International Green Awards Winner!
The 2011 International Green Awards, the world’s largest sustainability awards scheme, was held on 24 November at the Natural History Museum in London. Earthwatch was awarded the gold award in the Best Green Employee Engagement category, for Engaging HSBC Employees in Sustainability. Marks & Spencer’s Plan A Employee Engagement won the silver award, and Deutsche Bank’s Earth Week the bronze.
The Best Green Employee Engagement Award, presented by BBC stalwart Philippa Forrester and sustainability professional Leo Johnson, recognizes initiatives that improve public knowledge and understanding and empower individuals and organizations in society.
Over the past five years, Earthwatch and HSBC have undertaken the world’s largest employee engagement program on climate change. Earthwatch has successfully engaged more than one-third of HSBC’s global workforce on climate change issues through a combination of activities: online learning modules, one-day local volunteering opportunities, and an immersive scientific field research program.
Earthwatch’s key achievements over the past five years as part of the HSBC Climate Partnership include the following:
- More than 62,000 employee volunteers have participated in environmental projects in their communities to gain practical knowledge about tackling climate change locally. The original target was 22,000 participants.
- 2,233 HSBC employees—known as Climate Champions— have spent time at five Earthwatch Regional Climate Centers, helping Earthwatch scientists build a comprehensive picture of the carbon cycle in temperate and tropical forests worldwide. The original target was 2,200 participants.
- Climate Champions worldwide have contributed more than 63,000 hours of hands-on data gathering on how forests are adapting to climate change.
- A global “green taskforce” of HSBC employees has been created, with 96 percent of Climate Champions agreeing that the program increased their knowledge of climate change and 92 percent that it increased their commitment to taking action on climate change. Seventy-nine percent said their participation made them more strongly committed to HSBC as an organization.
Earthwatch’s work with HSBC, engaging the bank’s global workforce in sustainability issues, has attracted worldwide media interest. It has been featured on television in India, South America, and the U.K. and in many business and environmental publications and websites.
The Earthwatch–HSBC collaboration was selected as a case study for the Guardian Sustainable Business Best Practice Exchange, and Earthwatch and HSBC leaders have presented the program at leading events, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference, the Economist Sustainable Business Summit, and the Ashridge International Research Conference.