HSBC Citizen Scientists raise awareness of global water issues at an event marking the midway point of the bank’s ambitious five-year Water Programme.
Some of our 3,300 Citizen Scientists were aboard Cutty Sark recently to mark the halfway stage of the HSBC Water Programme.
The iconic London landmark on the River Thames was a fitting location for staff and representatives of our partners on the project, Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF, as well as locally-funded projects such as Thames 21 and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Our five-year, USD100 million Water Programme is helping to protect and provide fresh water and sanitation around the world, and is raising awareness about water accessibility and quality.
Committed and inspired
From left to right: Citizen Science Leaders Reg Hemstock, Lizette Butkiewicz and Richard Salmon. Picture credit: WaterAid/Sam James.
Our Citizen Scientists are trained by Earthwatch to conduct freshwater research in 30 highly populated areas.
Lizzette Butkiewicz, Regional Coordinator for Global Programs, HSBC US, is a Citizen Scientist Leader (CSL) and attended the event.
She says: “What I enjoyed the most was speaking with employees and guests about what it means to be a CSL, how we are contributing to data collection for scientists, and raising awareness of global and local water issues.”
A lot has been achieved with all of our partners (see box), but there is much more to achieve.
Douglas Flint, HSBC Chairman, told guests: “Colleagues have become committed and inspired by the programme.
“As the world becomes more urbanised, there is an increasing strain on resources. Water is crucial to people’s happiness and economic progress. We see economic value in investing in water, with its benefits to communities.
“We are under no illusion as to how much work continues to be needed. With our partners we can do so much more.”
The pressure on water supplies will continue to grow as the world’s population increases. By 2050, 90 per cent of population growth is expected to occur in regions where water is scarce and where there is currently no sustainable access to water*.
A common history
Did you know that Cutty Sark’s maiden voyage in 1870 was to Shanghai with, as described by the captain, “a cargo of large amounts of wine, spirits and beer”? The ship returned eight months later with 1,450 tonnes of tea.
Only five years earlier, HSBC was founded in Hong Kong, providing banking services to those same traders who relied upon vessels such as Cutty Sark to transport their goods across the world, setting the scene for the global economy we have today.
From left to right: Sue Holden, Executive Director of Earthwatch; Andrew Cahn, Chairman of WWF; Douglas Flint, Group Chairman of HSBC and Tim Clark, Chairman of WaterAid Picture credit: WaterAid/Sam James.