13 major Maltese businesses form an alliance to fight for carbon neutrality

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July, 2022 at 12:11 pm by Andre Camilleri

Thirteen businesses on Wednesday held a joint press conference to announce the setting up of the Malta ESG Alliance (MESGA).

“Looking after the planet is not negotiable,” they said in their introduction.

During the press conference, MESGA said that their initial priority is decarbonisation. However, their goal is also to act as the catalyst to tackle Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues faced by the country.

The founding members are as follows: Alberta Group, APS Bank Plc, AX Group Plc, Bank of Valletta Plc, GO Plc, HSBC Bank Malta Plc, International Hotel Investments Plc, Malta Public Transport Services (Operations) Ltd, MAPFRE Malta, MEDSERV Operations Ltd, Melita Ltd, PG Group Plc and Toly Products Ltd.

The alliance is being supported by the consultancy firm EY Malta, Perit David Xuereb and the Malta Ambassador for Climate Action, Professor Simone Borg.

Moreover, the goal of the alliance is to increase its members in order to expand towards all forms of economic sectors. The members are there to inspire change through their actions so that more businesses, small or large, will adopt the values of ESG and progress towards a cleaner and more valuable future.

This alliance is also promoting how “a decarbonised future is critical for the Maltese communities, the long-term resilience and reputation of the organisations they represent and the national economy. These initiatives in all of the environmental, social and governance spheres are key to ensure talent retention, the attraction of quality talent, reassure shareholder value while reducing business risk among many other motivations.”

“These initiatives are not straight-forward, but by collectively championing long-term value ahead of short-sighted gains or profit we stand to focus on what matters most by walking the talk and credibly leading by example,” Xuereb stated.

“Through this formidable initiative, the Alliance members provide the required synergy, forward planning and investment in capacity building that is essential to implement the green transition.in measurable terms,” Borg stated.

The Partner and Sustainable Leader for EY Malta, Chris Meilak, outlined the importance such an Alliance will play in the local market. “Several companies have been working independently to incorporate ESG factors into their annual reporting or through stand-alone initiatives, but it is fair to say more can and must be done. By coming together, best practices are shared, and we learn from each other while increasing the positive ripple that will be felt all over Malta.”

Throughout the press conference, each company spoke individually about how they have reduced their carbon footprint so far, and what their objectives for the future are.

Some of the actions mentioned were investing in renewable energy, developing sustainable buildings, geothermal cooling, an electric fleet of transport, utilising more reusable materials, the improvement of efficiency and sustainability through technology that tracks a company’s movements, among many other initiatives.

Furthermore, the members made it clear that whilst they are moving toward carbon neutrality, they will also be helping their customers transition towards the same goal. They understood that this is a very complicated process, so they will make sure to plan properly and not “leave anyone behind”.

A question was asked about the difference between what the alliance hopes to achieve and the EU’s corporate sustainable reporting directive (CSRD). In response to this Xuereb stated that this alliance promotes companies being more sustainable not only because it is regulation, but because it makes more sense by aiding these businesses in the long run.

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