HSBC’s presence in Buffalo may have downsized, but that doesn’t mean that the bank isn’t doing its part to help fund crucial local causes. The bank has announced that it is investing $300,000 over the next to years in Riverkeeper’s “Rust to Blue Initiative”. That’s big news for Riverkeeper, and adds to the organization’s tremendous momentum in the realm of water protection and restoration efforts as of late.
“At a critical time in our region’s waterfront revitalization and Buffalo River restoration work, HSBC’s investment allows Riverkeeper to expand citizen, corporate and youth engagement programs for key water restoration initiatives,” said Jill Jedlicka, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director. “We are honored to be recognized globally for our efforts and to become a part of a worldwide water program that is making the critical link between clean water and socio-economic growth.”
The HSBC Water Programme is a global program that partners with the non-profits Earthwatch, WaterAid, and World Wildlife Fund. Aside from collaborative work, dedicated regional funding provides crucial support to regional environmental groups such as Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. The financial support to Buffalo helps to fund cleanup efforts, water testing and greater accessibility to water, among other initiatives.
“Building on the successful partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, HSBC will continue to provide support for fresh water initiatives in the Buffalo region with a total commitment of nearly USD $1m in partner support,” stated Ray Johnson, HSBC Vice President – Community Investment. “It is an honor to contribute to the impactful work being accomplished by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and HSBC is excited to launch this partnership as part of the HSBC Water Programme. As 20% of the Earth’s fresh water resides in the Great Lakes region, it is imperative we all work together to protect this critical natural resource.”
The HSBC investment further enhances already massive restoration efforts that are both underway and on their way. Between the $75 million that we are seeing currently invested in the Buffalo River (see recent news), and the recent talks (held in Buffalo) that recognize the Great Lakes as a Global Asset, the moment continues to shift in Buffalo’s direction as this city becomes recognized for its international water restoration model. For years people have been preaching the benefits of a Blue Economy. Finally we are starting to see a real uptick in habitat restoration, eco-tourism, etc.