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 12 green loans and 15 sustainability linked loans with loan amount of HKD17 billion in 2022 (as of June 2022)

2022 Target Reduction on electricity consumption: 7.5% [1] (reduced 14.8% as of June 2022)

2022 Target Reduction on GHG (Scope 1 and 2) emission[2] by 7.5%[3] (reduced 26.8% as of June 2022)

Highlights

Green Business and Sustainable Finance

Green Business and Sustainable Finance

We provide sustainable financing services to help our customers’ transition to low-carbon economy. In addition, we manage the Bank’s credit risk exposure to climate-sensitive sectors.

  • We established a new team in 2021 that focuses exclusively on developing sustainable financing solutions for business customers in order to provide of a wider range of ESG-themed products and services
  • We signed a Memorandum of Understanding and announced a collaborative initiative to promote green finance and contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency in 2021
  • Hang Seng Indexes Company launched the HSI ESG Enhanced Index in 2021, which applies key ESG principles to its flagship blue-chip index, such as screening constituents for compliance with the United Nations Global Compact Principles
  • Hang Seng Indexes Company has created 11 more ESG-related indexes since 2019, demonstrating a strong commitment to formulating different index products for those who seek to capture investment opportunities arising from the transition to a lower-carbon and greener economy
  • Our sale of ESG investment products in 2021 recorded a growth of over 18 fold from 2020 figures to over HKD1.7 billion
  • We offered green loans and sustainability-linked loans to support their sustainability development for corporate customers
  • Our Green Financing Promotion Scheme encourages small and medium-sized enterprises to acquire environmentally friendly equipment that contributes to sustainable development
  • We approved HKD 7,291 million of green loans to finance corporate customers’ green projects in 2021
  • We offered green and ESG investment funds, bonds and equity-linked structured products via branches and e-Banking for retail and private banking customers

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 Environmental, Social and Governance Report 2021.

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 at a set time. We also limited the number of operating lifts after office hours and at weekends and we shortened the operating hour of most of our branches’ bulkhead signage by one hour in 2021
  • We use environmentally friendly building materials and energy-efficient appliances in our premises, including, low volatile organic compound paints, LED lights, high-efficiency air conditioners and Grade-1-rated electrical appliances

Greening our customer communications

  • 70.2% of our retail customer statements and advice slips were sent via electronic channels in 2021, which represents a year-on-year increase of 4.6 percentage points
  • 95% of personal banking customer transactions were processed via digital channels in 2021
  • 86% of commercial banking customer transactions were processed via digital channels in 2021
  • 93.2% of shareholders adopted our e-communication services in 2021, which saved about 16.8 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 2021, our work in this area has included:

  • In support of the government’s climate action, three office buildings and some large scale branches have enrolled in the Energy Saving Charter 2021 scheme and the 4T Charter scheme
  • We partnered with the Conservancy Association (CA): nurturing a low-carbon village model in the Yunnan province since 2016, following the successful completion of a biogas initiative in the preceding 10 years
  • We continue to support WWF Hong Kong’s and Business Environment Council’s corporate membership programme
  • We initiated and title-sponsored the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies’ first ever "ESG and Green Finance Opportunities Forum 2021", which brought together corporates, regulators and sustainability professionals to discuss ESG best practices and the potential of green finance
  • We trained a number of staff members as Green Ambassadors to support the implementation of our Environmental Policy
  • We organised ESG webinars and workshops for our staff. For example, we organised a three-month Branch Energy Saving Competition in 2021 to increase staff awareness on energy savings and inspire actions to reduce carbon emissions
  • We have built internal capacity through issuing regular internal communications, including ESG newsletters, comics and video clips to enhance the awareness and understanding of ESG matters among our staff

Climate risk management

  • We established a climate risk management framework that is aligned with our parent company
  • We developed a Climate Change Management Roadmap in 2021 with four focus areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets
  • A Climate-related Risk Working Group, which is comprised of subject matter experts and function heads of the Risk function, was formed in 2021 and led by Chief Risk Officer to oversee the climate related risk
  • A qualitative risk appetite statement for climate risk was formulated in 2021, which is subject to review on semi-annual basis
  • We conducted a climate risk stress test and adopted representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario to assess how physical climate risks, including extreme weather events, increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, will affect our Hong Kong operation from 2051 to 2060
  • We assessed our business’ exposure to transition risks, and the associated impact, leveraging the orderly and disorderly scenarios developed by the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System
  • We identified residential properties of individual borrowers at “higher physical risk” from climate perils
  • Became the first local bank in Hong Kong to sign up as a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)

Environmental awards

  • Hang Seng 113 was Hong Kong’s first local bank office building to be certified Platinum, the highest attainable level, under the US Green Building Council’s LEED scheme
  • Hang Seng Tower building attained LEED Gold certification for its fitting-out
  • Hang Seng headquarters attained the Gold Class Fresh Water Award and Hang Seng 113 attained the Silver Class Fresh Water and Quality Flushing Water awards, recognized by Hong Kong’s Water Supplies Department
  • We earned the Renewable Energy Contribution Award in the Smart Energy Award 2021

Progress update

2nd quarter of 2022:

  • First local bank in Hong Kong committed to setting science-based targets (SBT)
  • Committed to allocate at least 25% of community investment budget to “Addressing Climate Change” in the next five years
  • Arranged the first Green Trade Facility for Paper and Printing Industry in Hong Kong, at an amount of HKD100 million, for Leo Paper Group to support their green supply chain network expansion and encourage greater collaboration with over 20 suppliers in pursuing carbon reduction and other environmental protection goals
  • Introduced Green Mortgage, Electric Vehicle Loans, and other banking and wealth management offers and rewards, to support customers to enjoy “Hang Seng Green Moments” and play a more active role in building a low-carbon society
  • Signed HKD1 Billion Sustainability-linked Loan Facility with Chinachem Group
  • Installed a food waste decomposer each at Hang Seng 113 and Head Office to reduce waste disposal to landfill



1st quarter of 2022:

  • Became the biggest purchaser of renewable energy from CLP in Hong Kong, and also the first local bank in Hong Kong committing to have 100% of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 via our own renewable source and renewable energy certificates
  • Committed to purchase around 154 GWh of renewable energy over a 10-year period since 2021, equivalent to a reduction of over 60,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from electricity use
  • Installed seawater flushing system at Hang Seng 113 office building. Water consumption is projected to be reduced around 15 - 20% by the end of 2022

Useful links

Footnote

Remark(s)

  1. Environmental operation data in 2022 is compiled from the Bank’s operation data from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022
  2. Excluding the carbon emissions reduction resulting from the purchase of renewable energy certificates from local electricity providers
  3. Environmental operation data in 2022 is compiled from the Bank’s operation data from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022