The last session of the ‘Together for Sustainability’ one-day course was held this week. This course, which has been running since October 2018, involves a series of talks on water conservation, energy consumption, waste management and reduction, and sustainable development. Designed by Dr Alexandra Mifsud from the Centre of Environmental Education Research (CEER) at the University of Malta and Ms Amanda Zahra from the Water and Energy Agency it is being organised by the Malta CSR Institute and funded by the HSBC Water Programme. This training programme was directed at businesses, where members of staff were trained on the behaviour change they can make when it comes to the safeguarding of the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle both at home and at the workplace.
The last session was linked to the European CSR day, which happens in June of every year. Corporate Social Responsibility, which has been steadily transforming business models into more sustainable ones, is leaving many positive impacts on the social, environmental, as well as the economic sectors. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a main focus of the ‘Together for Sustainability’ one day course, fall very much 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 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.
Mrs 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. Thus, CSR helps to improve the reputation of the business as well. Of course, CSR must never be done solely to gain a better image as that will not work in the long-run. Finally, she stressed that the misconception of CSR being charity is still an issue and that this is something that one needs to work on to overcome.
HSBC Bank Malta CEO, Mr Andy Beane, said: “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. 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. 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.
For those interested in learning more on the subject, we invite you to get in touch with [email protected]. If you would like to know more on the ‘Together for Sustainability’ one-day course, kindly visit the facebook page of the Malta CSR Institute – https://www.facebook.com/Malta-CSR-Institute-317729455718552/