HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world, is funding destructive palm oil companies, according to a Greenpeace blog post on 17 January.
Annisa Rahmawati, Senior Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, on 17 January posted the secretly filmed footage above which shows bulldozers from the Salim palm oil group destroying Indonesia’s rain forests.
The Bornean Orangutan seen in the film was recently classified as critically endangered and its habitat destruction is one of the main reasons for this. Rahmawati’s video illustrated how palm oil companies funded by HSBC helped destroy Orangutans’ homes and push these creatures closer to extinction.
HSBC funds multiple shady palm oil companies, Greenpeace wrote. In April 2016, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) news release briefed that if HSBC loaned money to a forest-trashing company called Noble Group it would violates its own agricultural commodities and forestry policies. However, HSBC signed a deal with Noble just a few weeks later which seemingly ignored the evidence.
For a bank which proclaims that ’sustainability underpins our strategic priorities and enables us to fulfil our purpose’, funding companies like Noble is a contradictory move.
Fires generated from forest destruction are pumping a toxic haze in South East Asia, this haze is linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths. It also has made annual problems to Singapore and other Indonesia’s neighboring countries.
The forest fires are also helping to the climate change – some of the daily CO2 emissions produced by the fires in 2015 had exceeded the daily emissions for the whole USA.
In 2015, Greenpeace supporters had forced the Spanish banking giant Santander to stop funding a paper company that was clearing rain forest in Indonesia.
HSBC’s website stated, “Considering sustainability when we make decisions helps us to protect our reputation,” Greenpeace summons the public to show HSBC how correct its statement is, and make sure it cleans up its act.
Greenpeace calls for members of public to sign a petition to have HSBC to stop funding forest destruction.