Earthwatch and the HSBC Climate Partnership: A Unique Citizen Science Model

Friday, February 18, 2011: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
156 (Washington Convention Center )
The HSBC Climate Partnership (2007–2012) is a unique partnership of nongovernmental, business, and academic organizations with two key objectives for Earthwatch, a pioneer of “citizen science,” and HSBC, the first global bank to become carbon neutral. The first objective is research: employees from HSBC who are accepted into the program work as “citizen scientists” for 2 weeks at one of five climate Earthwatch-established centers with research partners in distinct forests around the world (United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, India, and China). They are collecting data on forest carbon -- the least well-understood component of the global carbon cycle -- faster than ever possible before and are helping to contribute to an understanding of how to best manage forests in a changing climate. By the program’s end, 2,200 employees will contribute nearly 100,000 hours of data collection across all five centers. The second objective affects HSBC’s bottom line: employee engagement and sustainable business practice. Each employee accepted into the program -- called a “Climate Champion” -- is responsible for implementing a project that embeds sustainable practice at the heart of the way HSBC conducts business. Climate champions to date are saving millions by saving resources, implementing "green" marketing initiatives, inspiring their colleagues to "go green," and more. This model program represents the kind of innovative, action-oriented partnership necessary in today's changing climate -- in business and on Earth.
Kristen Kusek, Earthwatch Institute
Kristen Kusek, Earthwatch Institute
Geoffrey "Jess" Parker, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Evidence for a Recent Growth Increase in Eastern Forests
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