HSBC Bank Malta this week kicked off its HSBC Cares For The Environment Fund (HCEF), making it the second distinct fund set up by the bank following the establishment of HSBC Cares For Children Fund in 2000.
The Fund statute was signed by HSBC Chief Executive Shaun Wallis and was witnessed and endorsed by the Minister for Rural Affairs George Pullicino.
The aims of the HCEF, which will be starting off with a Lm30,000 initial endowment from HSBC Bank Malta, are:
• to help with the improvement and enhancement of the environment in Malta and
• to take initiatives that instil or enhance public awareness on environmental issues
“This special Fund will be aim to help us better understand and address this important issue in modern society,” comments Mr Wallis.
The new Fund Committee include Dr Philip Farrugia Randon, Godfrey Swain, Josef Camilleri and Victor Friggieri. Initially Mr Wallis will chair the Fund but HSBC will be inviting other individuals from outside the Bank to join the Committee.
“HSBC has a strong commitment to support the Maltese community. Everyone has to start doing his or her part to improve the environment, and as a matter of Corporate Responsibility we have set up a fund to start doing our bit with staff and customers,” said Mr Wallis.
“We hope that HSBC Cares For The Environment Fund will play a more meaningful role in caring for the environment. In the recent past, HSBC was involved in a number of environmental projects.
“Among others, these included: the reforestation project by Nature Trust at Wied Ghollieqa, which also included the establishment of a educational centre for children; support for the Inqas Skart Ambjent Ahjar project, conducted by the Youth Movement of Marsascala; a clean-up of rubbish at Victoria lines conducted by HSBC staff; and the launch of Malta’s first Green Commuter Plan at HSBC Operations Centre, involving car sharing and finally the support given to the University’s Botanical Gardens in Argotti which is working to preserve Maltese flora and fauna.”
“HSBC Malta staff have also been very involved with The HSBC Group Employee Environmental Fellowship Programme, an US$50 million programme that together with Earthwatch, offers 500 employees a year the chance to become personally involved in scientific research around the globe. In this way HSBC employees are making a significant contribution to conservation projects that might otherwise not happen. In 2005, a further ten HSBC Malta employees have been selected to take part in this programme and will be working on projects ranging from the conservation of butterflies in Vietnam, to the conservation of bats in Malaysia and the protection of marine mammals in Brazil,” Mr Wallis adds.
Through the HSBC Cares For The Environment Fund, the Bank is encouraging staff to come up with practical and achievable ideas for a better environment.
“Over the past four years, the enthusiastic participation of HSBC employees has been a striking feature of the HSBC Cares For Children Fund. It will be very positive for Malta as a whole if we were able to generate the same response for fundraising activities and support of volunteers for the HSBC Cares For The Environment Fund,” Mr Wallis adds.