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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

First direct plans computer shutdown to cut emissions and save energy costs

Twenty-four hour virtual bank first direct is to install automated computer shutdown software in an effort to reduce its carbon emissions by 147 tonnes and save £24,000 per year on energy costs.

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The new clean green brigade

HSBC, the 2006 winner of the FT's sustainable banking awards, has committed a further US$90 million over five years to reduce the bank’s impact on the environment through a series of initiatives, including the introduction of renewable energy technology, water and waste reduction programmes and employee engagement.

The impact of HSBC’s environmental policy can be readily seen at first direct, the firm’s direct banking subsidiary in the UK. Already carbon neutral as a result of 100 per cent of its electricity being purchased from renewable ‘green’ sources, first direct moved in April to install solar photovoltaic panels at its offices in Leeds.

The panels provide sufficient energy to support the needs of its onsite nursery - and an instructive lesson for children attending the nursery on the importance of environmental issues. Part of the installation includes a reception display showing how much energy the panels have produced and the equivalent carbon dioxide saving.

First direct is also showing a cleen pair of heels to its peers on the Finextra stats page.  In April, we ran a story on the bank's plans to install automated computer shutdown software in an effort to reduce its carbon emissions. It quickly became our most popular news item of all time, clocking up 35,000 page views in the past two months alone.


Comments: (1)

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 02 July, 2007, 15:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Some figures HSBC gave me on the Leeds office solar panel experiment -

Between December 2006 and June 2007:

  • The project has generated 4.283 MW/hrs 
  • This has saved 1,842 tonnes of CO2 

Another pilot site - HSBC group management training college at Bricket Wood - began in June 2006 and has saved the bank $4,300.

HSBC has also just appointed Sir Nicholas Stern as a climate change advisor. Last year Stern wrote a report on the subject for the British government that highlighted the economic threat posed by climate change. He claimed that the cost of reducing emissions would be about 1% of global gross domestic product but the cost of inaction would be 5% - 20%.

Figures like those are bound to get the attention of big banks.

Paul Penrose

Paul Penrose

Head of Research


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06 Oct 2006



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