As one of Hong Kong's largest listed companies, we have a prominent platform from which to champion the cause of improved environmental stewardship. The collective global response to challenges such as climate change and conserving biodiversity will influence the long-term health of the natural systems upon which we all depend. We are committed to playing our part in working towards positive long-term outcomes.

We take steps to reduce our resource consumption and encourage our customers and suppliers to do the same through our services and policies. We empower our staff to act as ambassadors for the environment by raising their awareness and understanding of green issues.

We are proud to be a local pioneer in promoting greater environmental responsibility. We use our visible position on the local corporate landscape to promote greater action on climate change and other large-scale environmental concerns. We support community projects that have a demonstrable positive impact on the environment. We explore potential future business opportunities arising from the adoption of greener technology and processes, as well as interest in environment-related investment.

Beginning with our headquarters building in 2005, we have led the way in gaining ISO 14001 certification among local banks in Hong Kong. In 2011, we became the first local bank to achieve this internationally recognised environmental accreditation for all Hong Kong offices and branches. Our operations have been carbon neutral since 2007 and we are making steady progress in cutting our emissions (see table: Environmental Performance).

Through our award-winning Hang Seng Pearl River Delta Environmental Awards (Awards), organised jointly since 2007 with the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, we continue to incentivise companies in the Pearl River Delta region to improve their performance with respect to a broad range of environmental issues. The Awards attracted a record 182 participants and 651 projects in 2010/11 - up 26% and 17% respectively compared with the previous year.

The collective positive impacts of Awards projects include cutting waste by 630,000 tonnes - an amount that would cover Shing Mun Reservoir about 226 times. The projects also reduced water consumption by 2.95 million tonnes (the volume of 740 standard 50m swimming pools) and cut electricity consumption by over 85 million kWh (equivalent to the annual electricity used by 13,000 average four-member households). Close to 11,000 tonnes of materials were recycled under the projects - an amount that would cover Victoria Park 300 times.

Other efforts to reduce resource consumption include paperless initiatives - both internally and through services for customers. By the end of 2011, over 510,000 customers had chosen to receive their account statements in electronic format through our e-Statement service and the number of subscribers to our e-InvestAdvice service had topped 103,000 - collectively saving over 28 million sheets of paper a year. In July, we rolled out e-Statement services for business customers.

We cut energy consumption per full-time employee by 5.41% in 2011. We recycled more than 4,000 items of obsolete computer equipment and nearly 14,000 toner and printer ink cartridges - saving about 66 tonnes of electronic waste.

The strong importance we place on taking action to conserve biodiversity is reflected in our financing policies (see 'Responsible Banking Services' under the 'Corporate Governance' section of this Report) and the management of our own operations. We stopped serving shark's fin at Bank functions in 2003 and have since taken endangered reef fish species and black moss off our menus. We comply with WWF Hong Kong's Seafood Guide and in 2011 became the first corporation in Hong Kong to implement an 'ocean friendly' menu endorsed by WWF Hong Kong at our banquet hall.

Other progress in 2011 includes implementing a composting scheme to handle food waste generated at our Penthouse. Compostable waste is collected by a contractor and used in the production of farm animal feed. We are also taking steps to minimise the generation of such waste at source through awareness raising initiatives aimed at staff, including an 'Order Less, Waste Less' campaign and related environmental talks.

In November 2011, staff volunteers travelled to rural areas of Yunnan province in mainland China to assist on a biogas project organised by The Conservancy Association, under which about 2,200 local villagers gained access to renewable energy. As at the end of 2011, more than 6,600 individuals are benefitting from biogas facilities built under this Hang Seng-sponsored project - which is saving about 3,740 tonnes of firewood per year (equivalent to about 8,250 acres of forest) and cutting annual carbon emissions by about 18,700 tonnes.

We continue to enhance the environmental knowledge and understanding of our staff through talks, workshops and volunteer activities organised in association with local green groups. In November and December, staff volunteers and their families helped collect over 150 bags of rubbish as part of the International Coastal Cleanup campaign.

These activities empower our staff to act as ambassadors for the environment, spreading positive green messages among their family members and social peers, and helping groups of young people learn more about low-carbon living, tree conservation and recycling through various community initiatives - thereby planting the seeds of environmental stewardship in the hearts and minds of future generations.

Fund-raising events such as the Green Power Hike and the Friends of the Earth (HK) River Walk for the Dongjiang River Source Conservation Project saw members of staff get active in support of good environmental causes.

We continue to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which provides a forum for the world's largest institutional investors to collectively consider the business implications of climate change.

Environmental Performance

 Unit201120102009
GHG Emissions (CO2 equivalent)*
Electricitytonnes23,308.48 24,570.37#24,203.23
Employee traveltonnes268.01238.32259.03
Other fuel sources (gas, LPG and diesel)tonnes43.5146.3862.10
Totaltonnes23,620.00 24,855.07#24,524.36
Resources Consumption
ElectricityGWh36.30 36.38#36.50
Other Fuel Sources (gas, LPG and diesel)GWh0.480.520.60
Water000 m365.8871.1655.85
Paper+tonnes1,777.772,052.00-
- Compliant%90.7581.61-
- Near-compliant%0.095.41-
- Non-compliant%9.1612.98-
Waste Disposed to Landfill
Confidential Waste (non-paper)tonnes - - -
General Office Wastetonnes340.80385.57466.00
IT and Electricaltonnes0.050.312.97
Totaltonnes340.85385.88468.97
Waste Collected for Recycling
Canstonnes0.240.220.12
Confidential (non-paper)tonnes2.125.514.90
General Officetonnes43.0348.23153.66
IT and Electricaltonnes66.0250.8485.03
Mixed Paper and Cardboardtonnes723.43809.67688.89
Plastictonnes0.620.760.17
Totaltonnes835.45915.23932.79

Data coverage: Hang Seng's Hong Kong operations. Data is rounded up to two decimal places.

Data is calculated and verified through the HSBC Group. Hang Seng's operations have been carbon neutral through HSBC Group since 2007.

Data has been adjusted to reflect amended information provided by Hang Seng's electricity supplier.

+Paper:
Compliant Paper: Virgin, partially recycled or 100% recycled paper certified by an approved scheme, e.g. FSC.

Near-compliant Paper: Paper that includes virgin pulp coming from low-risk countries and/or recycled sources that are not part of approved schemes.

Non-compliant Paper: All other types of paper.


Key: 

CO2: Carbon dioxide GWh: Gigawatt hours m3: Cubic metres

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