HSBC Drops Investments from Sinar Mas!

by Rolf Skar

July 19, 2010

Orangutan celebratingGood news!  Thanks to people like you and the hard work of some dedicated orangutans, HSBC – the world’s largest banking and financial services company – has dropped forest-destroyer Sinar Mas from its investment management funds.

While this is bad news for Sinar Mas, which has seen a growing list of companies like Nestle, Unilever and Kraft distance themselves from the company, it is good news for Sumatran tigers, orangutans and other wildlife that call the Paradise Forests their home.

HSBC banks from California to New York were visited by activist orangutans in June.  As described in a previous post, the furry red apes monkeyed around at bank branches, amusing onlookers and drawing attention to the fact that HSBC had been passing the buck on forest destruction.  They helped flood HSBC headquarters with phone calls and email messages, adding to the excellent work of Greenpeace activists in the UK (where HSBC is headquartered).  You can read about this victory in a story published by the Guardian newspaper.

And, check out this video put together by a superstar activist in Los Angeles:

There’s still a little to be worked out with HSBC.  For example, the bank should make sure its forest policy applies to all areas of their business to avoid loopholes.  HSBC has a review scheduled for September to decide whether to exclude other palm oil companies from its Climate Change Fund, where some of those Sinar Mas shares were held.  We'll be keeping tabs on the process and will let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, pat yourselves on the back and take a moment to enjoy a bit of good news.

For the forests,

-Rolf

Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the forest campaign director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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