WE MAKE closes with a promise of further business energy collaboration

The WE MAKE Project closed with an online international event on the 27th and 28th of July. On the first day of the two-day conference, the event was opened by Hon. Minister Miriam Dalli and Ing Charles Buttigieg representing EWA. The first day was closed by Ing Ruben Cuschieri as Chairperson of The Malta Chamber’s Manufacturing Economic Group, and Mr Joe Tanti as CEO of the Malta Business Bureau. The second day was furthermore opened by The Malta Chamber Deputy President Mr Nick Xuereb. The event was moderated by Mr Timothy Alden, Senior Projects Executive (Sustainability) at the Malta Business Bureau.

Minister Miriam Dalli stated that “Through the WE MAKE project, we have facilitated the green transition, by ensuring that our businesses have all the necessary tools and resources to ensure efficiency in energy and water. This project targeted research, investment and development, pillars that make a company much more resilient.”

The 2-year WE MAKE project held 12 workshops split over a range of topics. These included industry best practices, academia-industry collaboration, and financing workshops to help businesses identify funding for their projects. Furthermore, 2 mentoring programmes were carried out to provide personalised support between larger and smaller companies. A study was also carried out for a second iteration of Malta’s EEPI based on signatory consultation. The project also resulted in energy audits and also further projects were won by applying to the EU LIFE programme as part of European consortia with over 30+ European partners.

The event featured presentations by various EU projects, including EnergyEfficiency4SME (in which both the MBB and EWA are partners), SMEmPower Efficiency, GEAR@SME, and also featured a presentation by Claudia Julius from Senercon (Germany) regarding the IMPAWATT energy platform. The IMPAWATT energy platform is being opened up for Maltese entities through EWA and the MBB’s participation in the EnergyEfficiency4SME project, through which the platform will also be developed to include financial measure identification for SME energy projects. The REEValue project, a recently awarded LIFE project due to start later this year led by EWA in which the MBB is also a partner, was also introduced.

Ing Charles Buttigieg stated “The international conference has been relevant as it facilitated enterprises gaining knowledge of new technologies currently available, especially some already being tried and tested nationally.”

The event also featured best practice presentations by various national and global leading entities. Kaeser (Germany) introduced advanced planning, monitoring, and equipment considerations in efficient air compression systems. Wienerberger (Austria) presented their performing strategy for carbon neutrality in manufacturing of construction materials across their global sites. Toly (Malta) introduced their advanced energy management systems coupled with energy initiatives across various thematics. Trelleborg (Malta) discussed their international energy goals and introduced the achievements in efficiency in Polymer Technology. Sammontana (Italy) presented their investments in water systems and water efficiency. Sustech (Malta) discussed water efficiency through measures including water cascades in planning, while Smart Cooling (Latvia) presented advanced technologies in climate control for business/industrial premises.

Closing the first day of events, Ing Ruben Cuschieri, Chairperson of Manufacturing Economic Group at The Malta Chamber, stated, “The project provided practical guidance on sustainability and fostered networking opportunities for local businesses. By tapping into the knowledge and expertise shared during the project’s events, I am certain that many have found inspiration to initiate the journey towards energy and water efficiency improvements.”

Mr Joe Tanti thereafter stated that “The project highlighted the importance of sharing as a contributor to success. Maltese businesses shared best practices and mentored one another to grow the share of the industry pie, rather than fighting over slices of it. In this way, a win-win situation may be achieved. This is a winning strategy for manufacturing in Malta.”

APS, BOV and Malta Enterprise presented their various financial measures for business energy projects, and participated in a panel moderated by Mr Geoffrey Saliba. Thereafter, EWA outlined their sustainability course.

Mr Nick Xuereb, Deputy President of The Malta Chamber opened the second day of events by explaining that “Energy tariffs will continue to increase and companies need to be thinking of moving towards a net zero position, either through reducing their energy use through alternative sources of energy, or purchasing credits to balance their gaps. By 2050 as a country and as a continent, we need to reduce our emissions to net zero. In this respect, Malta needs to invest in long term thinking.”

The partners EWA, the MBB and The Malta Chamber thanked the c.a. 45 business representative attendees, as well as all stakeholders that participated in the project. The list is long, however notable appreciation goes to The Malta Chamber’s Manufacturing Economic Group, the University of Malta’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, MCAST, Malta Enterprise, BOV and APS. Following the WE MAKE project, the REEValue is set to be launched later this year, with a focus on the greening of supply chains and logistics.

The Water and Energy Management and Knowledge Transfer in Manufacturing Enterprises (We Make) project, is a collaboration between the Energy and Water Agency (EWA), Malta Business Bureau and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, sponsored by the EWA, to give manufacturing industry businesses guidance on how to consume energy and water efficiently.

For more information please contact the MBB on: talden@mbb.org.mt

The Malta Business Bureau is the EU business advisory organisation of The Malta Chamber and The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. It is also a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network.

BNF Bank announces positive financial performance for the first half of 2023

BNF Bank is pleased to announce its positive financial performance for the first half of 2023, demonstrating robust growth and resilience in a dynamic market environment.

Net interest income remained the primary driver of the Bank’s profitability, showing a 28% increase to reach €16.1 million in the first half of 2023. The increase in net interest income in the first half of 2023 pertained not only to loan book growth, but also to the impact of rising interest rates, positioning the Bank for sustained financial success.

Despite increasing inflationary pressures, the Bank demonstrated prudent cost management, and has reported an improved cost-to-income ratio of 59.2% as of June 2023, compared to 62.8% in June 2022.

During this period, the Bank’s lending book grew by €34.0 million while maintaining its high credit quality. Non-performing exposure decreased by €1.0 million and remained largely secured with collateral, reflecting the Bank’s prudent risk management practices.

As of June 2023, the Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio was at 18.9%, reinforcing its solid financial position and remaining well above regulatory capital requirements. The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Net Stable Funding Ratio remained healthy at 215.7% and 134.7% respectively.

The Bank’s growth combined with the commitment to continue delivering reliable banking solutions has contributed to its successful performance in the first half of 2023.

“We are pleased with the Bank’s strong position in the market and the positive trajectory we are experiencing,” said Mark Micallef, Chief Financial Officer at BNF Bank. ” With a strong focus on customer-centricity, prudent risk management, and sustainable growth, we remain dedicated to providing exceptional service and value to our customers and stakeholders.”

People or Numbers?

Are you a CEO facing relentless pressure from your board and shareholders to deliver exceptional results? The burning question is, how do you measure those results? Are they solely confined to numbers, or do they encompass the crucial realm of people-related metrics?

In today’s fast-paced business world, economic pressures often push CEOs and Business leaders to focus on figures, margins, and profits. Yet, amidst this financial element, one vital aspect often gets overlooked – the people driving the very success of these organisations. How can we truly achieve sustainable growth and success without putting people at the forefront of our strategies?

Think about it. Behind every profit and margin are dedicated individuals, the lifeblood of any thriving enterprise. It’s people who innovate, collaborate, and drive the numbers upward. They are the catalysts for transformative change, growth and success.

Despite this undeniable truth, we’ve noticed an alarming trend when it comes to CEO recruitment.  Related recruitment waves primarily seek candidates with backgrounds in Finance, ACCA qualifications, and Big-Four exposure. Naturally these are typically valid and great candidates and I personally know of many successful ones, but what about brilliant minds from diverse fields like Human Resources, Operations, or other domains?

Should they not be deemed equally eligible? Is our obsession with numbers overshadowing the broader potential that people-centric leadership can bring?

This and much more will be explored in the upcoming HR GIG 8, Redefining Leadership.  The event will explore the dynamic landscape of leadership from diverse perspectives, empowering the audience to challenge conventional norms and forge new paths.

Together we will discover innovative approaches, harness the power of vision, and unlock the keys to effective decision-making both from a Human Resources and Business dimensions.

Just as an outdated curriculum fails to equip students with the skills necessary for a successful career in the ever-evolving job market, CEOs who cling to traditional approaches in dealing with business metrics risk becoming irrelevant and leading their companies towards failure. Continuing to rely on conventional methods such as focusing solely on numbers and financial metrics is no longer sufficient. Instead, CEOs need to adapt their leadership styles by embracing innovation, fostering agility, and cultivating a people-centric culture. By doing so, they can effectively navigate the complex and rapidly changing business landscape, ensuring long-term success and contributing to the wider economy.

The scope of HR GIG 8 Redefining Leadership is to inspire and ignite the leadership potential within CEOs, decision makers, and HR professionals. Delegates will gain invaluable insights and actionable strategies to drive meaningful change in their organisations.

The event is taking place on 1st September 2023 at The Xara Lodge from 8:30 till 12.30.  From 12:30 onwards will be networking, entertainment and refreshments.  The event website can be accessed here.