HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, announced a new freshwater guideline at its annual general meeting today which prohibits lending for dams that do not comply with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD).
HSBC’s Freshwater Guidance was introduced to the bank’s shareholders at the meeting in London, UK. It is based on international sustainable development standards adopted by stakeholders including the WCD as well as other industry participants, development agencies and major environmental non-governmental organisations.
By setting out the transitions that it will and will not support, HSBC says the guidelines ensure that the bank’s activities are ‘consistent with its focus on sustainable development, and its overall commitment to the environment’.
The guidelines state that the bank will not provide financial assistance to: dams that do not conform to the WCD framework; or projects located in, or substantially impacting on critical natural habitats, sites on the Register of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
For further information on the guidelines, please click on the weblink below.