HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint welcomed guests on board the Cutty Sark for an evening of celebration marking the milestones achieved through the partnership. He commended the level of commitment and support from HSBC over the course of the programme with the following words:
“On a personal note I’m particularly proud of the number of HSBC colleagues who have embraced the aims and the spirit of the Programme by volunteering and getting involved. I have had the pleasure of presenting Water Programme staff awards and the efforts that some people go to in supporting local projects have amazed me. I know some of our award finalists are here this evening – a special thank you to you and a huge thank you to everyone at HSBC who has supported the Programme.
“I would like to thank those people in our partner organisations, and in turn the many local NGOs and organisations they work with to make this happen. They are the people at the coal face, often working in tough conditions in situations where patience and perseverance are all important.”
Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF chief executives shared highlights over the five years and introduced a short film showing the global impact of their organisation’s expertise and actions.
Steve Gray, Earthwatch Chief Executive said: “The unprecedented scale of what’s been achieved in involving people in citizen science and connecting them to the global water challenge is thanks to HSBC’s support of FreshWater Watch.
“The data collected is directly tackling the water challenge by enabling our scientists to create informed water management guidance.”
Glyn Davies, Acting CEO, WWF-UK commented: “The long standing partnership between HSBC and WWF has helped deliver positive changes for nature and people on great waterways around the world: the Yangtze, Mekong and Ganges in Asia, the Pantanal in Brazil and the Mara in Kenya. The HSBC water partnership has seen some of our biggest conservation successes, which have supported the development of healthy communities and healthy businesses. WWF is privileged to have worked with many partners to deliver this vital programme, and very much appreciates their support.
“We all have an interest, and a responsibility, to manage and protect our planet’s freshwater resources, upon which business, society and nature depend. We look forward to working on ambitious global goals for sustainable development.”
Barbara Frost, WaterAid CE, commented: “The scale and ambition of the HSBC Water Programme, the investment in WaterAid over five years and the partnership approach fostered by HSBC has allowed us to plan, take risks and to make sure our work is delivered sustainably. We are immensely proud to have been part of this Programme with HSBC and alongside WWF and Earthwatch. Thank you to all involved for your vision, determination and hard work.”
Credit: WaterAid / Tim Ireland
After the formal part of the evening, guests talked with the partners and enjoyed new films showcasing their work to improve fresh water around the world.
WaterAid showed a moving film summarising the partnership with HSBC, which has enabled WaterAid to reach 1.5m people with safe water and 2.2m people with sanitation. Then, in ‘Aftershock’ - WaterAid’s first virtual reality documentary - viewers were transported to a hilltop community in Nepal, where they joined Krishna, the only plumber in his neighbourhood, as he works to reconnect the water supply that was damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.
WWF showed an inspiring short film of water stories from rivers across the world, as seen through the eyes of local people.
Earthwatch’s film feature showed how it has motivated a volunteer community of more than 8,000 HSBC employees to carry out citizen science and collected over 16,000 water samples worldwide.
Earthwatch engaged guests with some hands-on water testing and invited them to play River Run - a leader board game with river-related questions. A range of water and energy conservation prizes were handed out to winning participants.
WWF brought their world famous panda logo to life with an innovative augmented reality display. A range of fun and informative conservation goodies were handed out to guests who engaged with the water programme team representing each of the five river basins in Brazil, China, India, Kenya and the Greater Mekong.
HSBC’s local partners in UK were also at the event. Thames21, RSPB, Global Action Plan and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust were all on hand to tell guests about their projects and the impact they have had, thanks to the funding they received through the HSBC Water Programme’s local projects fund.
Each guest received a copy of the #WaterStories book - a limited edition collection of global stories illustrated with stunning images celebrating the joint work of HWP over the last five years.