HSBC is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate. In 2017, HSBC contributed USD136 million globally to charities and non-profit organisations and employees gave 272,000 hours of time to volunteer during working hours.

Most of the bank’s funding goes towards programmes aligned to our global themes of supporting responsible business, employability and financial capability. However, HSBC also earmarks funding to support causes that are important to specific geographies; these may include projects reflecting local needs, such as environmental protection or healthcare.

Future Skills

Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF)

HSBC Australia has partnered with AIEF since 2011, focusing on creating positive futures for Indigenous Australians by facilitating access to leading schools, universities and corporations for some of Australia's most marginalised young people, through a scholarships program. HSBC provides additional support through employee mentors and since 2015, has offered AIEF Alumni attending university the opportunity to participate in paid internships during their summer holidays through the AIEF-HSBC Work Placement program.

Read more about AIEF

‘Ready for Life’ with Youth Off The Streets

As part of its global commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people, HSBC supports the 'Ready for Life' program at Key College and Chapel School, run by Youth Off The Streets which helps disadvantaged and homeless teenagers in Sydney. The schools reconnect young people with education and offer a network of support services, including accommodation, training and employment. HSBC employees help students develop interview skills, build career plans and prepare for the workplace.

Sustaining education with Barnardos

HSBC has a long-standing relationship with Barnardos, which for more than 120 years, has been at the forefront of child welfare service provision. In Australia, HSBC has supported a multitude of education programs targeting children and young people from varying low socio-economic backgrounds. HSBC is currently supporting Yurungai Learning Centre in Waterloo, NSW, which offers an after-school program, focussed on numeracy and literacy, for primary-school children. HSBC volunteers assist the children with school projects and provide basic financial literacy on a weekly basis.

Creating opportunities with KARI

HSBC is working with KARI to deliver development, mentoring and employment focused programs for high school students and school-leavers. The program helps students create study plans and set achievable goals to aid the successful completion of their secondary studies. Older students will be equipped with the skills required to secure employment, including resume writing and interview skills, and they will be matched with potential employers, traineeships, apprenticeships, so they are supported as they transition out of high school.

Sustainable Supply Chains

The Nature Conservancy: Shuck Don’t Chuck

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy Australia, HSBC is investing in new life cycle solutions for Melbourne’s seafood and waste industries. This innovative project addresses supply chain issues across three different sectors: conservation, seafood and waste- establishing an innovative partnership model that turns a waste product (oyster, mussel and scallop shells) into a useful recycled product (shellfish reefs). The project outcomes result in a better marine environment which improves aquaculture outcomes and fish nurseries, reduced waste going to landfill and improved sustainability of the Australian seafood industry.

By recycling shell waste, The Nature Conservancy will regenerate shellfish reefs (three dimensional reefs structures made from millions of oysters and mussels), which will in turn create new aquaculture and fisheries opportunities. These are the most imperilled marine ecosystem in Australia, with over 90% of reefs destroyed or degraded since European settlement. The loss of these ecosystems has contributed to the decline in marine biodiversity, water quality and coastal fisheries and sparked the need for modern forms of shellfish aquaculture in the early 20th century.

The project’s outcomes include:

  1. The capture, recycling and avoided landfill of 1,000 m3 of waste shell (per year);
  2. Novel and improved seafood lifecycle, where shellfish waste products (shells) are recycled and returned to the ocean to create new oyster reefs;
  3. Improved seafood industry (restaurants, wholesalers and hotels) and consumer knowledge and education on shellfish reef conservation and sustainable seafood aquaculture;
  4. Restoration of 10 shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay and cost savings of $9,000 dollars per reef;
  5. A replicable model for other groups to follow in Australia and across Asia-Pacific.

HSBC Water Programme

Blue Carbon: Counteracting Climate Change

HSBC’s partnership with Earthwatch Institute and Blue Carbon Lab (part of Deakin University) is delivering important research that demonstrates the value of blue carbon and it’s potential to reset the thermostat on climate change. Blue carbon is the carbon that is sequestered in aquatic ecosystems.

Funded out of the global HSBC Water Programme the project aims to deliver the following outcomes, whilst also engaging employees, clients and other stakeholders on how business can deliver positive impact for the environment, through citizen science activity days:

  • To engage employees, clients, community and other stakeholders in understanding the importance of freshwater wetlands, saltmarsh and mangroves in terms of ecosystem services and the economic value they provide, including the opportunities for carbon sequestration and trading
  • The research on completion will demonstrate a case for restoration and protection of these ecosystems, as well as the opportunities blue carbon sequestration represents in terms of mitigation against climate change and will inform policy and decision makers
  • There is a link back to HSBC sector policies including those on RAMSAR wetlands, and UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Deliver an open discussion about how business can address sustainability and how financial mechanisms can be used to deliver environmental outcomes

Local priorities

Principal Partner of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust

As Principal Partner of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, HSBC provides vital funding to support three of the Trust's key conservation and education programs.

Safeguarding plant biodiversity

Aims to contribute to the ongoing research and conservation work of the Australian PlantBank including:

  • Continued support of the Trust’s Rainforest Seed conservation program that uses world-class science to analyse the capability for ex-situ conservation of Australia’s rainforest species
  • Collection and seedbanking of NSW threatened species
  • Ongoing training in conservation techniques for Trust scientists and their collaborators
  • Sharing of research achievements and expertise in the conservation of Australian plant biodiversity globally

Restore & Renew (video about program)

Aims to improve the success and long-term viability of restored landscapes by:

  • Unlocking the genetic data of the most common plant species used in landscape restoration through DNA sequencing analysis
  • Translating this complex information into guidelines and maps, to enable land practitioners to choose the right plants for the right places
  • Sharing the information with government, corporate and community
  • Setting international standards for restoration research and providing an internationally scalable methodology

Interactive Learning for Schools

Aims to significantly increase the Trust’s school education programs through interactive learning, and enhance the Trust’s profile as a leading educator in environmental-themed learning

Eliminating trachoma with the Fred Hollows Foundation

HSBC Australia has partnered with the Fred Hollows Foundation since 2015 supporting their Indigenous Australia Program, specifically the Trachoma Elimination Project. Australia is the only developed country in the world where people still go needlessly and irreversibly blind from trachoma, a contagious disease that if caught early enough is easily treated with antibiotics.

Employees in the Community

HSBC Australia offers employees two days of paid volunteer leave a year to work in the community and, through the HSBC Community Chest, provides financial grants to support a range of community projects initiated and led by our staff. Each year HSBC employees commit more than 4,000 volunteer hours to Australian charities.

To learn about the importance that the HSBC Group places on sustainability, please visit the Sustainability section on our corporate website.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) provide a framework for organisations to realise their vision for reconciliation. They are reviewed and endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, a not-for-profit that works to close the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage by working with corporates and other not-for-profits to develop solid employment, procurement and cultural awareness, and advocacy, commitments.

RAPs are practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities. They create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

HSBC Australia issued an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan in April 2020 as part of our ongoing and sustained commitment to reconciliation.

Animal Welfare

HSBC Australia's animal welfare policy sets out our expectations that all clients working with livestock have animal welfare guidelines in place that address the safety and wellbeing of the animals while they are in their care, and during any transportation.

We also expect our clients to operate within all Australian government regulations and laws as well as industry standards and guidelines, and we also encourage them to consider adopting the “Five Animal Freedoms” as set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).