Risk Management framework with policies for identifying and mitigating such risks.

Environmental awards

  • Hang Seng 113 Office was Hong Kong’s first domestic bank office to be certified Platinum – the highest attainable level – under the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) scheme
  • Hang Seng Tower building attained LEED Gold certification for its fitting-out
  • ‘Renewable Energy Contribution Award’ in CLP’s Smart Energy Award 2020
  • In 2020, we earned the Gold Class Fresh Water Award for our headquarters and the Quality Fresh Water and Quality Flushing Water awards for Hang Seng 113 Office

Progress update

3rd quarter of 2021:

  • Introduced sustainability-linked loan to market
  • Co-developed bilateral program with Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) to provide solution on green loan and sustainability-linked loan assessment
  • Solar panel installation at the roof top at Hang Seng 113 Office was completed and went live
  • Conducted climate change training for senior management and board members

2nd quarter of 2021:

  • We have set up a dedicated climate risk team to support our climate change strategy, to respond to regulatory expectations and to embed responsibilities for climate risk management within our businesses and functions
  • An independent consultant has been engaged to conduct a gap analysis of the Bank’s climate risk framework against market’s best practice and regulatory requirements
  • A road map is being drawn up to drive the climate risk related agenda forward
  • We completed Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s invitation to participate in a climate risk stress test

1st quarter of 2021:

  • We have rolled out customer transition risk questionnaires and continue to get prepared for regulatory requirements relating to stress testing and other climate risk related regulations
  • 3 of our buildings in Hong Kong participated in Earth Hour 2021
  • Our Climate Risk Statement was finalised

Useful links

Footnote

Remark(s)

  1. Environmental operation data in 2021 is compiled from the Bank’s operation data from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021
  2. Excluding the carbon emissions reduction resulting from the purchase of renewable energy certificates from local electricity providers
  3. Environmental operation data in 2021 is compiled from the Bank’s operation data from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021