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Blue Carbon: Counteracting Climate Change

Our partnership with HSBC and Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab aimed to study, value and raise awareness of coastal wetlands.

Our Work Aligns With

HSBC employees and HSBC clients and industry stakeholders assisted leading wetland researchers to help gather data that directly contributed to our shared understanding of climate change, carbon stores, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies (SDG Goal 13.1). The project has now concluded with significant outcomes for science, the environment, and behaviour change.


This program delivered 25 events via the Earthwatch “Scientist for a Day” model. Corporate staff were connected to science and nature, and transformed into citizen scientists who collected critical data to inform wetland management and climate change mitigation policies.

The educational and scientific success of the HSBC Scientist for a Day program was recognised through:

  • 2019 Australian Financial Review Higher Education award for Industry engagement
  • 2020 Premiers Sustainability Awards Education category
  • 2021 Finalist for the Banksia Award

The program was also showcased in our 2020-2021 Impact report as well as externally in several conferences, newspapers, website blogs, on social media (#BlueCarbonArmy) and in a TV news report.

Upskilling Employees

Upskilling Employees

By recruiting corporate staff as citizen scientists, the program up-skilled more than 350 employees from 23 corporations (including HSBC, Qantas Future Planet, Australia Post, QBE, EY, KMPG, ANZ, Allens, Geelong Ports, HESTA and more) on natural capital and ecosystem services, whilst maximising field sampling.

HSBC citizen scientists surveyed over 300 vegetation plots and collected more than 1000 soil samples from coastal wetlands in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

Scientific Impact

  • 341 vegetation plots surveyed 

  • 1,125 soil samples analysed

  • 323 employees participated 

  • 150 microbe samples from soil 

  • 480 teabags buried/recovered to measure decomposition rates

  • 7 research projects fulfilled 

Data is being used to prepare research publications and knowledge for government and policy-makers that will advance our understanding of Blue Carbon ecosystem, long-term strategies and national adaptation plans for action on climate.