26 April 2021

HSBC switches to recycled plastic credit and debit cards

HSBC Singapore to phase out single-use PVC plastic starting from 2H2021. Globally, this transition will reduce CO2 emissions by 161 tonnes a year, and save 73 tonnes of plastic per year.

HSBC has announced a new programme to introduce sustainable payment cards across all its global locations. By the end of 2026, it will eliminate single-use PVC plastic in favour of recycled PVC plastic (rPVC).

The programme - which includes HSBC’s debit, credit and commercial cards - is part of the bank’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and achieve net zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

HSBC has worked with global cards manufacturer, IDEMIA, to introduce new rPVC cards gradually across its locations, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK and US, by end of 2021.

In Singapore, HSBC will introduce new rPVC credit and debit cards to its customers progressively from the second half of 2021. To preserve the life of customers’ existing cards for as long as possible, rPVC cards will be issued when their old cards naturally expire.

HSBC switches to recycled plastic payment cards.

The move to rPVC underpins HSBC’s global ambition to build a thriving and resilient future, and is part of the bank’s transition to a net zero business. The switch is a first step in a gradual transition to issue cards made from sustainable materials, and HSBC will continue to evaluate other alternative materials too.

The new rPVC cards are made from 85% recycled plastics. Based on the current volume of cards issued by HSBC per year (23m), the move to rPVC will reduce CO2 emissions by 161 tonnes a year. This move will also reduce plastic waste by a total of 73 tonnes per year, which is the weight of over 40 cars.

Mr Ranojoy Dutta, Head of Retail Products and Journeys, HSBC Bank (Singapore) said: “2020 was a year like no other. The world changed in unprecedented ways and that has resulted in shifts not only in people’s behaviour, but also in their attitudes towards the environment and community.”

“Increasingly, societies around the world now expect banks to help nudge new behaviours among our customers and partners. The introduction of the rPVC cards is a continuation of our efforts to support our customers’ pivot towards a more sustainable future and making positive impact on the environment.”

Global research conducted for HSBC by Mintel found a majority (77%) of consumers agree that ‘financial services firms have an important role to play in creating a more sustainable society’. When it comes to their appetite for payment cards made from sustainable materials, over two-thirds (67%) showed high levels of interest. A separate global survey, conducted for IDEMIA by Dentsu Data Labs found that most people (92%) think their bank should actively contribute to preserving the planet; and a majority (87%) expect their banks to offer eco-friendly cards.

In Singapore, HSBC aims to help its customers not just build sustainable wealth, but also understand the impact of environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues on the community and the role that they can play.

Some recent initiatives include:

  1. Incorporated sustainability approach to corporate gifting and events for retail banking customers.
    1. This year, HSBC offered sustainably made red packets packs, which include a “plantable” greeting card to retail banking customers.
    2. Curated a series of lifestyle events with strong sustainable themes, the most recent being a Lunar New Year virtual event where HSBC shared tips on how our customers can repurpose existing decorative items to transform their home for the festivities.
  2. Expanded our suite of sustainable investment products, most notably, partnered Schroders to exclusively launch Schroder ISF Sustainable Multi-Asset Income fund.
  3. Introduced more than 60 remote-enabled processes and customer servicing journeys, which includes converting to e-Statements for both banking and credit cards as well as switching to eWelcome packs to reduce paper usage.

Media enquiries to:

Betty Fong, HSBC Singapore | +65 6658 4103 | betty.c.y.fong@hsbc.com.sg

About HSBC Singapore

HSBC Group’s history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore's financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited.  HSBC Singapore has a retail network of 10 dedicated HSBC Premier Centres and 2 HSBC Jade Centres including a Premier International Centre as well as many locations across the island providing self-service terminals.

About The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,984bn at 31 December 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.