[ClimateBiz]: HSBC bank sets ambitious reduction targets for air emissions, waste

The world’s second largest bank will cut its CO2 emissions by an
average of 5%, water and energy by 7% and landfill waste by 8%, across
90% of its operations by the end of 2007.

At first blush, I’m not sure I’d call these ‘ambitious’ targets. (See How High the Moon: The Challenge of ‘Sufficient’ Goals) On the other hand,
these results are to be achieved in three years, across a property
portfolio comprises some 10,700 buildings, including branches, offices,
data and service centres and residences — no small feat, and one that
HSBC appears to be approaching with a serious and thoughtful methodology, including:

  • Tak[ing] a detailed view of the future shape and size of the
    portfolio at the country level including future upgrades, specific
    projects and continuing management improvements.
  • allowing local teams to calculate their own targets using a
    consistent methodology will lead to greater ownership and a greater
    commitment to deliver
  • develop[ing] an environmental evaluation methodology for use across the Group.
  • identif[ying] financial, energy, waste, water and CO2 reductions
    for each intended initiative over the next three years… separated into
    three broad categories: capital expenditure, planned maintenance and
  • provid[ing] a mechanism for developing a business case and
    estimating payback by comparing existing measures with environmental

I’m curious to see what HSBC might be aimed at (but not yet ready to
talk about publicly) beyond this three year window — and how they plan
to track and drive performance toward those goals.