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Sustainable trade, the strategy to compete in the market

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The impact of climate change in international trade has pushed companies to adopt sustainable practices as a need and duty to survive in the market, as specified by the International Chamber of Commerce in its letter for the sustainable development of

According to the Economy Commission for Latin America and Caribe (CEPAL) in its Environmental Sustainability and International Competitiveness research, International trade can mitigate climate change and promote “green growth” through commercial strategies that lower the carbon footprint, for example, usage of efficient and with the environmentally friendly resources such as renewable energies. 2

Under this scenario it becomes natural for a company to become sustainable. For starters, the International Institute for Sustainable Development sustains that a company must adopt strategies that fulfill the organizations needs and of its shareholders without implying a risk for the environment. 3

In the analysis held by the World Trade Organization (WTO) called “The Impact of Trade Opening on Climate Change” indicates that another way to drive sustainable foreign trade is by eliminating some commercial products and services barriers such as getting rid of tariffs and non-tariff obstacles to clean technologies. This way productive chains increase, costs are reduced and its use is promoted which would make an easier transition to a more efficient economy with the use of renewable resources while carbon emissions are lowered.

On day to day activities, carbon footprint, term used in referral to a set of gas emissions with greenhouse effect (GHG), produced by a company come from sources such as electric consumption or packaging. In order to counteract this phenomenon, the CEPAL in its Environmental Sustainability and International Competition report mentions that the application of new technologies, such as wind power and hydroelec-tric turbines, solar water heaters, or tanks for biogas production, help reduce emissions by providing more efficiency.

Another action recommended by the commission to adopt sustainable trading practices is to measure carbon emissions throughout the product value chain, and by doing so, reaching possible solutions for more efficient energy usage.

With this exercise, companies would generate a multiplying effect among their associates by sharing results and placing tools to facilitate this new process.

Actions to achieve it

In HSBC we are committed with our client’s needs to adopt better sustainable practices. In our press release: Sustainability, An Ally for Medium Size Business Growth, we recommend the following actions:

  • Develop performance reports on environment, social and corporate government to generate trust through information transparency.
  • Identify “green” and cost-effective efficiencies in the supply chain. Example: solutions so raw materials travel less distance in order to reduce contaminant emissions while saving transportation costs.
  • Environmental Consciousness. Work with clients that can respond positively to ecological products or to cleaner materials.
  • Investing in renewable sources of energy such as wind power turbines or solar panels can become part of the efforts to manage a more environmentally friendly footprint.

Adopting sustainable practices is a requirement that can be reached through concrete actions in the development of products and services. We completely understand this objective and we offer financing so our clients can achieve “green growth” in their organizations and maintain them one step ahead in terms of international trading trends.

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