As part of this partnership, Earthwatch, WaterAid, and WWF launched the HSBC Water Programme in 2012. The eight-year programme aims to provide and protect water sources, inform and educate communities in need, enabling people to prosper and driving economic development across the world.
Launched in 2012 and originally a five-year, US$100 million programme, it was extended in 2017 following its success over the initial term. The extended programme will be the next stage in the evolution of the partnership for Earthwatch with the development of the Sustainability Training Programme - focusing on regional scientific research projects investigating the relationship between climate change and blue-green urban spaces. From this, the programme is ideally placed to support HSBC in building understanding of these issues and how these connect internally to sustainability and the bank’s priorities.
Historically, Earthwatch’s first formal partnership with HSBC was Investing in Nature, a five-year partnership launched in 2002, featuring WWF and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. As part of this program, HSBC sent 2,000 employees on Earthwatch field research projects around the world and helped Earthwatch train 230 scientists from the developing world on Earthwatch projects. HSBC participants undertook environmental projects in their workplace or local communities, supported by grants from HSBC.
Building on the success of the Investing in Nature partnership, in 2007 HSBC launched the HSBC Climate Partnership. Partnering with The Climate Group, Earthwatch, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and WWF, the HSBC Climate Partnership was a US$100-million, five-year program to reduce the impact of climate change and accelerate the adoption of low-carbon policies. Earthwatch helped influence the way HSBC does business by engaging HSBC employees in understanding more about the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and using that knowledge to reduce their own impacts at home, at work and those of HSBC operations.
Images: John Hunt, Jay Ortiz