Sustainability risk

HSBC seeks to ensure that the financial services we provide to our customers to support economic development do not result in an unacceptable impact on people or the environment.

For more than 15 years, we have been working with our business customers to help them understand and manage their environmental and social impact. HSBC has specific sustainability risk policies covering agricultural commodities, chemicals, energy, forestry, mining and metals, thermal coal and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Ramsar-designated wetlands, additionally we apply the Equator Principles when financing projects.

In December 2022, we updated the HSBC Energy Policy, which is available in the list of policies on this page.

We engage with customers, where appropriate, and support them in adopting more sustainable practices. We end banking relationships with customers when they are unwilling or unable to comply with our standards. More information about our approach is available in Introduction to Sustainability Risk Policies.

You can also find further information on our policies in areas such as the environment, climate change, human rights, and modern slavery on our Group ESG reporting centre page.

We have reputational and sustainability risk specialists who are responsible for reviewing, implementing and managing our sustainability risk policies as well as our application of the Equator Principles. Our global network of more than 75 sustainability risk managers supports the implementation of these policies. These local sustainability risk managers are supported by regional reputational and sustainability risk managers across the Group.

The Environmental Risk Oversight Forum oversees the formulation and implementation of new and existing sustainability risk policies, and is made up of senior members of the Global Risk function and global businesses across the Group. We regularly review our policies to ensure that they address new and emerging risks as well as stakeholder concerns.