A lasting approach to CSR: from Europe’s first solar powered Seabin to youth-wellness

16th November 2019 

Since the CSR committee was established, Prohealth has partnered with a number of NGOs to support its goal of strengthening the environment and the well-being of youth.

The number of companies recognising the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is on the rise, and with so many causes to choose from, deciding which area to devote attention to can be a challenging task.

For Prohealth Ltd, a company specialising in the importation and export of health-related products including pharmaceuticals, skin care and medical devices, the drafting of its CSR strategy formed an integral part of its overall strategy and was discussed extensively and clearly thought out by its management and dedicated CSR committee.

John Jaccarini, Executive Director and one of three founding members of the company, who also sits on the CSR committee, explains that the company chose to focus its initiatives in line with its efforts to improve the health and well-being of its customers. He sits on the committee together with Ritianne Cutajar, Point of Sale Representative, who unfortunately was not present for this interview; Mauro Abdilla, Business Development Manager; and Dale Pace, Marketing Manager.

John says that Prohealth Ltd, set up in 1995, will soon be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Asked to highlight the company’s greatest milestones to date, he shares that its progression from a small outfit to a company employing 50 people, housed within its fully owned premises, and cementing its presence within the healthcare industry, has been one of its greatest achievements.

Prohealth has been successful in executing several key objectives, such as improved corporate governance, enhanced HR talent, better utilisation of information systems to gain market intelligence and increased efficiency.

Mauro Abdilla - Alan Carville

Mauro Abdilla - Business Development Manager

Together with these objectives, the company sought to strengthen its CSR credentials with a view to leave a lasting impact. Apart from initiatives undertaken internally, Prohealth will focus on the welfare of our young generation and the environment which is our common heritage. Mauro explains that “future generations are at the forefront of our commitment when it comes to addressing environmental aspects. It’s a no-brainer. In the youth wellness sphere, we feel that this ties in well with our brand and our focus as a company.”

Prohealth’s best-known initiative to date has been the installation of a solar-powered Seabin, the first of its kind in Europe, in the popular Spinola Bay tourist destination. The company teamed up with Strand Marine, a local marine supply store, the St Julian’s Local Council and environmental NGO, Zibel.

The Seabin is designed to collect three main pollutants: microplastics, loose debris and oil, through a sponge within the device’s basin. Mauro says that “having the Seabin powered by solar energy increases its benefits as it leaves no carbon footprint, and it’s an add-on to our energy conservation aspirations. So many people have been talking about the Seabin and we have encouraged other businesses to follow our lead.”

Dale reveals that it is the first Seabin in Malta that is not within a berthing site, as it is in a bay rather than a marina. “This part was tricky because getting permits for the device was not so straightforward. Another complication was the solar-powered aspect as it had never been done before in Europe,” he shares.

John stresses that Prohealth wanted to, and still wants to, play a part in helping to clean “the mess we created ourselves in the first place. Our intention is also to try and motivate other organisations, and with more Seabins ordered, we feel we have reached this objective.”

Seabin

Solar powered Seabin in Spinola Bay commissioned by
Prohealth, in collaboration with St Julian's local council and 
environmental NGO Zibel. 

Delving into the nitty-gritty of getting the job done, Mauro shares that it involved meeting with Local Council representatives, NGOs, Ministry officials, as well as Transport Malta representatives. True to its name, another focus of Prohealth’s CSR drive is wellness and wellbeing in both their physical and psychological natures, with particular focus on children and youth.

Since the CSR committee was established, over the past year Prohealth has partnered with a number of NGOs in this field. Notwithstanding what life has presented to these individuals, Prohealth strives to help entities which offer diverse support to these people in order that their opportunities in life are at par with the rest of society.

Whether it is children suffering from bereavement, children with life-threatening conditions, young mothers suffering from psychological issues, youth with mental health problems, etc, Prohealth truly believes that everyone should be offered the necessary help to move on in life.

“When it comes to philanthropy, we deeply believe in ‘being’ rather than just ‘doing,” adding that it is easy to write a cheque for a good cause but truly championing that cause is what really matters. And what does the CSR committee have in store? The team shares that a longer-term partnership approach has been taken, with the view of providing meaningful change through the endeavours which the committee enters.


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