100 marathons for WaterAid

Cesar Mendez, who works in HSBC's London office, has pledged to run 100 marathons across seven continents to raise money for WaterAid and make a difference to communities without access to water, sanitation and hygiene. In 2017 Cesar was award the prize of HSBC Global Sustainability Champion of the year for his exceptional support of the HSBC Water Programme. In 2019, WaterAid awarded Cesar a Presidents Award- the highest honour the charity can give which is acknowledged and is signed by the charity's President, HRH Prince Charles. So far, Cesar has completed six marathons for WaterAid- just a few more to go then!

Provision

United Kingdom

WaterAid

Helping the global water challenge

Poor access to drinkable water is a problem that Jamil Ahmad experienced first-hand growing up in Pakistan. Motivated to be part of the water challenge, Jamil seized the opportunity to become a Citizen Science Leader (CSL) when he moved to Hong Kong to work for HSBC Global Asset Management. CSLs' tests are helping scientists to understand the relationship between water quality and the seasonality, distribution and diversity of microalgae in rivers and streams. Jamil says: "In some places, for example Yuen Long Creek, we can see that sources of pollution from humans, like residential waste, are contributing towards decreasing the quality of the water. In sites like Sha Kok Mei stream, the water is clean and the surroundings are beautiful."

Research

Hong Kong

Earthwatch

Protecting smaller waterways

Research by FreshWater Watchers in the UK and Paris suggests that small waterbodies like ponds and streams are significantly cleaner than surrounding rivers and lakes, potentially providing important hotspots for biodiversity. These small waterbodies are typically isolated from the main water catchment, and remain relatively free of urban and agricultural pollution, providing vital clean water refuges for wildlife even within large urban areas. Ponds are rarely monitored through national water quality monitoring initiatives, but FreshWater Watch has shown the potential for citizen scientists to contribute to a much broader understanding of freshwater health.

Protection

United Kingdom

Earthwatch

Becoming a Citizen Science Leader

For Januarie Hall, becoming a Citizen Science Leader (CSL) on the HSBC Water Programme gave her the opportunity to follow her heart into conservation and also develop key professional skills. "One of my favourite times was water testing with my nieces at Christmas in Jersey. I bought programme T-shirts for them to wear and my niece Daisy wore it five days running - much to the dismay of my sister. Being able to do something outdoors with them, sharing my knowledge, and also piquing their interest in the environment meant an awful lot to me." The impact of the project is also being felt at a scientific level by filling in knowledge gaps about the UK's smaller waterbodies. CSLs have been tasked with collecting data from ponds, streams, ditches, canals and headwaters so their impact on water quality can be analysed.

Research

United Kingdom

Earthwatch

Measuring agricultural impacts along Jakarta's Ciliwung River

FreshWater Watchers in Jakarta have helped the Agroclimate and Hydrology Research Institute, a local partner, to monitor water quality along the 119 km Ciliwung River. This flows from the volcanic ranges of West Java through the Indonesian capital and out into Jakarta Bay. Their measurements show that nitrate and phosphate concentrations in the river are influenced by both agricultural practices and rainwater intensity. The results of the study have contributed to water improvement projects along the river's course.

Research

Indonesia

Earthwatch

Hyderabad lakes

FreshWater Watch revealed some particularly alarming impacts of urbanisation in Hyderabad, India, where in recent decades the number of waterbodies within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area fell dramatically from 2,200 to just 430. Lakes in Hyderabad were also found to have fluoride concentrations exceeding maximum permissible limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards and World Health Organization. The inflow of untreated or partially treated sewage has also led to the excessive growth of algae and horseshoe plants indicative of eutrophic conditions with low levels of dissolved oxygen. FreshWater Watch measurements identified links between the nutrient concentration and inputs of raw sewage, domestic waste and industrial effluents.

Research

India

Earthwatch

Restoring Pune's birdlife

Pashan Lake and Mula Mutha River in Pune, Western India, were once renowned birdwatching paradises, but bird populations crashed 20 years ago when the areas were urbanised and polluted with sewage. A successful restoration programme funded by the Pune Municipal Corporation was completed in 2013, and since then FreshWater Watchers have helped scientists from Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research monitor water quality, helping to inform further improvements in management.

Research

India

Earthwatch

Kolkata wetlands

The East Kolkata Wetlands are a vast 125 square kilometer patchwork of salt meadows, marshes and ponds on the fringes of India's second-biggest city. The shallow waters act as a natural flood defence and provide a fertile environment to grow rice and vegetables, supporting the city's five million residents. Purifying 680 million litres of raw sewage each year, the threatened wetlands reduce the city's wastewater costs to virtually zero, while city's entrepreneurial fishers reap benefits from the farming of sewage-fed fish. HSBC's Kolkata employees contributed to the collection of almost 500 water samples, assisting local scientists with an extensive monitoring programme. The data have led to the passing of 'Chhoinabhi Declaration' , a voluntary agreement setting out the scientific management of the wetlands which has been shared with the East Kolkata management authorities.

Research

India

Earthwatch

Freshwater in Wadi Wurayah

Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah is one of the few areas in the Middle East to have fresh water all year. But amidst the striking landscapes of rugged mountains, people have left behind graffiti, litter and even old shoes in this sensitive ecosystem. To raise awareness of environmental stewardship, reduce water footprints and conduct ecological research, the Water Research and Learning Programme (WRLP) was established in the Wadi Wurayah National Park. Each of the 770 HSBC participants committed to spread the word among 50 colleagues, friends and family members, meaning awareness of the importance of freshwater resources was spread to an estimated 38,500 individuals. WLRP research has paved the way for scientific discoveries in the Wadi: the Omani Owl, a species still new to science, was found, and a species of dragonfly that has been presumed extinct was rediscovered. Through the WLRP, the Wadi has been declared a protected area by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, and a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Protection

United Arab Emirates

Earthwatch

Innovative incubators

FreshWater Watch has been a catalyst for technological innovations. In New York City (NYC), our research partners identified a need for a simple and transportable method to test water samples for the presence of harmful bacteria to alert recreational water users to potential pathogen exposure. Sampling waterborne bacteria requires the use of an incubator to maintain water samples at a constant temperature at which bacteria multiply and can be detected. But such incubators are typically confined to the depths of scientific laboratories. In 2014, partners at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory began developing a portable incubator, and by late 2015 had created a usable prototype. The prototype incubator has received great interest from citizen science groups in other parts of North America who are able to use it to address new research questions. The NYC team are now hoping to manufacture a series of ovens for citizen scientists to use.

Research

United States

Earthwatch

Urban ponds

Urban ponds are used for the retention of storm water and are a prominent feature of many newer residential and commercial developments of southern Ontario, Canada. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are about 500 ponds which receive and hold storm-generated run-off to reduce downstream flooding. However, little is known about their ecological role in the urban environment. FreshWater Watchers in Toronto surveyed water quality across 22 of the city's urban ponds. Their results indicate that urban ponds may improve water quality in downstream waterbodies by retaining pollutants and that in-pond vegetation plays an important role in reducing available nutrients.

Research

Canada

Earthwatch

Urban streams

The Greater Vancouver area (Metro Vancouver) has the highest population density in Canada. To monitor the effect of rabid urbanisation on the quality of streams, 231 FreshWater Watchers collected 838 water quality samples across Vancouver. The results contributed to important new knowledge about the factors that control stream water quality in a rapidly urbanising environment, in relation to land use and seasonality. This was made possible thanks to the efforts of citizen scientists who gathered data at a much finer scale than would have been achievable by professional scientists alone.

Research

Canada

Earthwatch

Protecting crayfish and axolotl habitat in Mexico City

Xochimilico lies to the south of Mexico City and is home to a complex network of canals and chinampas, a traditional system of farming used since Aztec times. This unusual habitat provides a unique ecological niche for aquatic species. FreshWater Watchers contributed to research exploring how this unique landscape affects the microhabitats of axolotl and acocil. Their efforts are helping to inform the restoration of chinampas and canals, and the creating of axolotl and acocil refuges to bolster their populations.

Protection

Mexico

Earthwatch

The Great Lakes beaches

FreshWater Watchers in Buffalo and Chicago assisted with the 'Great Lakes Beaches' project, an in-depth study exploring the abundance, distribution and impacts of litter around the Great Lakes. The results revealed that most litter originates from beach visitors and not from offshore, that sandy beaches have more litter than rocky beaches, and that litter is lowest in summer season. These findings are being used to inform local management strategies to reduce litter around the Great Lakes, showing where present management activities are functioning well and where further improvements need to be made. Interestingly, the results show a dominant influence of local recreational and industrial activities, bringing to light the importance of local management and education.

Protection

United States

Earthwatch

St Lawrence River beachcombers

In Montreal, Canada, FreshWater Watchers have been exploring whether the health of the St Lawrence River could be assessed by examining the vegetation and litter found on the shoreline. By developing a new approach to citizen-based litter monitoring, new insights were gained into drivers of anthropogenic litter and potentially harmful algal blooms.

Protection

Canada

Earthwatch

Brazil's subtropical urban streams

Harmful algal blooms are a common and growing problem in freshwater ecosystems across the planet and are causing particular problems in tropical and subtropical areas, where surface waters are often used as drinking water sources. Thanks to the efforts of FreshWater Watchers in Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the causes and potential opportunities to reduce these blooms were identified in 64 Brazilian streams. The concentrations of algae, in particular potentially toxic cyanobacteria, were found to be strongly related to nutrients from local pollution sources and vegetation complexity along the stream's banks.

Research

Brazil

Earthwatch

Living indicators of stream disturbance

Monitoring freshwater ecosystems can follow a number of approaches, each with advantages and challenges. In Buenos Aires, local researchers and citizen scientists combined global FreshWater Watch methods with the observation of small insects (benthic macroinvertebrates) that inhabit the stream and river sediment. These creatures can allow researchers to gather a temporal understanding of the ecological conditions. By combining these measurements with those of water quality and ecosystem conditions, the Buenos Aires project developed a new approach to measuring water quality in subtropical rivers and streams. It will now be extended to other rivers in Argentina to better understand the long-term impacts of changing land use.

Research

Argentina

Earthwatch

Empowering communities in Benue state

Earthwatch and WaterAid Nigeria have partnered to empower communities in Benue state – ‘the food basket of Nigeria’ – to monitor local water quality using Earthwatch’s citizen science programme FreshWater Watch.

Research

Nigeria

Earthwatch

The River of Life

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, rapid development and habitat loss has affected water quality, biodiversity and flood defences along the River Klang. But in 2012, the River of Life rehabilitation project was launched to transform the Klang into a vibrant, diverse waterway. FreshWater Watchers have worked closely with the Global Environment Centre to support the initiative, collecting over 250 datasets at ten sites along the river to monitor environment and water quality. The results have shown that phosphate levels - a measure of water quality - are within acceptable limits along the River Klang except in the most urbanised site. The findings are helping government agencies to direct rehabilitation and restoration activities along the river.

Research

Malaysia

Earthwatch

Understanding urban rivers

Since China's economic reform in late 1970s, Shanghai, the country's largest and most modern city, has become one of the world's megacities with a population of more than 24 million. But such rapid urbanisation can have extensive impacts on local water quality. Research conducted by FreshWater Watchers in China, led by scientists at the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, South China Agricultural University and the Open University of Hong Kong, has informed a number of new scientific developments on what drives and reduces poor water quality in rivers across Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

Research

China

Earthwatch

Are water ATMs dispensing a viable solution to clean water in Bangladesh?

Water ATMs, or automated water dispensing units, are increasingly becoming a solution to a lack of clean water.Designed to operate 24 hours a day, powered by solar energy, and able to collect rainwater and purify it via solar-powered osmosis or connect to the grid system, the water ATM machines are accessed via a water card sold by vendors and small shops. Once topped up with credit, the card can be inserted into the machine to obtain water. This enables people reliable access to clean drinking water at an affordable price and it significantly reduces the time spent on water collection. In Bangladesh, 0.4 taka (less than half of a cent) will get you a litre of water. The HSBC Water Programme has supplied water ATMs in Bangladesh in sub-districts Dacope and Paikgacha since 2015. Through these machines, water is taken from a tubewell and undergoes a reverse osmosis process to remove high levels of salinity in the water, making it safe to drink. Since 2015, the HSBC Water Programme has supported 160,000 people with access to clean water through water ATMs.

Provision

Bangladesh

WaterAid

Staying in school with WASH

As part of the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid have installed a new tap stand and toilets in the village of Kushadevi, located in the Kavre district in Nepal. Students at a local school now have access to clean water and sanitation during the day, increasing their access to education and enhancing their future employment opportunities. Before the WaterAid project began in Kushadevi, only around a quarter of households in the village had access to sanitation, and there was a high prevalence of water and sanitation related diseases. Due to the lack of a sufficient clean water supply in the area, women and girls were often tasked with the job of collecting water from elsewhere, meaning they were unable to work and attend school. With vital support from the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid and a local partner installed a new washing station with taps and toilets in Kushadevi. As well as helping the local community, the new washing station is also benefiting a local primary school, meaning that students have access to these facilities during the day. Access to clean water and toilets has a direct impact on school attendance, particularly for girls. It has been estimated that around 443 million school days are lost each year because of water-related illnesses (Human Development Report). Additionally, girls often drop out of school when they start their periods if there are not the facilities in place to manage them. Samrakshya, 12, a student at the school said: “Now even small children can use this tap to drink water and wash their hands. I think every school should have these type of hand washing stations for students." With increased educational attendance, the future opportunities for children living in Kushadevi are greatly enhanced, increasing their employment choices for later in life. Since the washing station has been installed, hygiene practices and awareness levels around sanitation have also increased in the community.

Provision

Nepal

WaterAid

Empowering Communities in Ghana

The town of Kunyevula in northern Ghana is just one of the communities benefiting from the construction of a new water kiosk as a result of WaterAid's intervention under the HSBC Water Programme. Despite its location in the Tamale Metropolis – Ghana’s third biggest city and the fastest growing in West Africa – people had to travel long distances to fetch water that wasn’t even safe to drink. During the wet season, people would collect water from a small dam. This water was also used by livestock, and the carcasses of dead animals were sometimes dumped in it. Aside from this contamination, there were also reports of women and girls being attacked when attempting to collect water. To help solve these challenges, WaterAid and a local NGO built a water kiosk, with support from the HSBC Water Programme, and the community took full ownership of the project. From being involved with the construction process and helping lay pipelines, to creating a committee to oversee the running of the facility, the community of Kunyevula is proud to have the new kiosk as part of their lives. Mumuni Iddrisu is one of the water kiosk operators appointed by the local committee, the Water and Sanitation Management Board. He ensures the kiosk runs smoothly and he was selected based on some of his key qualities: commitment, hard work, patience and a love for the community’s development. “We collect revenue from the sale of water”, Mumuni explains. “The money collected is saved in a bank and invested by the Water and Sanitation Management Board and the community.” Mumuni and his colleagues keep the facility running efficiently through regular maintenance, replacing broken parts, paying bills and cleaning the facility. The entire community is also responsible for security and ensuring parts don’t get stolen. “I dedicate my time to this facility because I think it’s important”, Mumuni says. “I am very proud to be part of it.”

Provision

Ghana

WaterAid

Third finless porpoise survey in the Yangtze

About 10 years ago, the Baiji dolphin was declared functionally extinct. Now the population of finless porpoise is nearly half that of the panda. Protecting the porpoises is a pressing task for us. A survey of the Yangtze finless porpoise population shows that the rate of population decline is slowing dramatically, thanks in part to WWF’s role in advocacy, supporting translocations to protected areas and awareness-raising. A scientific survey on the Yangtze River’s endangered finless porpoises was launched on November 10th 2017 to record their numbers. Supported by WWF-China under the HSBC Water Programme and local foundations in the province, the survey was led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Hydrobiology and it was the third to be undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture since 2006 (the previous surveys were held in 2006 and 2012). The population of the finless porpoise has declined by 13.7 per cent over the past six years. The 2012 survey found 1,045 porpoises in the river - about half the number researchers calculated in 2006. Water pollution, environmental degradation and an inefficient food chain - the result of illegal and unregulated fishing activities - are thought to be the reason for the dramatic decline of the species. The survey covered waters along the middle and lower stretches of the Yangtze and its two connecting lakes - Poyang and Dongting. According to Hao Yujiang, a researcher at the institute who is in charge of the work, the survey calculated the population and distribution of the finless porpoise and evaluated the environment in which they live. The outcomes are being used to help the government determine key protection areas and take targeted protection measures. The 3,400km round trip lasted about 40 days, and involved 32 members and volunteers from research institutes and NGOs. Surveys along the river and Poyang and Dongting lakes went on for about two months. Methods used in the survey included visual observation, acoustic and underwater noise detection as well as references to the surveys in 2006 and 2012. Water samples, sediment and underwater noise data were collected every 50 km. To monitor the porpoises and their habitats, for the first time ever, the research team used drone technology in the survey as well as visual observation, a recognised method used in wildlife observation. As visual fatigue is an inevitable element that can affect survey results, drone use help to correct the results.

Protection

China

WWF

Better Land Management in the Mara

Nancy Rono, farmer and single mother of three boys, is part of a scheme, implemented by WWF Kenya and supported by the HSBC Water Programme, to provide economic incentives to reduce the impacts farming has on the Mara River, Kenya. Since 2012, WWF Kenya, supported by the HSBC Water Programme, has been working with local farmers, communities and businesses along the Mara River on an environmental initiative. Together we’ve taken action to protect the river and the vital resource it provides. 395km of river has been secured, protecting water quality and ensuring local farmers, businesses and communities have access to clean water. Nancy is one of the 127,118 local farmers and fisherman across the world we've helped train in sustainable farming methods, supporting livelihoods and improving water quality. The Mara River flows from Kenya to Tanzania and sustains some of Africa’s best known nature reserves: the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. The river suffers from overabstraction but also from pollution coming from urban areas and tourism infrastructure. Poor farming practices are also a big culprit. The headwater Mau forests have historically enhanced rainwater infiltration, stabilised soils, and regulated flow. However, decades of encroachment, deforestation and poor agricultural practices have exposed soils. The farms are steep and when it rains, the fertile topsoil is washed into the rivers, choking them with sediment. The sediment-laden waters are not only a problem for fish and aquatic species, but also cause problems for those using the water downstream for drinking and industrial processes. Soil erosion is also a problem for the farms themselves. Soil erosion threatens farmers’ incomes and food security by reducing the availability of fertile soil in which to grow crops. To tackle this issue, WWF has been working in collaboration with community-based Water Resources Users Associations to raise awareness about the need to protect riparian land and demonstrate how better farming practices can reduce soil erosion, increase fertility and ultimately increase income. WWF is also trying to instigate a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme, whereby downstream private water users would contribute to the expansion and maintenance of improved farming practices upstream in return for improved river quality and flow.

Protection

Kenya

WWF

Zhang Shiyun

“I realised we had been destroying the natural environment to make ends meet,” explains Zhang Shiyun, a fisherman turned poacher who now works as a reserve manager at the Yangtze River’s Lake Hong. “I took inspiration from this moment of understanding.” Zhang’s family fished Lake Hong for generations. But as traditional fishing gave way to unsustainable practices, the fish began to disappear and Zhang turned to illegal bird hunting. In 2002, supported by HSBC and working with the local community and government, WWF began restoration work on the lake and other habitats surrounding the Yangtze River in China. Soon the water quality of Lake Hong improved, fish stock increased and the wildlife came back. Now, 14 years on, Zhang is the reserve manager. Fishermen are using sustainable practices and working around a closed season, when no one is allowed to fish, to enable stocks to increase. “The wetland is growing again,” says Zhang. “The water has become clearer. Income from fishing has risen dramatically, no matter what species are being fished. The fishermen are now happy and I am happy, too.”

Protection

China

WWF

Dr Seema Mahendra

Dr Seema Mahendra is a loving mother, a valued professor and a Ramganga mitra. ‘Mitras’ are community members who are bringing the polluted Ramganga, the main tributary of the Ganges (Ganga in Hindi), back to life. Long working hours, family life and many social commitments… nothing ever prevents Seema from helping to restore the river. She’s part of a group known as the mitras, initiated by WWF. The mitras (or ‘friends’) are doctors, students, farmers, citizens, industrialists and many others who are passionate about conserving the Ganges and the Ramganga. WWF, WaterAid and Earthwatch are all working in India to improve the way the water resources of these rivers are managed and provide safe water and sanitation to the surrounding communities. “No Sunday went by without our father taking us to the banks of the Ramganga. Making mud castles, running across the banks and dipping our feet in the river was a regular ritual. “But now it’s changed beyond belief: the murky waters, the stench and the atmosphere of this area is depressing. Going to the river used to be a celebration; now it has turned into a punishment. “I became a mitra because I wanted to help restore the river. Improvements are being achieved by giving the citizens of Moradabad a voice in planning and governance. We are bringing issues related to the river to the fore, and collaborating to find solutions.”

Protection

India

WWF

Greening the Belt & Road

WWF launched a report outlining six key obstacles to sustainable infrastructure development, and the tools and approaches that can be used to help navigate these. Specifically, WWF sets out its recommendations to financial institutions for responsible, sustainable infrastructure investments. The report also provides advice on how the finance sector can play a key role in delivering sustainable infrastructure by requiring best practices in planning, design, construction and operation. The report has set strong foundations for future work, building towards greener infrastructure in more than 70 countries across the globe.

Provision

China

WWF

Driving positive environmental change in leather production in Kanpur, India

The Leather Buyers Platform is a pioneering approach that has the potential to become a substantial advocacy tool for improved sustainability in the leather sector. The Platform brings together companies, enabling them to work with WWF to reduce the environmental impact of leather production and drive positive change in the industry. WWF started the Platform in 2016, approaching businesses sourcing leather from Kanpur on the Ganges to talk about the water risk associated with the industry, and highlight the opportunities to work together to improve the situation. The Platform now includes more than 10 UK retailers and brands (including Next, Matalan and New Look) and trade associations from the apparel and equestrian sectors. HSBC joined the Platform to share knowledge of trade finance and support sustainable improvements in the Europe-India apparel supply chains.

Provision

India

WWF

The importance of school hygiene education in Pakistan

Children learn the importance of safe hygiene in Pakistan. Before WaterAid and HSBC began working with 500 communities in Muzaffargarh in 2012, contaminated water and a lack of hygiene awareness contributed to an ongoing spread of sanitation related diseases among local villagers. Children were unable to attend school, forgoing vital education and individual and family livelihoods were impacted as illness prevented villagers from performing their work. Through the HSBC Water Programme, in conjunction with local partners, more than 80,000 people were reached through education on safe hygiene practices. Pictured is the promotion of hygiene education in one of 20 local schools. In addition, the installation of 90 new hand pumps unlocked safe drinking water for more than 33,000 people which is critical to the communities who previously relied on aged hand pumps to access water. Training on the construction and implementation of latrines provided access to sanitation facilities for a further 1,000 people. As a result of WaterAid's work across Muzaffargarh, hundreds of communities have the chance to realise their potential. Through the dispersion of hygiene knowledge, water and sanitation facilities and specific skills training in relation to WASH, the future potential for healthy, dignified and economically prosperous communities is possible.

Provision

Pakistan

WaterAid

Celebrating the arrival of clean water in Nigeria

Villagers of the Abungu community celebrate the arrival of clean water at a handpump fitted by WaterAid with the support of HSBC, in Benue state, Nigeria. Prior to WaterAid working with the Abungu community, there was no clean water avaliable and only a few people had access to latrine toilets. Additionally, the primary school which had over 300 pupils in attendance had no sanitation facilities. This meant that pupils frequently stopped attending school, particuarly girls during their menstruation. Students who were unwell were encouraged to stay away from school due to such poor facilities. Through the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid were able to provide the community with a handpump which has provided over 1,000 community members with access to clean water. In addition, gender segregated latrines were installed at the local school, meaning that all pupils and teachers now have access to safe sanitation facilities. An Education Health Club was also formed at the school in order to educate pupils and the community on good hygiene and sanitation practices. As a result of this work with the Abungu community, many families were encouraged to build latrines in their own homes, with nearly every household constructing one. This improved water and sanitation access has reduced the number of waterbourne diseases affecting community members and the community clinic has seen a reduction in the number of emergency cases being admitted to the hospital. Additionally, enrolments at the school have risen following the provision of sanitation and hygiene facilities, demonstrating how water, sanitation and hygiene access has unlocked the potential of the Abungu community.

Provision

Nigeria

WaterAid

Expanding business opportunities through sanitation in Nigeria

As part of the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid have been working with small businesses in Kirfi, Bauchi state, Nigeria, selling sanitation products to scale up their businesses. As well as encouraging business growth, through making sanitary products more widely available and affordable, access to sanitation will also increase in the Kirfi area. The current poor sanitation coverage in Kirfi and Bauchi State presents good opportunities for sanitation marketing and local businesses, as demand for these products is high. Within Bauchi State, 57% of residents lack access to basic sanitation services. The problem is worse in rural areas, where 65% of people do not have access to sanitation. Through the support of the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid have been working in the area to increase awareness around the importance of sanitation and there will now be enough products available to meet this higher demand from customers, which in turn will support local businesses and the local economy. As a result of this activity, WaterAid are now working with 48 local businesses and entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses. This means they can invest in and sell sanitation products, creating an increase in the availability and affordability of such products, installation and services.

Provision

Nigeria

WaterAid

Improved water access in Nigeria

Tyozeada Mtonga, 31, is a blacksmith living in Logo, Benue state, Nigeria. Tyozeada is one of the people trained and responsible for the maintenance of the handpump fitted borehole, which was installed by WaterAid Nigeria and the HSBC Water Programme. Before the WaterAid project, his family spent two hours each day collecting water. Now, this takes just 5 minutes. Since using clean, safe water and practising good sanitation, the health of his family has greatly improved so he no longer has to spend money on medication and has been able to improve his business.

Provision

Nigeria

WaterAid

Transforming school WASH in Pakistan

For 13-year-old Samreen and her fellow students at Yousef Goth Primary School in Karachi, Pakistan, access to safe water and sanitation has transformed her school life. Yousef Goth first opened its doors in 1990 without any provision for toilets or access to clean water. With more than 300 students, the lack of these basic facilities had a huge impact on both students and teachers. Working in collaboration with local partner Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) and the school's administrators, WaterAid constructed a toilet block with two toilets and handwashing facilities. An electric pump and a storage tank were also installed. Since the project was completed there has been a consistent supply of clean, safe water for pupils to drink and keep themselves and their school clean. As a result, teachers have noticed that enrolment has increased, especially among girls.

Provision

Pakistan

WaterAid

Hand in hand: Providing water and dignity to Bangladesh's tea pickers

Usually women, tea pickers are among Bangladesh’s most marginalised communities. Workers receive little pay, and no pay at all for the days they fall ill. This happens frequently with the lack of clean water and sanitation in the gardens. In 2010, WaterAid with the support of HSBC became the first NGO to gain access to tea picker gardens in Surma Valley, Bangladesh, to improve the state of water and sanitation provision. Starting in two gardens, WASH facilities were constructed, and workers were trained on their rights to these services. This work soon grew to cover 14 gardens. Encouraging tea garden owners to engage with the project took a long time, and convincing them to fund the facilities themselves took even longer. However, as managers started to see the benefits of workers with their rights, attitudes started to shift. Now, more gardens are expressing voluntary interest in schemes that will improve WASH conditions of tea gardens across the region.

Provision

Bangladesh

WaterAid

Building resilient WASH services in Nepal

Two devastating earthquakes hit Nepal in 2015. Nearly half of all the water systems in earthquake-affected areas were damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of people without enough clean water and vulnerable to disease. Home to 3,900 people, Kharelthok is a village in central Nepal. Thousands of people had to come to terms with the loss of family members and friends, as well as the destruction of their homes and essential infrastructure – including taps and toilets. Following the devastating earthquakes, with the support from HSBC, WaterAid contributed to the recovery process, repairing damaged water points and toilets and providing essential hygiene supplies. This was achieved alongside successfully completing our planned programme work in Nepal. HSBC also supported the development of WaterAid’s first-ever virtual reality documentary, After Shock, which tells the story of one affected community, Kharelthok, and follows Krishna, the only plumber in the district as water sources are rebuilt.

Provision

Nepal

WaterAid

Building business and access to WASH in Pakistan

Zulfiqar Ali, 31, is a small business owner living in the village of Kalarwali in Punjab, Pakistan. Zulfiqar owns a small shop which sells materials used to build sanitary structures, such as toilets and sinks. Zulfiqar participated in a training course for entrepreneurs, supported by the HSBC Water Programme. Since WaterAid have been working in Kalarwali to raise awareness on the need for clean water and sanitation, sales in Zulfiqar’s shop have increased, and using tips from the training course he has effectively managed the increased funds to rent a bigger space for his shop. Zulfiqar’s approach of selling materials at a lower price has also greatly increased his community’s sanitation coverage. With the help of his business, the majority of households in his village now have a toilet in their home.

Provision

Pakistan

WaterAid

A Sustainable Supply Chain in India

Zarina Begum (pictured) lives in the Bharat Puri slum settlement of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Like many other women in her community, Zarina is a ‘Chikan’ artisan worker (Chikan is traditional Lucknow embroidery), producing fabric for apparel supply chains. It takes Zarina two days to embroider a top, and for this she will earn around 100 Rupees. However, if she falls ill – which often she does with diarrhoea caused by drinking dirty water or being unable to wash her hands – she can’t produce her work on time and so receives no payment from the buyer. In 2018 HSBC and WaterAid launched a new three year project to deliver essential water and sanitation services in apparel factories and nearby communities in Bangladesh and India, including Bharat Puri. As well as improving living and working conditions, this funding has enabled WaterAid to pilot test metrics as part of the wider Business Case for WASH project, which aims to provide evidence of the business benefits and financial value of WASH interventions.

Provision

India

WaterAid

Supporting female entrepreneurship and clean water in Bangladesh

With its vast low-lying areas of land, Bangladesh is a country which is being severely affected by climate change. In the coastal area of Dacope, rising sea levels and prolonged dry seasons are among the factors contributing to increased salinity in local water sources. Since 2012, WaterAid and HSBC have been working together in Bangladesh to provide climate-resilient clean water resources as part of the HSBC Water Programme. In 2018, the programme supported the pilot of a female entrepreneurship initiative in Dacope. A network of local women were made responsible for managing a new reverse osmosis plant, after receiving training and participating in skills sharing meetings with local businesses. As well as increasing access to clean water for communities in Dacope, this initiative has created livelihood opportunities and provided business training for the women. The success of this pilot project has meant the initiative is now being scaled up into other areas of Bangladesh.

Provision

Bangladesh

WaterAid

How can access to WASH transform an apparel supply chain in Bangladesh?

32-year-old Momena was working at a readymade garment factory as a Sewing Operator alongside her husband, Kabir Mia. The family have struggled with their limited income, but Momena and Kabir ensured that their sons were enrolled in school so that they received the best start possible. Momena and Kabir were living in a rented room with their two sons in Naraynaganj which is close to the factory where they work. The standard of WASH facilities where the family lives was very poor with only two toilets and bathing facilities for 40 people. Around half of the community are factory workers and every morning posed a challenge for Momena and her colleagues to complete their morning routine and arrive at the factory on time for work. Often, due to having to share such limited facilities with many others, she arrived at work late or having not been able to use the toilet or wash. As the toilets were inadequate, children often had to defecate in the open. Additionally, the cleanliness of the toilets was very poor and the facilities were unhygienic and unhealthy. With HSBCs support, toilet facilities have now been constructed with separate cubicles for men and women to ensure privacy. Segregated bathing facilities have been constructed, in addition to handwashing facilities and safe drinking water points. WaterAid have engaged with the local community to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the facilities in a hygienic way and discussed how everyone can play a part in ensuring the WASH facilities remain clean. “Separate female toilets and bathing facilities have really changed our living conditions. We faced real difficulties in using toilets in the morning in front of men. Now I am comfortable and not hesitant to use the toilets and take showers when I need. The new look and cleanliness of the toilet and hygiene messages have encouraged us to maintain our toilets well. I am very happy and thankful to the project for their support to our community”. This renovation work has transformed the environment of the garment workers’ settlement and having access to water and sanitation facilities has had a huge impact on the community’s lives. Now, Momena can manage her morning toilet and washing routine and, in the last two months, has been able to arrive at work on time every day. This is just one of the ways that this HSBC funded project has changed lives in Bangladesh as well as demonstrating the financial return for businesses investing in WASH in the workplace.

Provision

Bangladesh

WaterAid

Political commitments to protect the Pantanal

The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland – spanning areas of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. But it’s threatened by deforestation, habitat degradation and poorlyplanned development. So, with support from HSBC, WWF has been encouraging state and municipal governments, the private sector and local communities to protect freshwater springs and preserve three of the Pantanal’s major tributaries. We set about this by gaining nonbinding political commitment, in the shape of a Pantanal Headwaters Pact, which lists 34 priorities to conserve water resources along nearly 750km of rivers. Twenty-five municipalities have signed up to the pact, along with 35 organisations and companies. This has led to local actions to restore more than 100 springs, upgrade roads, influence sanitation plans and install bio-septic tanks. It’s also boosted awareness in government and society about the importance of protecting the headwaters. Our offices in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay have been working with their governments to initiate diplomatic and technical coordination around the Pantanal. In 2018, this resulted in a landmark tri national declaration for the conservation and sustainable development of the Pantanal.

Protection

Brazil

WWF

Sustainable Supply Chains Programme – China, India and Vietnam

More than 830 facilities in the apparel supply chain will improve their environmental and social impact by the end of 2020. In partnership with WWF and WaterAid, HSBC is supporting garment factories, tanneries and mills in Bangladesh, China, India and Vietnam to shift towards sustainability. In China, WWF and retail brand partners are training Chinese apparel producers to overcome water challenges and introduce better water practices within industrial parks. We’re helping to build a forum for stakeholders to discuss water governance solutions. And we’re engaging government agencies to support effective industry regulation and low-impact foreign investment. WWF is working with more than 15 companies that source leather from Kanpur, India. We’re helping more than 30 tanneries reduce water use and pollution. This saves costs and benefits the environment, local residents and tannery workers. We’re also working in India’s Bhavani Noyyal river basin, creating positive interactions between stakeholders to ensure sufficient clean flowing water for different water uses.In Vietnam, WWF is collaborating with policymakers, technical organisations, clothing retailers and manufacturing sites to create a vision for a green apparel sector. We’re supporting small to medium enterprises in this sector to improve water and energy management practices.

Protection

India

WWF

Ensuring sufficient river flows in China

With HSBC funding, WWF has long worked to restore environmental flows in China. A key project has been linked to the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), on the Yangtze. The dam has caused many environmental and social impacts, including drastically reducing the commercial carp fishery below the dam. For 10 years, WWF has collaborated with the state-owned TGD Company; we’ve established an expert working group to promote research. Thanks in part to our role coordinating stakeholders and leveraging a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, since 2011 the dam has been operated in a way that mimics the Yangtze’s natural flood pulse. This promotes carp spawning and supports livelihoods downstream. In 2015, provisions to promote environmental flows were integrated into the TGD’s standard operating rules. Numbers of carp eggs and larvae have increased significantly since then, benefiting carp and other freshwater fish. This also supports the economy, as carp fishing is a prominent commercial activity.

Protection

China

WWF

Naveen Raza

Naveen Raza works in HSBC’s Retail Banking Team in the UAE. She took part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme (STP) in 2018 and has since driven forward a number of initiatives to reduce paper use across HSBC branches in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East. “My role at the bank involves streamlining processes, so I’m in an advantageous position to identify ways in which our branches could improve the sustainability of their operations. Dedicating two days to the STP refuelled my longstanding interest in environmental issues and prompted me to drive forward the paper-reduction initiatives we are implementing in Dubai as well as considering how we could expand these actions into other countries in the Middle East.” Across the UAE, HSBC branches allow new customers to use digital forms and signatures to open an account. However existing customers are required to complete lengthy paper-based forms to make changes to their details. Naveen recognised that this process was using excess paper, and that the technologies that are being used to sign up new customers could be adapted to address existing customer queries. “We have recently digitised our processes in the UAE to allow existing customers to change their details using tablets in branches, rather than completing the eight-page forms that were previously used. This change will see 900,000 less pieces of paper being used each year across the eight branches of HSBC in the UAE. If we can roll it out across the Middle East, we should be able to half the amount of paper used by customers in those branches.” Naveen strongly recommends the Sustainability Training Programme to her colleagues in the Middle East. “Spending time learning from experts at the Masdar Institute was very inspiring, and collecting data made us feel like we were contributing to something bigger as well as helping us better understand the challenges associated with urbanisation. I would highly recommend it to colleagues, especially in this part of the world where sustainability and initiatives like recycling are not as ingrained in culture like they are in Europe.”

Research

United Arab Emirates

Earthwatch

James Davies

James Davies, Head of Marketing for HSBC UK, and formerly HSBC Canada, was crowned one of HSBC’s 2018 Global Sustainability Champions. Since taking part in the Sustainability Leadership Programme in 2016 with Earthwatch, James has become a sustainability advocate within the bank. The award recognised his commitment to building knowledge of sustainable finance both within his team, and among clients looking to take advantage of green business opportunities. “Four years ago I took part in the Sustainability Leadership Programme in the rainforests of Borneo. Going there and seeing deforestation with my own eyes immediately after hearing about the impacts of carbon loss in a classroom was very powerful. It really stuck with me and is very relevant to our work with some investors.” The SLP acted as a catalyst for James to equip his team with a deeper understanding of sustainability. Since taking part he has built his team’s capacity around sustainable finance by encouraging his reports to take part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme, a third of whom have already done so. James also secured sponsorship of the largest sustainability event in North America, reaching 3,000 participating companies with information on HSBC’s sustainable finance strategy. He has led the production of thought-leadership pieces on sustainable finance and developed a range of case studies and articles that profile business opportunities in sustainability, and clients that exemplify green business. “My team plays an important role in sharing the latest research and insights with businesses. Attending the SLP and STP has made us well placed to support businesses as they embed sustainability into their operations and take advantage of the opportunities arising from a low carbon economy.” Along with his fellow winner Andrew Marshall, James will visit the freshwater conservation project, supported by the HSBC Water Programme in February 2020.

Research

United Kingdom

Earthwatch

Balasubramanian Rajamani

Balasubramanian Rajamani, Vice President of HSBC’s Credit Analysis team in Bengaluru, has long been interested in environmental conservation and regularly uses his spare time to volunteer on local projects clearing litter from Bengaluru’s roads and parks. However, taking part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme (STP) and participating in Earthwatch research investigating water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes prompted him to implement a new green initiative in the office. “Since taking part in the STP, I proposed the “green idea” of replacing paper cups with steel tumblers in our office canteen. The proposal, after some deliberations, was finally accepted and implemented in November 2018. As we are an office of around 5,000 staff, we estimate it will not only save the use of around 2 million cups each year, but offer significant cost savings to the canteen vendor. From a double whammy, it's a double win.” Initiatives are now underway to replicate this across other HSBC offices in Bengaluru and India. Bala Rajamani is also passionate about reminding staff in the Credit Analysis team, and colleagues in the Bengaluru office more widely, about other simple ways in which they can improve the sustainability of their lifestyles. He himself has installed a water conservation system at home which he estimates will conserve around 8,000 litres of water each year. He believes the STP provides a unique opportunity for HSBC staff to learn more about sustainable development, and to consider which environmental challenge they have an opportunity to influence in their personal and professional lives. “By combining classroom talks, group discussions about the sustainable development goals and time outside the office measuring the water quality of two urban lakes in Bengaluru, we gained a complete, holistic perspective of the environmental challenges that we face. The course really inspired me and I will use the opportunity to inspire others.”

Research

India

Earthwatch

Gerry Mackenzie

Gerry Mackenzie, a Relationship Director in HSBC’s Real Estate Corporate Banking team, took part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme in October 2018. During two days of immersive training in London, Gerry learned about the impacts of climate change on urban areas, as well as taking part in Earthwatch’s Sustainable Cities research, exploring how urban trees can be managed to minimise flooding risk. Gerry was particularly eager to learn more about the role of urban green spaces having been involved in the financing of the development of a number of buildings at Argent’s major development of King’s Cross Central in London. The most recent of these buildings is being funded by the UK's first commercial development loan written under Green Loan Principles. This means that it adheres to a set of detailed environmental criteria developed by the Loan Market Association.” “Many of the commercial clients we work with are committed to creating sustainable buildings. This not only applies to the materials and energy that they use in their developments, but also the use of green loans to fund them. The course came at an opportune moment in the Kings Cross Central redevelopment project and gave me a greater insight into the principles that underpin sustainable urban redevelopment,” said Gerry. Outside of work, Gerry has also made changes to reduce his own environmental footprint, including cycling where possible instead of driving, and supporting local producers in order to reduce food miles. “The course made me think very carefully about the impact the banking industry has on the environment, but also about the opportunity I have both personally and professionally to make a positive difference.” Since attending the course, Gerry has encouraged a number of team members to attend to ensure they too are well equipped to discuss sustainability issues with commercial clients as demand for green loans grows.

Research

United Kingdom

Earthwatch