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CASE STUDY: Testing the water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes

Balasubramanian Rajamani, Vice President of HSBC’s Credit Analysis team in Bengaluru, has long been interested in environmental conservation and regularly uses his spare time to volunteer on local projects clearing litter from Bengaluru’s roads and parks.

However, taking part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme (STP) and participating in Earthwatch research investigating water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes prompted him to implement a new green initiative in the office.

“Since taking part in the STP, I proposed the “green idea” of replacing paper cups with steel tumblers in our office canteen. The proposal, after some deliberations, was finally accepted and implemented in November 2018. As we are an office of around 5,000 staff, we estimate it will not only save the use of around 2 million cups each year, but offer significant cost savings to the canteen vendor. From a double whammy, it's a double win.”

Initiatives are now underway to replicate this across other HSBC offices in Bengaluru and India. Bala Rajamani is also passionate about reminding staff in the Credit Analysis team, and colleagues in the Bengaluru office more widely, about other simple ways in which they can improve the sustainability of their lifestyles. He himself has installed a water conservation system at home which he estimates will conserve around 8,000 litres of water each year. He believes the STP provides a unique opportunity for HSBC staff to learn more about sustainable development, and to consider which environmental challenge they have an opportunity to influence in their personal and professional lives.

“By combining classroom talks, group discussions about the sustainable development goals and time outside the office measuring the water quality of two urban lakes in Bengaluru, we gained a complete, holistic perspective of the environmental challenges that we face. The course really inspired me and I will use the opportunity to inspire others.”

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