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HSBC boss grilled on Greenpeace campaign at Davos

Posted by Joe Sutherland - 25th January 2017

Last week we revealed that HSBC – the biggest bank in the UK – is funding palm oil companies who are destroying rainforests in Indonesia. People across the world have since demanded that HSBC stop its profit-hungry palm oil investments.

In the first 24 hours of the campaign, 10,000 people shared our undercover video of rainforests being bulldozed by a company who borrowed millions from HSBC. Now a massive 80,000 people in the UK alone have signed the petition demanding HSBC stop funding forest destruction, with tens of thousands more worldwide.

How do we know HSBC are feeling the heat? Well, last week the Chief Executive of HSBC was put on the spot about our campaign at Davos, whilst the world was watching. In front of an audience of world leaders and CEOs, Stuart Gulliver was grilled about the Greenpeace report & HSBC’s environmental hypocrisy.

See for yourself:

Davos, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, brings together around 3000 business and political leaders, economists and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

Gulliver was caught on the back foot when he was asked how HSBC can morally justify funding climate mitigation AND palm oil exploitation. He denied that this meant HSBC were not living up to their own green policies and said: “we actually see ourselves as potentially a force for good.”

How can HSBC see themselves as a force for good when, since 2012, they have helped to arrange $16.3billion of loans to destructive palm oil companies? We’ve proved that the palm oil companies HSBC have been funding are destroying pristine rainforest, are linked to disputes with indigenous communities and suspected of starting fires. If HSBC want to be a force for good, it needs to only fund companies that protect rainforests.

This kind of forest destruction HSBC are funding puts the lives of people and animals at risk. Forest fires linked to the destruction are pushing Bornean orangutans to the brink of extinction and pumping out toxic haze, endangering the lives of people in South East Asia.

But now the pressure is on for HSBC to change, thanks to this people-powered campaign – and the more of us who raise our voices, the harder it will be for HSBC to ignore our demands. Let’s keep it up! Share the Davos video with your friends and make sure everyone sees their public #fail.

If you haven’t already, please sign the petition by clicking here.

Article Tagged as: Forests, Palm oil, orangutans