Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi and Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera addressed the business breakfast ‘Making the Global Sustainable Development Goals Local Business’.
Minister Herrera stated that businesses should embrace sustainability in their operations and management by being ecologically and socially responsible. He said that the adoption of environmental management systems can go a long way towards greening operations and making them more sustainable.
“Whilst acknowledging that a transition towards sustainability practices also brings with it a number of challenges, the government will be creating a climate to foster this shift including small matters that make a difference such as the amendment of the Companies Act to eliminate the obligation to print the financial accounts for all shareholders. This will not only save trees, but it also saves on costs,” stated Minister Herrera.
Dr Herrera stated that some of the initiatives being undertaken by the government include the development of a new Sustainable Development Strategy with a horizon of up to 2050; legal provisions to introduce the notion of circular economy in the Maltese legislation; the launch of a Strategy on Single-use Plastics which aims at promoting better sustainable consumption patterns, and various other sectoral policy frameworks such as the regulation of commercial waste and the separate collection of pharmaceutical waste.
Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that the effective use of energy and water resources can be seen from the environmental perspective as contributing towards improving our environment, but it can also be seen from the commercial perspective as lowering operational costs and hence increasing the economic viability of our commercial sectors.
“The initiative ties in well with the Energy and Water Agency’s strategy of promoting the importance which each one of us has in the promotion of effective energy and water usage. Together we can work towards a more resource efficient future, and everyone’s contribution in this direction is important and counts,” he said.
The ‘Together for Sustainability’ programme was delivered at the Energy and Water Agency’s GHAJN Centre in Rabat. Minister Mizzi said that the approach which GĦAJN, Malta’s National Water Conservation Awareness Centre is taking, in broadening its reach and educational programmes presents a case of best practice of how public projects can be effectively maintained and continually developed. This was also duly acknowledged by the European Commission which earlier this year awarded this Centre with the European Sustainability Award for its educational activities in the field of Sustainable Development.