Kuala Lumpur, 20 April 2022 – Young savers are once again stepping up as eco-warriors under Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank’s (“HLB” or the “Bank”) ‘Earth Hero’ (“HLB Earth Hero”) initiative, with the aim of planting another 2,500 trees in the Lower Kinabatangan area in Borneo this year. This comes following the success and the positive results the initiative has brought to the Lower Kinabatangan area since it was launched in late 2020.
HLB Earth Hero is a digital initiative that aims to instill responsibility for the environment, as well as foster smart money management for junior bank customers. Leveraging on the Bank’s HLB Pocket Connect, a first-in-market interactive and personalised banking platform specifically designed for young digital natives to learn to ‘Earn, Save and Spend’, young savers can proactively do their part for the environment by completing tasks under the ‘Task’ section in HLB Pocket Connect. For every 20 virtual trees planted, HLB will plant one real tree in the Lower Kinabatangan area on their behalf and provide them with a certificate with GPS location coordinates of the tree planted in their name.
In a short period of time, these junior bank customers eagerly participated to complete all the virtual gamification and educational tasks assigned to them via the HLB Pocket Connect platform. At the end of the first run of the campaign, their resounding efforts resulted in 2,500 trees being planted. Today, positive changes in the biodiversity of Lower Kinabatangan have been felt, with endangered animals like Orang Utans, elephants, and sun bears spotted repopulating the area again.
Commenting on the continuation of HLB Earth Hero, Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB, shared that the initiative is aligned with the Bank’s core value of being here for the long term, doing business sustainably, and involving the wider community by stepping up ESG education efforts, as broader understanding will create greater overall momentum towards a greener planet.
“We believe in planting the seeds of knowledge and sustainability early into young minds, leading us to embark on a first-of-its-kind financial and environmental literacy initiative through a mobile banking platform, with the goal of teaching kids how their choices can have an impact on the planet. We hope through this engagement, they will have a better financial knowledge foundation and a greater appreciation of the planet and what it means to be sustainable.
“Thanks to our young savers and with the support of their parents, we are beyond thrilled with the success of HLB Earth Hero and are inspired by the children’s determination to complete tasks in order to have trees planted. For this reason, we will continue our partnership with APE Malaysia to plant more trees to create greater environmental impact.”