In an effort to increase the amount of urban green space in
China's major cities, authorities are encouraging companies to
plant trees and build a healthier environment.
This year's National Tree-Planting Day on March 12 saw an
increasing number of companies, including foreign firms, plant and
sponsor trees and community parks.
In Shanghai, HSBC was one of the most high-profile corporate
participants. The bank's China Chief Executive Officer Richard
Yorke led staff volunteers as they planted trees in Paotaiwan
CEO China HSBC Richard Yorke (third from
left) and his family join bank volunteers to plant trees in
Paotaiwan Wetland Park on March 11, on the eve of National Tree
Planting Day. Yorke said HSBC will sponsor all the trees in the
HSBC Tree-Planting Area in the park to make the city greener and
help neutralize carbon dioxide emissions.
The bank has for two years planted and sponsored trees in the
park, which is on the local authority's list of 97 community parks
for public sponsorship this year.
As well as showing support for Shanghai and the community, Yorke
says the bank's participation in the event is part of HSBC's global
corporate social responsibility efforts.
"We see tree planting and park sponsorship as a way to help
neutralize carbon dioxide emissions and to tackle climate change,"
HSBC was the first major bank to go "carbon neutral" in October
2005, bringing its net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by reducing
energy use and business travel, buying green electricity and
investing in green projects globally.
HSBC also sponsors the 20,000 square-meter Yanfu Community Park
in downtown Shanghai.
Tree-Planting Day falls on March 12 annually. The central
government in a 1979 resolution made it compulsory for male
citizens aged between 11 and 60 and females between 11 and 55 to
each plant three to five trees every year.
The practice of fostering trees and community parks has in
recent years gained in popularity, starting with a few celebrities
and growing to include the general public, institutions and
companies. Official statistics indicate that since 1998, 4.4
million square meters of community parks have been planted in
(China Business Weekly News March 19, 2007)