Ali decided to focus his career on sustainability after attending an HSBC innovative Sustainability Leadership Programme (SLP), in partnership with Earthwatch.
As someone who didn’t grow up with much interest or engagement with the environment, it marked a turning point for him, personally and professionally.
“My awareness of the environment came later,” he explains. “I grew up in Pakistan. My father was in the military and we moved around. I’ve seen lots of cities and suburbs. I was then educated in the US and exposed to different communities and views on the environment.”
As he became more engaged in thinking about the environment, he saw that ideas around sustainability were growing within HSBC. Having read more and more about the impact of climate change, and the damage to the environment, he volunteered for the SLP with the intention of making an impact in the Middle East.
The training changed Ali’s approach to tackling sustainability issues, and empowered him to start making the changes immediately.
“Before I was of the view that it needs to be a top down approach through regulation and so forth. But I came away from the course realising that small individual actions can also make a difference. I now do a lot more personal actions, for example. I no longer use disposable cups and have my own water bottle. We don’t need to wait for big change to happen."