HSBC pledges to cut ties with palm oil companies destroying rainforests and peatlands.
According to HSBC’s new policy released on 21 Feb, the UK-based bank will no longer fund companies involved in any kind of destruction of rainforests and peatlands. The new standard announced by HSBC follows a recent report by Greenpeace which highlighted the bank’s links to alleged palm oil companies behind deforestation.
The bank also insisted that its clients must adhere to more strict forest protection policies by the end of June and that it will close relations with parties who do no meet their standards.
In a report by the Financial Times, the bank said: “We recognise that the finance sector can play a greater role and that the wider market participants — growers, processors, consumer goods companies, NGOs and banks — can work together more successfully to promote a sustainable palm oil sector.”
Greenpeace called it a “major breakthrough in protecting Indonesia’s forests”, congratulating everyone who has been campaigning over the last few weeks. But said that the hard work doesn’t stop here and that “the real test now is how those words will be put into practice.”
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