The HSBC Blue Carbon citizen science program received the Industry Engagement award at the 2019 Australian Financial Review (AFR) Higher Education awards ceremony held in Brisbane (27/08/2018).
This prestigious Award recognises Higher Education institutions working with Industry in a way that goes beyond standard commercial relationships and is genuinely reciprocal, mutually beneficial, and highly valued by both partners.
The HSBC Blue Carbon Citizen Science program, is a multisector R&D initiative empowering Australian industries to build a sustainable future, while advancing Deakin University’s research on coastal wetlands and climate change. In partnership with HSBC and Earthwatch Australia, the program engages and invests in human capital who can invoke change and steer Australia towards a blue economy.
The award was received by the program manager Dr Maria Palacios and A/Prof Peter Macreadie, who highlighted ” This program transcends by transforming the ‘human capital’ of the finance sector. We drive environmental change in high-level staff, by swapping their executive suits for gumboots and delivering an immersive experience into science, wetlands and climate change”
HSBC staff manage $100bn sustainable finance. In an era of environmental degradation, water crisis and species extinctions, it is critical that all corporate decisions are environmentally-savvy. In just over a year, this initiative has upskilled >200 executive staff from HSBC and 17 businesses (e.g. Qantas, QBE, KPMG, Allens, NextDC, AusPost, EY), who are 70% more knowledgeable in the topics of natural capital and sustainable development.
By educating Australia’s high-level executives into climate-literacy, this program facilitates sustainable changes within organisations and empowers financial decisions that lead to a sustainable future.
This innovative partnership has simultaneously boosted Deakin’s research by enabling the execution of 7 research projects, supporting 16 data collection campaigns, and leading to 2 new collaborations with Higher Education institutions. Further, it has increased the competitiveness of Deakin’s staff to understand the industry’s needs and lead future engagements.
Deakin University received two additional awards during the ceremony, including the Emerging Leader award to anthropologist Professor Emma Kowal and the International Education award granted to the the Indian Research Initiative (DIRI).
The annual AFR Higher Education Awards celebrate the contribution of higher education to Australian prosperity and quality of life in ten categories. The judging panel includes the editor of the AFR, current and former vice-chancellors and chancellors and other experts in higher education. Read more here.