On the 1 December, 2021, the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development and Malta Enterprise announced the launch of Malta’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) portal, through which the general public will have access to, and be able to evaluate, the ESG credentials of selected companies partaking in this initiative. Camilleri Preziosi’s Sustainable Finance team was represented at the recently organised ‘ESG Reporting and the Future of Maltese Enterprises’ conference.
As investors are increasingly discerning in their investment choices, attributing unprecedented levels of importance to sustainability factors when making investment decisions, this innovative platform represents a significant contribution in the drive towards sustainable investments. The ESG data portal is designed to demonstrate how participating entities are performing in respect of key sustainability metrics including the prospect of decarbonising their business models and, in turn, enabling investors to incorporate these credentials into their investment decisions by facilitating their access to transparent, tangible and comparable ESG data.
The ESG portal serves as a holistic tool kit, enabling investors to identify and evaluate, in particular:
(i) the environmental impact of companies, by measuring the company’s carbon footprint, water consumption, waste generation, and sustainable use of water;
(ii) the social impact of companies, by measuring, inter alia, full-time employment rate, different ability employment rate, gender representation on boards and in the workforce, and gender pay gaps; and
(iii) the governance structure of companies, primarily by quantifying the size of boards, the number of independent directors appointed, board meeting attendance and the average age of directors.
This initiative comes at a time when demands on sustainability reporting are increasingly pertinent. On 21 April, 2021, the EU Commission published its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which builds on the existing non-financial reporting requirements introduced by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), with the aim of bringing non-financial reporting on a par with financial reporting. The CSRD imposes more detailed reporting requirements on large companies as well as companies listed on an EU regulated market and envisages the adoption of mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards. Companies falling within scope will likely need to start reporting in line with the new sustainability reporting standards in 2024, covering the financial year beginning on or after 1 January, 2023. The ESG portal will encourage companies to disclose information on the way they operate and manage ESG challenges ahead of the implementation of the CSRD.
Every stakeholder in the corporate reporting ecosystem, whether company, investor, or policy maker – has a critical role to play in the transition to a sustainable economy. Collaborative engagement will be crucial in making meaningful progress.
The ESG portal may be accessed via the following link: https://sustainabledevelopment.gov.mt/esg/.
Should you require any assistance in this regard please contact Malcolm Falzon (email@example.com), Maxine Gauci (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Louisa Firman (email@example.com).