As climate change activists smash the windows at its Canary Wharf HQ, HSBC is attempting to burnish its green credentials with a new programme to eliminate single-use PVC plastic payment cards in favour of recycled PVC plastic (rPVC) across all its global locations by the end of 2026.
The initiativee - which includes HSBC’s debit, credit and commercial cards - is part of the bank’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and achieve net zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.
Working with global cards manufacturer Idemia, the bank will introduce new cards gradually across its locations.
Rollout started in Malaysia in January 2021 and will continue in Sri Lanka this month; followed by the UK this summer. It will then extend across further countries and markets by the end of 2021, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, UAE and US.
HSBC currently issues 23 million card per annum. The bank reckons the move to rPVC will reduce CO2 emissions by 161 tonnes a year. Each card will also reduce plastic waste - 73 tonnes per year, equivalent to the weight of over 40 cars.
Richard Harvey, group head of retail banking products at HSBC, says: “This is another step as we move towards a net zero business, to help the bank and our customers make a positive impact on the environment.”
HSBC's warm words about protecting the planet are beiing challenged by climate activists, with protest group Extinction Rebellion today smashing 19 windows at the bank's Canary Wharf headquarters.
The Earth Day protest at the Canary Wharf branch was staged to draw attention to the bank's links to the fossil fuel industry, activists said.
Nine women took part in the protest, wearing patches with the words "better broken windows than broken promises".