HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, has turned to Google Cloud to ensure that a proposed $1 billion investment in green technology startups does not end up in the hands of fraudsters.
The partnership comes as many companies, including Google and HSBC, face the reality of meeting 2030 net-zero climate goals on time. Investing in organizations with carbon-neutral business practices is one way he reduces indirect emissions.
The problem is that it’s not always clear which of these companies are legitimate and which are betting on the sustainability of their spreadsheets to claim one thing while actually achieving another. is. For example, last year it was reported that 90% of carbon offsets are likely to be fictitious.
Google Cloud has been working on this issue for the better part of two years. In mid-2022, the search giant launched Google Cloud Ready (GCR) – Sustainability with the express purpose of scrutinizing partners promoting carbon reduction claims.
Of course, Google isn’t doing this purely for environmental reasons. To qualify for the program, participants must submit at least one case study, demonstrate that their service is actually addressing genuine ESG goals with reproducible targets, and, importantly, that their service You must meet a number of requirements, including proving that your application will run on Google Cloud.
Google has seized the opportunity to leverage climate-sensitive customers by providing a list of approved organizations.
Google’s parent company not only spotlights sustainable partners, but also invests in some of them. Alphabet announced it has invested billions of dollars in sustainability bonds to support climate change projects. You may remember the geothermal power plant we built in Nevada in partnership with Fervo Energy.
But why spend your own money when you can make money using other people’s money? As part of the collaboration, Google said it plans to bring together GCR Sustainability Partners and HSBC’s climate technology team and explore debt financing.
“Many of these partners need access to capital, and we are excited to partner with HSBC to support companies that are key to combating climate change,” Justin Keeble, managing director of global sustainability at Google Cloud, said in a statement. I’m excited about it.”
HSBC has significant cash to burn. In September, the bank unveiled plans to provide up to $1 billion in loans to startups working on EV charging, battery storage, sustainable food and agriculture, and carbon removal technologies. For comparison, in its most recently reported quarter, HSBC made a profit of $7.7 billion.
Natalie Bryce, Global Head of Commercial Banking Sustainability at HSBC, said: “Step change is needed to scale up new technologies that play a key role in supporting global decarbonisation.” He added that such investments are important for VCs’ climate change funding. Startups decline.
LevelTen Energy was the first to receive funding under this partnership. Founded in 2016, the Seattle-based startup handles backend systems for buying and selling renewable energy.
Terms of the financing deal were not disclosed, but Level10 received a $10 million cash infusion from an anonymous beneficiary in December, which may not have been much.
Google is working to weed out more green technology companies and add them to its GCR sustainability program. ®