The last session of the “Together for Sustainability” one-day course was held on 27 June 2019 by the Malta Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to a press release sent to Business Malta. The course was funded by HSBC Malta and has aimed at raising awareness on the importance of CSR as well as to promote a mindset of sustainability.
The course started in October 2018 and has involved a series of talks on water conservation, energy consumption, waste management and reduction, and sustainable development.
It has been designed by Dr Alexandra Mifsud from the Centre of Environmental Education Research (CEER) at the University of Malta and Amanda Zahra from the Water and Energy Agency.
Funded by the HSBC Water Programme, this event was directed at businesses, where members of staff were trained on the change of behaviour they can make related to the safeguarding of the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle both at home and at the workplace, as the press release says.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a main focus of the “Together for Sustainability” course, are in line with what CSR is all about and that is the reason why the CORE Platform was given an opportunity to speak on the subject during the last session, the press statement underscores.
CSR awareness raising
The aim of the European CSR day is to raise awareness on what CSR is, the importance of having it incorporated within a business strategy and framework, and the benefits that it yields, both to the company and its employees, as well as to the community and environment it operates in.
Helga Ellul, President of CORE Platform, explained that CSR must always start internally. From here one can then start engaging in CSR activities outside of the company. Nowadays, consumers and customers are becoming more aware of responsible corporations, in fact, many are those that choose the services of a company that engages in CSR instead of one that does not, Ms Ellul added.
Thus, CSR helps to improve the reputation of the business as well and it must also never be done solely to gain a better image as that will not work in the long-run.
Finally, Ms Ellul focused on the misconception of CSR being charity is still an issue and that this is something that one needs to work on to overcome.
Developing sustainable economies
“At HSBC, we are proud to be playing a leading role in developing sustainable economies internationally and locally. Today, our sustainability approach focuses on three main areas: sustainable finance; sustainable supply chains; and employability and financial capability. In each of these areas, we have begun to take genuine strides forward,” said HSBC Bank Malta CEO Andy Beane.
“We have set out a series of commitments to contribute to the global transition to a low-carbon economy. We have also pledged long-term support to help people access education and training, so they can acquire the skills they need to succeed in today’s workplace,” Mr Beane added. “And through our partnerships with customers, NGOs and other key stakeholders, we are encouraging responsible business in global supply chains. Bringing together more than 500 people from over 60 organisations across Malta to learn about sustainability is core to this strategy as we need to work together to accelerate the country’s transition to a low carbon, sustainable future that we can feel proud to pass on to the next generation,” the HSBC Malta chief concluded.