Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Holdings PLC (HSBC) is ranked 46th on the Fortune 500 company listing in 2011 (Fortune 500 2011). With an international presence of offices and establishments in leading financial cities (Scott Mark 2008) such as New York, London, Zurich, Sydney and Tokyo, HSBC provides an array of financial services to approximately 89 Million customers. As one of the largest banking and financial service organizations in the world, HSBC values their commitment to all their stakeholders (HSBC 2012).
HSBC believes that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a dictum that their organization and all its constituents live by (“CSR is engrained in HSBC’s corporate DNA” 2006). Therefore, in addition to their financial services, HSBC also engages in a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects as initiators, partners and volunteers. In 2011, HSBC achieved a score of 63; twenty points above the average score of companies on the basic Corporate Social Responsibility Rating scale (CSRHUB 2011). Aggregated from twelve markers of company governance, employee performance, environment and community (CSRHUB 2011), HSBC’s 63-point rating suggests a well-rounded and above-average approach to their CSR endeavors. HSBC also came out top amongst 638 Hong Kong and China-listed companies in the environmental, social and governance rating in the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability index (Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index 2012). In the Finance category, HSBC ranked 2nd amongst 32 banks worldwide (Scholten, Bert 2008).
Their favorable rankings in both CSRHub rating and Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability could, in part, be attributed to HSBC’s recently established Global Environmental Efficiency Programme (GEEP) and HSBC’s Climate Partnership. Started in 2007, GEEP’s main aim was to help HSBC achieve their environmental targets and provide a platform for idea sharing of environmental innovations (HSBC - Global Environmental Efficiency Programme. 2007). Whereas the HSBC Climate Partnership is a 5-year environmental community investment programme partnering environmental advocates The Climate Group, Earthwatch, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to reduce the impacts of climate change (Investing in Communities 2012).
With reference to Alexander Dahlsrud (2006) 5 Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility; the Environmental, Social, Economic, Stakeholder and Voluntariness dimension. For the purpose of this essay, the focus will preside on HSBC Climate Partnership’s performance and impact on the environmental dimension. HSBC has defined their stakeholders to be customers, employees, shareholders, regulators and governments, suppliers, bondholders, other creditors, communities and societies (“Working with Stakeholders” 2012) and for the purpose of this essay, shall reference these stakeholders.
The HSBC Climate Partnership is a US$100 Million project started in 2006. Phase 1 ran from 2006 till 2009 while Phase 2 lasted from 2001 till 2011. The main areas of focus were climate change, improvement of freshwater and conservation of biodiversity (“Investing in Communities” 2012). Catered towards a variety of stakeholder groups, the HSBC Climate Paternship sought to help the large ecology while serving the needs of their customers (Snider, Jamie et al 2003). To achieve the goals, HSBC together with the partners, identified four key areas. Firstly, to spearhead scientific research, secondly, to develop projects and test out various new methodologies. Thirdly, to create models that companies can put them into practice and lastly to provide possible legislative solutions to governments (“Investing in Communities” 2012).
The partnership achieved positive outcomes such as improving water supplies, successful protection of habitats for endangered species and influencing government policy (“Investing in Communities” 2012) to...