HSBC has created a new team to grow the company's business in the sustainable development sector.

The bank’s Sustainable Development unit will have two primary roles: sustainable risk advisory and sustainable business development. According to a HSBC statement, the unit aims to expand sustainability in HSBC’s mainstream operations, both from a risk and a business development perspective.

The unit will work closely with a number of HSBC’s customer groups, including Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets (particularly project & export finance, energy & utilities sector and trade services), Commercial Banking, Private Banking and Group Investment Business. It will also assume responsibility for the London-based group’s emerging microfinance strategy and, over time, look at developing retail financial products and services such as loans and mortgages for energy efficiency.

The team will report directly to COO Alan Jebson, bringing board level responsibility for managing HSBC’s environmental impacts, the bank says.

Stephen Green, HSBC’s chief executive, commented: As our understanding of the sustainability issues in various industry sectors has improved, it has become clear that there is a substantial market in environmental services, particularly in respect of climate change related technologies and the projects that deliver them, water infrastructure and sustainable forestry. We want to embed sustainability into our business approach and build a profitable business that positions the HSBC brand as a leader in these new and exciting markets.