Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has collaborated with social enterprise Animal Projects & Environmental Education Sdn Bhd (APE Malaysia) to introduce a new initiative aimed at increasing financial and environmental awareness in children. Dubbed Earth Hero, it seeks to teach them about the impact of their choices on the planet.
In its statement, HLB said that the initiative leverages on the bank’s HLB Pocket Connect mobile app, a digital banking platform tailored for children. Participating children will need to accomplish various assignments found under the new “Task” section in the app, which is linked to a reforestation project in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Borneo.
Each completed task will earn the children some extra pocket money as well as the opportunity to plant a virtual tree. For every 20 virtual trees achieved, one actual tree will be planted by HLB on behalf of the children. Each child will also receive a certificate with GPS coordinates of the real tree planted in their name. HLB clarified that the reforestation project targets to plant 2,500 trees in total.
Group managing director and chief executive officer of HLB, Domenic Fuda said that the Earth Hero initiative is a result of the bank’s effort in expanding its sustainability initiatives by promoting financial inclusion and literacy through its products and services.
“We have seen good traction in the uptake of this app (HLB Pocket Connect) and view this platform as a good opportunity to gamify financial education with tangible rewards that benefits the environment, with the guidance of parents and in partnership with an eco-social enterprise,” he said, adding that this initiative makes HLB the first bank in the region to combine financial and environmental literacy for children on a banking platform.
“People are fundamental for the conservation of the environment we live in,” commented Mark Louis Benedict, a project manager from APE Malaysia. “We are excited to partner with Hong Leong Bank to take a novel approach in bringing together the values of financial and environmental literacy to nurture and inspire an environmentally engaged future generation who will become stewards of our planet and sustainability,” he further said.
To join the Earth Hero campaign, you will need to first open a 3-in-1 Junior Account, and then download and register for the HLB Pocket Connect app. Once that’s done, you can then go ahead and complete tasks to earn your trees!
For context, HLB’s Pocket Connect mobile app was first launched in August this year. Featuring three key functions – Earn, Save, and Spend – it enables children to take charge of their own pocket money and savings with the help of their parents.
You can find out about HLB’s Earth Hero initiative on the bank’s website here.