HSBC is launching a “green” credit card with film star Leonardo DiCaprio, through his charitable foundation.
The move is part of the bank’s ambitions to become a more environmental and sustainable company and position itself as “greener” than rivals.
The Green card, which launches in Hong Kong this month, will be rolled out to other regions if successful. The card will be made of environmentally-friendly materials and customers will receive digital bills to reduce paper consumption. Every transaction will contribute to a local environmental protection project.
An HSBC spokesman says that although there are no plans to introduce it in the UK immediately, it could not be “ruled out” in the medium- or long-term.
Rival Barclaycard already offers an eco credit card, Breathe, which launched last summer (MW April 19, 2007). Virgin Money has also announced its intention to release an eco-friendly card, which it claims will be made from biodegradable materials (MW April 26, 2007).
HSBC has been keen to develop environmental initiatives and has already launched the HSBC Climate Partnership, Commit to Change and Trees for Cities. It says it was the first major bank to go carbon neutral.
In the UK, it has also held a “green sale”, offering lower rates and other eco-friendly initiatives over January and February. The Climate Partnership is a five-year $100m (£50m) project, which launched last year with the Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research and WWF.