HSBC and Global Action Plan teach young people about water scarcity

HSBC and environmental charity Global Action Plan have teamed up to launch a new initiative to encourage young people aged between eight and 14 to tackle worldwide water issues.

The Water Explorer Programme will kick off in November as an educational online initiative in 11 countries including the UK, France and Germany. Over 9,000 young people will be tasked with developing practical action plans to tackle water issues including water saving, cleanliness and better access.

“Access to safe water and sanitation, and water resource management are some of the biggest challenges facing society,” explained HSBC Bank Europe chief executive Chris Davies. “HSBC and Global Action Plan have created this programme to help young people develop the skills they’ll need for the future and to be ambassadors for a more water-conscious world.”

Next generation

Global Action Plan programmes are supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which means all students who complete HSBC’s Water Explorer challenge will achieve a UNEP certificate.

Global Action Plan managing partner Andy Deacon said: “We know that the impacts of climate change will most readily be felt in water scarcity and pollution – issues that will only become more urgent for the next generation. We’re proud to be leading an international project to enable young people to be leaders in their school communities now, and to be leaders in water conservation when they will be most needed.”

The Water Explorer Programme has received $4.3m funding from HSBC’s Water Programme, which was set up in 2012 to deliver water provision, protection and education globally. As part of the Water Programme, targets are in place to set up freshwater research projects, provide water and sanitation facilities in schools and hygiene education, and train mechanics to maintain new water systems.

In the group’s latest sustainability report, HSBC announced it had reduced its own water consumption from 4,773,000m3 in 2011 to 3,437m3 in 2013.

Lois Vallely

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