This strategy focuses on the resilience of our business when facing climate change, both in mitigating our emissions in daily operation and setting environmental targets in line with Hong Kong government’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, and in adapting to the physical and transition risks and opportunities under climate change. We hope to leverage our position in the value chain to influence change and be a catalyst for our clients and partners in adopting climate actions.
In October 2020, our parent group HSBC set out its plan to attain net zero by 2050. As its subsidiary, we are committed to supporting and aligning with HSBC’s decarbonisation process. In supporting the Group’s net zero ambitions, we have been measuring our carbon emissions and setting targets to reduce the carbon footprint in our operations.
We aim to achieve this through a host of emission reduction initiatives and management incentives, and we can steer our investments to reduce carbon footprint in the wider community, fulfilling our pledge to address climate change. Together, we continue to monitor, manage and ultimately reduce the emissions generated from our daily operations, supply chain and financing portfolio.
Examples of initiatives carried out in 2021 include:
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.
Recent changes in climate are widespread and intensifying. The consequences of climate change can already be felt today.
Hang Seng considers it a critical risk and pledges to incorporate climate risk into our bank-wide risk management framework. We believe that a comprehensive governance framework helps to reduce risk and enables us to make effective decisions.
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 aim to support our community in transition to a low-carbon economy and carbon neutrality with sustainable financial solutions. We believe sustainable finance will help ensure that investments support a sustainable economy. We are launching various initiatives to support economic growth while reducing pressures on the environment, taking social and governance aspects into consideration.
Apart from setting internal targets on green loans and providing support to our corporate customers, we also offer green investment products to our retail and private banking customers. We observe the Equator Principles to adopt a responsible approach in making financing decisions.
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 believe it is crucial for all employees to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities in their everyday work. It is of importance to raise awareness and provide training to employees to ensure they understand the broad issues relating to climate change and how our business can be impacted, while empowering them to make sure climate-related risks and opportunities are well-integrated into all our business units and functional departments. These trainings help foster corporate sustainable development.
Extreme weather and climate change also present risks to our buildings and business. To prepare for and minimise damage during the typhoon season, and to adapt to other extreme conditions, we launched a two-year overall façade enhancement programme at our headquarters building in 2019, which was completed in 2021. Uninterruptible Power Supply was installed in all our three core buildings to support the operations of critical departments and ensure service continuity in times of power suspension. Critical departments are split into at least two locations in daily operation so that the critical tasks can be maintained even if one of the offices is down.