Protecting the environment

Background

Environmental challenges are more and more urgent as the threat of climate change becomes clearer and the demands of the world’s population increasingly strain the Earth’s ability to provide water, clean air and other essential resources.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), assembled by the United Nations, has warned that if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing it must fall dramatically – and the reductions must begin soon. Yet the International Energy Agency predicts a 50 per cent increase in energy demand by 20502. It projects that fossil fuels will provide the majority of this energy, resulting in a 50 per cent increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

These conflicting trends are being tackled by governments around the world. But they also challenge companies like Standard Chartered to reduce our use of resources and provide the products and services that will stimulate a shift to a low-carbon, low-resource world. (See Sustainable finance for information on products and services).

As a bank, our operations have less impact on the environment than many businesses, but we can make a difference by improving in three key areas:

  • Energy consumption in our buildings
  • Emissions from air travel
  • Use of paper, which not only depletes forests but its production is energy and water-intensive

Our biggest opportunity to help turn the tide of environmental damage is beyond our own operations. Our wide engagement inside and outside the Bank achieves change by influencing the behaviour of employees, customers and others.

2
World Energy Outlook 2008: The International Energy Agency.

Highlights

  • 47,000employees covered under our environmental management system
  • 14 per centreduction in CO2 emissions per employee 2006–2008
  • $1mdonated through the Race for a Living Planet