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HSBC invests £20,000 towards a greener IoM

HSBC in the Island has demonstrated its commitment to creating a ‘greener’ Isle of Man by donating £20,000 between 18 local environmental schemes, winners of HSBC’s Environment Awards 2009.

In partnership with the Department of Local Government and the Environment and Isle of Man Newspapers, the bank invited community groups, charities and schools to enter the competition and submit proposals for long-term sustainable environmental projects.

Speaking at the awards presentation held in HSBC’s Douglas banking hall, area manager Mike Hennessy said HSBC had been the first major bank to become carbon neutral in 2005 and that the competition – the first of its kind across the HSBC Group in the British Isles - was aimed at promoting collective environmental responsibility.

Mr Hennessy went on to say the applications had not only been of exceptional high quality but also demonstrated a deep understanding of the importance of achieving long-term sustainability.

He added HSBC’s involvement would extend beyond financial support to providing volunteers to help develop individual projects.

Presenting the awards, Local Government Minister John Shimmin MHK said HSBC in the Isle of Man was helping spread the message of environmental responsibility and that its awards scheme would help ‘kick-start’ a process for creating a greener Isle of Man.

A scheme for the north of the Island was awarded the largest share of the £20,000 fund. £5,000 was donated to the Native Oak Group/Permaculture Association Isle of Man.

Judging panel member and DLGE recycling manager Stephanie Gray said the scheme, to erect a wind turbine in Jurby to provide energy for community allotments, embodied the award scheme’s core values of rich educational content and sustainability and represented a practical solution to achieving a long-term vision.

In a surprise move at the close of the presentations, Mr Hennessy said HSBC had been ‘so enthused’ by the response received from schools that, in addition to the funds already awarded, the bank would be donating an additional £2,500 split between two, as yet, unidentified school projects.

In addition to Mr Hennessey, Mr Shimmin and Ms Gray, the judging panel comprised Isle of Man Newspapers’ editor Richard Butt and head of HSBC Securities (IOM) Limited Caroline Cornish.

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