The Malta Business Bureau (MBB) hosted the Investing in Energy closing conference at the Malta Life Sciences Park, San Gwann earlier this month.
Hon. Minister Joe Mizzi presented three local businesses with certificates of excellence recognizing their commitment towards the energy efficiency of their operations, namely: Malta International Airport, Retail International Group and Elepac Ltd. Malta International Airport and Elepac Ltd were recognised as the two latest signatories to the Energy Efficiency Partner Initiative, with the latter being the first SME signatory.
Retail International Group were also recognized for having undergone an energy audit as part of the project. The audit then represented the basis of Retail International Group’s investment in the energy performance of their Marks and Spencer outlets in Valletta. Crucially, they managed to adhere to international brand standards, while still becoming more energy efficient.
Presenting the awards, Hon. Mizzi said that “energy remains high on the agenda of this administration as it is of vital importance to the country’s economic and social progress, and furthermore to the well-being of the citizen. Energy efficiency and the reduction of energy consumption should hold valuable foothold in the decision making of the enterprise. It has to be emphasized that energy saving actions fully compliment the drive for further investment in the core function of the enterprise.”
In his opening address, MBB President Simon De Cesare said “to me as a business owner, energy efficiency is not just about reducing utility bills but also about the best placed effort. To generate additional profit, businesses typically would have to increase turnover. However, the most efficient way to improve profit is to stop wasting money and reduce your costs.”
Manuel Sapiano, CEO of the Energy and Water Agency stated that “energy efficiency – managing energy demand – is considered as one of the keystones of the EU’s energy policy. We want to highlight the contribution which the industry and services sector is making, we want to present this sector as a proactive sector which contributes to the sustainability of our energy demand.”
Ing. Charles Buttigieg, Chief Policy Officer on energy at the Energy and Water Agency explained that Malta is currently on track to meet its energy efficiency commitments, while highlighting industry’s crucial role, standing at 17 per cent of the 2020 target, towards meeting them. Ing. Buttigieg went on to present the EU 2030 targets, as well as the EU’s and Malta’s vision for energy efficiency in industry more generally.
Energy auditors Ing. Patrick Spiteri Staines and Ing. Abigail Cutajar participated in a panel discussion, moderated by MBB Sustainable Development Manager Geoffrey Saliba. The discussion centred around common challenges that SMEs face when it comes to energy management, and some potential solutions to these challenges. The experts revealed that, while we usually speak of a 10 per cent energy saving potential for SMEs, this figure can even rise to 30 per cent. Moreover, savings can often be achieved through no-cost behavioural and calibration measures.
The conference also featured the following presentations: Ing. Matthew Spiteri from Altern Ltd and Ing. Neville Azzopardi from Abertax Technologies Ltd showed how they have managed to convert their office building to operate at a near carbon-neutral footprint. Next, Project Manager of the LifeMedGreenRoof Project Antoine Gatt explained how installing a green roof can not only reduce a business’s energy consumption, but how it has also enabled businesses abroad to commercialise the space in the form of cafés or restaurants, generating revenue. George Bugeja, National Contact Point for H2020 in Malta, presented some simple participation models for local SMEs looking to tap into H2020 funding. Finally, Ing. Alexandra Camilleri from the Energy and Water Agency presented a step-by-step application guide for a national scheme which provides financial support up to €5,000 for SMEs to undergo an energy audit.
MBB CEO Joe Tanti concluded that “we have learnt a lot about the challenges facing SMEs in this area, the opportunities, and what else could be done going forward to provide business with even more support.” Mr Tanti added that “our work on energy will certainly not end here. MBB is keen to continue exploring opportunities which arise on this front, and to collaborate with any interested stakeholders.” He proceeded to thank the Energy and Water Agency and the Malta Chamber for their work as project partners, and the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business and the Regulator for Energy and Water Services as the project co-financiers.
The Investing in Energy Project is run by the Malta Business Bureau in partnership with The Energy and Water Agency and The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, with co-financing from the Regulator for Energy and Water Services and the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business.
For more information, please contact Investing in Energy Project Manager Geoffrey Saliba on firstname.lastname@example.org or 00356 7905 9501.