Steve Dauenhauer completed the Climate Champion Field Programme at the North America Regional Climate Centre
As an HSBC climate champion pioneer and member of HSBC’s Corporate Sustainability Steering Committee, Steve Dauenhauer, Vice President, Alternative Contact Management for Card and Retail Services, has been a leader in bringing HSBC’s commitment to corporate sustainability to life. Recruited for the inaugural climate champion team at the North America Regional Climate Centre, after he organized an environmental project for his Tigard office, Steve is a driving force behind many of HSBC’s climate initiatives.
“I believe climate change is a real and significant issue, and we must take action to combat it,” says Steve. “I also think it makes sense to be a good steward of the earth, and to do what we can to keep it livable for generations to come.”
As the founding leader of Card and Retail Services’ Sustainability Action Teams (SAT), whose mission is to educate and engage employees to reduce waste, save energy, recycle and participate in local volunteer projects, Steve is dedicated to educating employees on climate change. Most recently, he led the effort for the “Choices” campaign, which provided tips on ways to help the environment – at home and in the office. The campaign also encouraged employees to pledge their commitment to help the environment. As a result of this initiative, more than 200 employees pledged to do their part by making small changes in their daily lives.
“I think the greatest challenge in getting people to address climate change is helping them understand that little things can make a difference,” says Steve. “Yes, we need the world’s governments to take action on a global scale, but individuals can make choices that collectively result in significant change. Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, planting a garden and thinking before you print can all make a difference without requiring a major lifestyle change. If we continue that mind set at work, and think of ways to move customers to paperless statements or introduce more environmentally friendly products, we can magnify our influence even further.”
Being part of the very first climate champion team is an HSBC career highlight for Steve. In addition to enhancing his knowledge of environmental issues, the field program taught him about the important scientific work that is being conducted around the world to better understand the causes and possible solutions to the environmental issues we are facing.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working outdoors in the beautiful surroundings at the North America Regional Climate Center,” shares Steve. “The field work was physical and challenging, but very rewarding. Meeting and interacting with the scientists whose job is to better understand climate change, provided a unique opportunity to learn from the experts. As an added benefit, I met many wonderful colleagues from across North America, and I continue to network with them for both my day-to-day job responsibilities and our collective environmental efforts.”
As an HSBC climate champion, Steve hopes to educate others on the importance of addressing climate change and help them understand that the personal choices we make each day can and do make a difference. He also hopes to persuade people to get involved and be part of the solution.
“I am very proud to work for a company that has not only made a considerable financial contribution to the environment through the HSBC Climate Partnership, but has taken steps to encourage its employees to become involved as well,” he says. “I feel HSBC ‘walks the talk’ in building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings, establishing recycling programs and setting corporate goals for energy and water conservation. I encourage my colleagues to get involved in the HSBC Climate Partnership and find ways they, too, can make a difference.”