3591 Talent management and learning about sustainability: The case of HSBC's Climate Partnership Programme

Maria-Laura Franco-Garcia , CSTM Twente Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Carla Millar , Ashridge, Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
Matthew Gitsham , Ashridge, Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
Full Papers
  • FrancoMillarGIN2012FullpaperRev.pdf (345.2 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    The subject of “Talent management” has been approached from many different angles to better understand the critical elements associated with the complex processes involved. There are many definitions, and that by Blass (2007) refers to “additional processes or opportunities  that are made available to people in the organisation considered as ‘talent”. The HSBC Climate Partnership (HCP) programme has been described by some of their senior managers as a “supplementary opportunity for employees to deploy their abilities and develop a set of skills on sustainability issues and apply them in projects which are socially responsible”. Under those concepts, there are aspects overlaping talent management processess with those of HCP programme, and this study was focused on those "potential" connections and how this can help other organisations to face sustainability and talent reitenment.   


    The objective of this paper is to link ‘talent development ’ with ‘sustainability’, and to do this we have analysed empirically the unique dataset of 2608 learning evaluations of HSBC’s global Climate Partnership programme (HCP).

    Theoretical framework:

    The literature reviewed gave us an insight into the factors that play a role in talent management and talent development theories. These can be adapted to the specific organisation, and its requirements and conditions. We proposed and used for the paper developments the framework named ‘Management sustainability training model’, which might support  organisations to enhance awareness and need to embed sustainability within the organisation.


    Europe was represented by 685 respondents and was our baseline for comparing the impact of the HCP with that for the Global results.  The HCP is part of HSBC’s business strategy aimed at embedding sustainability and social responsibility across the corporation. Our quantitative data analysis shows a positive impact of the sustainability training in terms of participants’ further commitment to the organisation and the development of leadership skills.


    Researching the link between talent development and sustainability programmes with corporate sustainability awareness and implementation issues has proved to be an interesting research area. Participants feel that through the HCP programme they have developed the special skills that are needed to master sustainability - such as in leadership, influencing skills, and a broader vision, independently of the region in which they were based; Climate Change training has led to an increase in HCP participants’ organisational commitment to HSBC – as verified through internal as well as community variables; participants feel that the organisational efforts by their HSBC managers to support implementation of what was learnt in the HCP programme was acceptable, but not always as easily forthcoming as is suggested, and felt this was an issue that could be improved; Stakeholders in the labour market see participation in HCP as valuable.