Protecting the environment

External engagement

Climate change and other environmental challenges will only be ameliorated by wide-ranging action by governments, individuals, businesses and other organisations. We are active in this broad movement to protect the environment, contributing new thinking and learning from others about how to achieve more rapid progress.

Policy contribution

Our global reach and expertise gives us the opportunity to work with governments on the role business can play in the shift to a low-carbon economy. This is particularly important in the run-up to the 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen, where governments will negotiate a climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Partnerships and policy engagement

We are active in leading partnerships and engage in dialogue on policy developments around the world. Examples include:

  • Membership of the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, a group of businesses in dialogue with the UK government on progressive climate change action. Prior to the Poznan climate summit in December 2008, the Group published a letter signed by 140 companies setting out what they believe should be the key elements of an international deal on climate change.
  • Participation in a climate leadership forum in Tokyo. We spoke about the need for a change in the business and political response to climate change.

Business involvement and disclosure

We are also active in business groups working to promote environmental action and transparency on performance, including:

  • Membership of The Climate Group, through which we hosted a meeting between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Indian business leaders to discuss the need for a new international framework on climate change. We also worked with several international banks to develop the Climate Principles, which aim to help the financial sector play its part in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Recognition for the second consecutive year in the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) Leadership Index. Peter Sands, Group chief executive, spoke at the CDP report launch in London about recognising and disclosing the risks and opportunities of climate change and companies’ environmental impacts (link to CDP launch video). We also sponsored the CDP India launch at which Neeraj Swaroop (Chief executive officer India and South East Asia) spoke about the role of financial institutions in supporting the shift to a low-carbon economy (see case study).
  • Chairing the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI).
  • Being signatories of the Equator Principles on project finance since 2003. In 2008, we joined the Outreach Working Group to spread adoption of the Principles in emerging markets.

Race for a Living Planet

3.5m environmental pledges for the Race for a Living Planet

More than 15,000 employees and 500,000 other people took part in the Greatest Race on Earth: Race for a Living Planet environment challenge. They generated 3.5 million pledges and Standard Chartered donated $1 million to environmental projects in three winning countries.

The event tied in with the annual Standard Chartered marathon series and was organised in partnership with WWF. Standard Chartered staff, customers, clients and others pledged to make changes to their lives that would help protect the environment. The competition raised awareness of global environmental issues and how small changes to daily habits can make a difference.

Prize money went to WWF environment projects in the three markets that generated the most pledges per capita: Brunei, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Brunei contributed the money to the Heart of Borneo project, which is rehabilitating peatland forests and carrying out biological diversity surveys in key zones to help protect species.

Taiwan donated the money to WWF’s Coral Triangle Project, protecting an area of immense marine diversity containing more than a third of the world’s coral reef. Taiwan’s involvement with the Coral Triangle led to the Bank and WWF making a presentation on the value of public/private partnerships at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Roundtable on Marine Conservation.

The Hong Kong donation also went towards a marine conservation project, including funding for a documentary series for Chinese television and the launch of a website and online learning module.



  • 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