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Environmental sustainability seminar

HSBC’s climate change coordinator Martin Scicluna addressing the seminar.

HSBC’s climate change coordinator Martin Scicluna addressing the seminar.

HSBC recently held a seminar on the environment as part of its awareness campaign, ‘Banking on Survival’.

Attended by 40 HSBC Climate Champions, the seminar explored the issue of environmental sustainability in Malta.

Presentations were delivered by Jeffrey Sciberras, who specialises in flora, his brother Arnold, who focuses on fauna and hydrologist Marco Cremona, who explained the different kinds of water resources available in Malta and highlighted the real threat of dwindling fresh water supplies.

Several topics were touched upon during the seminar, including the fact that, while in Malta we have some 24 endemic species and around 700 indigenous species, most are not aware that species such as the Maltese freshwater crab, the Maltese wall lizard of Fungus Rock, most moths, the rock dove, the painted frog and the hedgehog are all threatened by direct human activity and by other indirect actions, such as the introduction of non-indigenous invasive species.

Water pollution, severe valley droughts, light pollution, genetic pollution and even reckless driving, which is the cause of the death of vagrant hedgehogs, are some of the other issues that need to be tackled in order to conserve and sustain a healthy environment.

HSBC’s climate change coordinator Martin Scicluna said, “HSBC has long been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and promoting the principles of environmental sustainability. Last year, HSBC and its staff maintained this momentum by undertaking a number of initiatives, such as the energy saving Earth Hour, regular clean-ups of natural heritage spots and lectures .”

HSBC was the first major bank to go carbon neutral in 2005. Together with four leading global organisations – The Climate Group, Earthwatch, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF – the bank set up the HSBC Climate Partnership, a $100 million community investment initiative for climate change research.

So far, over 1,000 HSBC employees worldwide, including around 40 in Malta, have trained to become climate champions. Their aim is to bring an understanding and encourage action on climate change issues in the organisation and the Maltese community.

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