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National Action Plan for

Corporate Social

Responsibility in Malta

January 2020


Proposed Structure of the National Action Plan

1. What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

2. Aims and Role of the National Action Plan for CSR for Malta

3. The Global and European context on CSR: International standards and European

directives

4. The current state of play of CSR in Malta:

Results of fieldwork conducted by CORE Platform

5. Guidelines to support effective CSR practices by businesses

6. Framework measures to support the implementation of the National Action Plan


What is CSR?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the

responsibility of enterprises for their impacts

on their stakeholders, the public and the

environment.

CSR is a self-regulating business philosophy,

that integrates social, environmental, ethical,

consumer and human rights concerns in the

day-to-day business decisions and operations.

Effective CSR approaches should seek to be

embedded internally at the workplace and

marketplace by engaging employees, clients

and suppliers, and then extended to the wider

community, market and environment.

This is in line with the definitions provided by the European Commission

(COM/681, 2011), United Nations Industrial Development Organization

(UNIDO website, 2019)

Compliance

with legal

requirements

Alignment with

internationally

recognised

principles

Market

Development

Employee

Engagement

Core

Business

Values

Clients and

supliers

Climate and

Environment

Fair Operating

Practices

Local

Community

Organisational

Governance


Aims and Role of the

National Action Plan

for CSR


Aims of the National Action Plan

The National Plan aims to support businesses in Malta to foster a culture of

responsible corporate practices within both the workplace and the marketplace,

create sustainable and fair relationships with employees, clients and suppliers,

embrace diversity, build positive relationships with the community and take due

consideration of their impact on the environment.

These aims are expected to be met by:

1. Building awareness amongst businesses, employers and employees on CSR and

on the benefits of fostering responsible business practices

2. Providing guidelines and supporting resources to develop effective CSR

practices

3. Aligning the goals of this Action Plan to the national objectives and to the United

Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)


The Importance of CSR in the National Context

Whilst there is a growing awareness of the demand for responsible corporate behaviour

amongst businesses in Malta, research has shown that one in three businesses are not aware of

the term CSR (MISCO, 2018).

Businesses in Malta are already carrying out

activities which could be construed as CSR

initiatives, mainly through charity work. However

there is a lack of understanding that strategic

implementation of CSR within a company leads

to enhanced business operations and gains in

competitive advantage.


Through active participation in CSR by businesses, the community benefits from such

practices whilst businesses gain recognition and respect of the community, which helps them

build the business brand and their reputation.

All businesses, being large or small, have an impact on both society and the environment in

which they operate, albeit in different ways. There is therefore no one-size-fits-all solution to

CSR approaches.


The Global and

European Context for

the Malta’s National

CSR Action Plan


EU Policy and International Standards

CSR in businesses can significantly contribute to the European Union’s policy objectives

on sustainable development and competitive social market economy.

To this effect, the European Commission promotes and supports CSR through its EU

strategy for CSR (2011-2014) and invited every Member State to develop national action

plans to promote CSR.

To date, Malta is one of the few remaining Member States that have not yet implemented

a National Action Plan.

The Commission further promotes better aligning of national plans and CSR approaches

to internationally recognised guidelines and principles.


EU Policy and International Standards

Enterprises, particularly the larger ones, are encouraged to benchmark their activities to key

internationally recognised CSR guidelines and principles:

- Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial reporting

- United Nations global compact

- United Nations guiding principles on business and

human rights

- United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable

development

- ISO 26000 guidance standard on social responsibility

- OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises

- OECD due diligence guidance for responsible business

conduct

- Tri-Partite declaration of principles on multinational

enterprises and social policy by the International

Labour Organization


CSR in Malta: The

Current State of Play


Awareness of CSR amongst Local Businesses

CORE Platform commissioned a survey among businesses in Malta to assess the current state of

CSR initiatives and the demand for a national action plan, including:

o the extent of awareness of the CSR concept

o the CSR initiatives actually in place

o obstacles faced by businesses in implementing CSR

o the needs which could potentially be addressed by a national guideline on CSR.

Awareness is not sufficiently widespread, but there is a demand by business to undertake CSR

initiatives, expressed primarily in actions to promote employee well-being, address

environmental concerns and play a positive role in the community.

The main challenges indicated to more effective CSR engagement is the lack of information

regarding the effects of individual business actions, which also reflects the absence of a cohesive

CSR framework.


Just over half of businesses were not aware of the

full concept of Corporate Social Responsibility

Awareness of CSR concept

52%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q114. Before hearing this definition of CSR, were you aware that the concept of CSR goes beyond charity, sponsorships and other

similar initiatives?


Only one third of businesses in the sample by

MISCO International Ltd. have an internal policy

that addresses CSR

CSR Policy

31%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q115b. Do you have a policy or philosophy relating to or specifically addressing CSR in your company?


The vast majority of businesses look after their

employees by ensuring their well-being

Providing comfortable working conditions

Protecting labour rights

Allowing employees to work flexi hours

Creating safe and secure working environments

Ongoing training

Decent minimum wage policy for employees

Sending employees to workshops, conferences, etc.

Health insurance

Allowing employees to work from home

Quotas (e.g. women in senior positions)

Reducing discrepancies between wages

Food/ meal vouchers

None: 3%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q108. What actions, if any, is your company undertaking to ensure the well-being of its employees?

80%

79%

77%

76%

74%

73%

63%

50%

43%

41%

31%

23%


Most businesses are becoming increasingly aware of

their effect on the environment

Recycling/ Reusing

Turning off unused office equipment

Water fountains

Occupancy/ daylight sensors and local light

switches

Innovation of eco-friendly technology and practices

Reducing packaging/ plastic products

Good insulation systems

Renewable energy/ efficient systems e.g. PV panels

Eco-friendly infrastructures and offices

Reverse Osmosis

Reducing food and solid waste

None: 1%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q106. What actions, if any, is your company undertaking to protect the environment in its business operations?

90%

69%

58%

49%

35%

25%

22%

22%

21%

20%

19%


Nonetheless, when it comes to our local community,

nearly half do not do anything

Collaborations to promote sustainable growth

Balancing community needs and company interests

Supporting organisations that work to protect the

environment

None

31%

26%

25%

44%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q109. Does your organisation do anything within the local community?


Over half of business efforts are conducted out of a genuine

concern

Genuine concern

Brand reputation and publicity

Cost savings

Employee engagement

Social responsibility

66%

19%

8%

8%

7%

Keeping up with competition

6%

None

10%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q112. Why does your organisation implement CSR initiatives?


Nevertheless, a CSR framework does not come without its

challenges

47%

23% 18% 13%

Lack of time Lack of resources Lack of funds Lack of interest

None: 26%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q113b. What obstacles do you face in implementing a CSR business strategy?


Over 80% of the sample believe that a National

Action Plan is required

National Action Plan

85%

Base: All respondents (200)

Q116b. Do you believe that a National Action Plan in the form of a framework, to which businesses all over the country can

adhere to and follow would be useful for your organisation?


A Focus on CSR Practices in Large Businesses

The current state of play of CSR in large businesses in Malta was further assessed through a structured interview approach.

Identified good practices:

o Setting up of foundations to undertake CSR initiatives

o Dedicated funds for CSR actions

o Developed structures with CSR managers and Committees dedicated to CSR programmes.

Such practices are not sufficiently widespread, with many large business undertaking CSR without proper structures in place,

and delegating the function to unrelated departments.

Large companies generally follow the practice of first prioritising internal CSR actions prior to engaging in external activities.

Amongst the challenges encountered by businesses, the following are the most common:

o Attracting other businesses and participants in joint actions necessary to achieve critical mass for effectiveness

o Lack of knowledge on the setting of priorities and in implementation

o Insufficient support by other actors including authorities.

◦ Various businesses highlight the need for a National Plan and guidelines that would help them align their CSR programmes with

national priorities.


CSR in Large Businesses: Some Examples of Initiatives

Leave bank between employees

Team building and social activities for employees

Volunteering work

Supporting projects of NGOs

Development and implementation of projects related to:

o Children and education, including mobile applications helping with literacy challenges

o Mental health and well-being, including online portal providing counselling services

o Environment protection and resource conservation programmes, through clean-ups, water conservation training courses and

awareness campaigns

o Creation of green spaces and tree planting initiatives

o Embellishment initiatives and projects to protect Malta’s heritage

Organising events, such as conferences and thematic talks on subject of national relevance and awards ceremonies

Participating in events like CSR days

Apprenticeships and mentoring to youths through collaborations with education institutes


Guidelines to Support

the Development of

Effective CSR

Practices by Businesses


Guidelines for the Development of

Effective CSR Practices

This Action plan develops guidelines to support businesses in the effective development of their

CSR programmes, by providing examples of CSR activities. These examples are not intended to

serve as an exhaustive list of all of Malta’s needs but rather to provide guidance on how CSR can be

embedded within the business decisions and day-to-day activities.

◦ This tool uses the UN SDGs as a framework for objectives to formulate CSR approaches to ensure

that businesses operate within an inclusive and fair society and a prosperous economy, mitigate

climate change and its impacts, and protect the environment.

◦ Under each one of the 17 SDGs, examples of CSR practices are provided to identify desired

outcomes that can be achieved through initiatives undertaken by businesses, and the impacts

expected to arise from them.

◦ These activities target four main dimensions of CSR: the workplace dimension to engage with the

needs of employees, the marketplace dimension to address the company’s interactions with

clients and suppliers, and the environment and community dimensions to enhance its wider

impacts.


Guidelines for the

Development of

Effective CSR

Practices:

Thought Process

1

Priority Area

Identify the SDG

that the enterprise

wants to focus on

3

Initiatives

Develop initiatives

that enable the

enterprise to meet

expected impacts.

Commit by setting

timelines and

targets.

2

Desired Outcome

Define the

outcomes that the

enterprise wants to

achieve by the

initiative


Guidelines Aligned with the UN SDGs


Sustainable

Development

Goal

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

1. No Poverty 1 Workplace

Support employees that are

facing financial challenges

Creation of an employee

crisis fund and vocational

leave bank

Reduced poverty through

resource availability

1. No Poverty 2 Workplace

Support employees with

retirement planning

Contribution towards

employees’ private pension

funds

Improved quality of life after

retirement

1. No Poverty 3 Community

Improve outcomes for

children with disadvantaged

background

Educational visits to

encourage aspirational

thinking

Greater participation by

children in career-oriented

educational activities

1. No Poverty 4 Community

Better time and money

management for low income

families

Demonstration activities and

donations in kind

Reduced poverty through

better decision-making

2. Zero Hunger 5 Marketplace

Better redistribution of food

resources in an equitable

manner

Discounted prices and

donations of food products

Increase affordability of food


Sustainable

Development

Goal

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

6 Workplace

7 Workplace

Provide supportive and

stigma-free environment for

employees with mental

health issues

Increase employees'

satisfaction and engagement

in decision-making

Flexible working time

arrangements allowing

employees with mental

challenges to receive the

necessary treatment

Deployment of an employee

suggestion programme

Increased satisfaction and

lower absenteeism

Improved relationships

between managers and

employees

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

8 Marketplace

Reduce pressures on

suppliers that may result

from lack of cash flows

Implement fair and

reasonable prompt payment

terms with suppliers

Improved relationships with

suppliers

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

9 Community

Improve mental well-being

of people in local businesses

and community

Creation of urban green

spaces to be enjoyed by all

Increased spaces for

recreation, physical activity

and social interaction

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

10 Community

Support mental health care

services

Provide financial support or

voluntary work for the

development of metal health

platforms

Reduce stigma of mental

health issues


Sustainable

Development

Goal

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

11 Workplace

Foster a culture of healthy

lifestyles

Subsidise healthy food

options and gym

memberships

Reduced obesity in Malta

and the related health risks

3. Good Health

and Well-Being

12 Marketplace

Supply safe food for

everyone

Improve labelling and

provide training on food

allergies and intolerances

Reduced risks of adverse

reactions from food allergens

4. Quality

Education

13 Workplace Encourage life-long learning

Provide learning

opportunities for all

employees

Development of competence

and skills in the workplace

4. Quality

Education

14 Community

Improve basic DIY skills in

households

Educational courses for the

local community

Development of moneysaving

skills in households

4. Quality

Education

15 Community

Encourage good reading

habits in children

Organise/sponsor booktheme

events in

collaboration with other

organisations

Improve children's academic

prospects


Sustainable

Development

Goal

5. Gender

Equality

5. Gender

Equality

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

16 Workplace

17 Marketplace

Better sharing of family life

duties between parents and

carers

Facilitate activities of

parents in early childhood

Encourage the uptake of

flexible working time

arrangements by both

mothers and fathers

Make baby-changing

facilities more accessible to

all genders

Reduced gender-gap pay

Reduced stigma associated

with the involvement of

fathers in family life

5. Gender

Equality

18 Workplace

Encourage the participation

of all genders in genderstereotype

careers

Avoid gender-specific

language in job vacancy

adverts

Improved business

performance through genderdiverse

team

5. Gender

Equality

19 Community

Reduce barriers for women

to reach senior leadership

positions

Provide training to enhance

the leadership skills of

women

Enhance career prospects for

women

6. Clean Water

and Sanitation

20

Workplace /

Marketplace

Encourage adequate hygiene

and safety practices

Install proper signage in

sanitary facilities and food

preparation areas

Reduced health risks from

the spread of disease


Sustainable

Development

Goal

7. Affordable

and Clean

Energy

7. Affordable

and Clean

Energy

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

21 Workplace Reduce energy consumption

22 Environment Improve air quality

Install energy-efficient

systems such as buildingenvelope

insulation and

intelligent lighting systems

Provide shared transport for

employees and clients

Reduce the firm's energy

intensity energy and

operating costs

Provision of sustainable

modes of transport

8. Decent Work

and Economic

Growth

23 Workplace

Provide decent working

conditions beyond legal

compliance

Provide wages that reflect

the cost of living of families

Increased employees'

satisfaction and retention

8. Decent Work

and Economic

Growth

24 Workplace

Ensure that CSR is well

incorporated within the core

business

Appoint a dedicated CSR

manager/team to manage the

CSR programme

Enhanced business

operations

8. Decent Work

and Economic

Growth

25 Community

Assist start-ups and micro

enterprises with business

growth

Provide mentoring through

pro bono work

Build new relationships with

emerging entrepreneurs


Sustainable

Development

Goal

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

8. Decent Work

and Economic

Growth

26 Community

Support CSR initiatives

organised by other

organisations/enterprises

Provide grants or nonfinancial

support

Increase awareness of the

need for CSR across the

business community

8. Decent Work

and Economic

Growth

27 Community

Bridging the skills gap in the

future workforce

Provide education and

training in technological

innovation

Future-proofing our

economy

9. Industry,

Innovation and

Infrastructure

28 Marketplace

Enable recovery and reuse of

material between sectors

Exploit market opportunities

to release value from waste

streams

Added-value in the supply

chain through recovery and

reuse of material

9. Industry,

Innovation and

Infrastructure

29 Environment

Reduce waste in the

construction industry

Adoption of waste reduction

practices and use of recycled

material

Reduced impact of the

construction industry on the

environment

9. Industry,

Innovation and

Infrastructure

30 Environment

Reduce pollution emanating

from the construction

industry

Invest in machinery and

adopt methods that reduce

air and noise pollution

Reduced impact of the

construction industry on the

environment and community


Sustainable

Development

Goal

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

9. Industry,

Innovation and

Infrastructure

31 Community

Support research and

innovation

Provide grants and resources

to research institutes for

research and innovation

Contribute towards the

economic and competitive

development of the country

10. Reduced

Inequalities

32 Workplace

Develop a sense of

workplace community

Encourage teamwork among

the different company levels,

show gratitude towards

employees and celebrate

achievements

Increased satisfaction and

retention of employees at all

the company's levels

10. Reduced

Inequalities

33 Community

Reduce absenteeism in

schools

Sponsor/organise learning

activities for children to reengage

them into the

academic system

To improve outcomes for

children with disadvantaged

background

11. Sustainable

Cities and

Communities

34 Workplace

Support sustainable modes

of transport

Provide facilities that

encourage sustainable modes

Reduced negative impacts of

of transport (examples are

transportation

bicycle racks and shower

facilities)


Sustainable

Development

Goal

11. Sustainable

Cities and

Communities

11. Sustainable

Cities and

Communities

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

35 Marketplace

36 Community

Increase accessibility to

public spaces beyond legal

requirement

Support social inclusion of

the elderly and people with

disabilities within the

community

Improved spatial

configuration, elevator sizing

allowing for wheelchair

manoeuvring and parking

spaces for carers with young

children

Provide shared transport

facilities for the local

community to access central

locations

Increased quality of life and

improved social integration

for all

Increased independence by

providing access to day-today

services

12. Responsible

Consumption

and Production

37 Marketplace

Reduce packaging waste in

food stores

Provide incentives to

encourage the use of own

containers and sale of food

by weight

Reduce pressures on the

environment through lower

waste generation

12. Responsible

Consumption

and Production

38 Marketplace

Commit to a responsible

supply chain management

Procure work and supplies

from environmentally

friendly and ethical sources

Improved collaborations

with suppliers and product

quality


Sustainable

Development

Goal

13. Climate

Action

13. Climate

Action

13. Climate

Action

14. Life below

Water

14. Life below

Water

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

39 Environment

Reduce the firm's impacts on

climate and the environment

40 Environment Better use of water resources

41 Community

42 Community

43 Marketplace

Increase awareness on

energy conservation

Raise awareness of the

marine environment threats

and conservation efforts

Reduce degradation of

coastal and marine areas

Measure the carbon footprint

of the firm's activities and set

targets for carbon reduction

Invest in water storage

facilities for

irrigation/landscaping

purposes

Support public awareness

campaigns on energy saving

Organise public awareness

events through collaboration

with NGOs and local

businesses

Provide alternatives to

single-use plastics to reduce

marine litter

Contribute towards the

national climate and energy

targets

Reduce water waste, whilst

lowering operating costs

Mitigate climate change

effects and contribute

towards national energy

targets

Increased protection of the

marine life and ecosystems

Increased awareness of

marine litter


Sustainable

Development

Goal

14. Life below

Water

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

44 Environment Reduce marine pollution

Organise coastal and sea

clean-ups in collaboration

with NGOs and local

businesses

Increased awareness of

marine litter

15. Life on

Land

45 Marketplace

Support local agricultural

produce

Use in-store signage to

promote local products

Combat land desertification

15. Life on

Land

46 Environment

Improve biodiversity in the

natural environment

Implement tree planting

initiatives

Increase the environmental

value of wooded areas

16. Peace,

Justice and

Strong

Institutions

16. Peace,

Justice and

Strong

Institutions

47 Workplace

Create an inclusive

workplace environment

48 Marketplace Promote national heritage

Organise interactive events

to celebrate the cultural

diversity of team members

Organise corporate events at

historical sites

Enrich the cultural dynamics

of the team

Contribute towards the

conservation of national

heritage


Sustainable

Development

Goal

16. Peace,

Justice and

Strong

Institutions

Examples Dimension Desired Outcome Proposed Initiative Expected Impact

49 Community

Promote cultural integration

within the local community

Organise multicultural

events to promote cultural

diversity with food, music

and art

Enhance the performance of

local multi-cultural

businesses

17.

Partnerships for

the Goals

50 Marketplace

Increase the effectiveness of

CSR initiatives

Develop partnerships with

other companies to

collaborate on CSR projects

Strengthen relationships with

other entrepreneurs and

organisations

17.

Partnerships for

the Goals

51 Marketplace

Build networks with other

companies at the national

and international levels

Create opportunities for

knowledge transfer and

sharing of best practices

Increased business capacity

17.

Partnerships for

the Goals

52 Community

Collaborate with voluntary

sectors and local councils

Develop effective

communication channels

enabling collaborations in

project ideas

Better address the national

and local priorities


Framework Measures

to Support the

Implementation of the

National Action Plan


Measures to Support the Implementation

of the Action Plan

The Government plays an important role in serving as a facilitator of CSR by encouraging

businesses, through its national policy and programmes, to adopt CSR practices within their

operations.

Whilst CSR activity is primarily industry-driven, measures to be implemented by the

Government are aimed to support the adoption of socially responsible practices by

businesses.

In this regard, local councils are important stakeholders in communities as they have good

understanding of the local concerns and priority areas, whilst being able to build effective

relationships with the business community and with Non-Governmental and Voluntary

Organisations in the locality.


Measures to Support the Implementation

of the Action Plan

Implementing Body:

1. Set up an implementing body for the measures in this Action Plan, which is to develop a

programme to drive and support the Plan.

Communication:

2. Identify existing and emerging Government policy relevant to CSR to examine ways in

which such policies can be supported by businesses through their CSR activities.

3. Communicate the National Plan with businesses and employers representative bodies to

encourage and support their members to develop CSR initiatives.

4. Raise awareness of CSR and its benefits through the relevant Government departments and

through businesses and employers representative bodies.


Measures to Support the Implementation

of the Action Plan

Supporting and Promoting CSR:

5. Create supportive information material on CSR to be disseminated to businesses through business and

employers representative bodies.

6. Develop a platform for businesses to cooperate on CSR activities, in a manner which creates the necessary

critical mass for initiatives to have sustained impacts over the longer term:

◦ The platform would highlight the priority needs for the country and main areas of interest currently covered by CSR

activities

◦ It would identify gaps in CSR activities relative to national needs

◦ It would enable the measurement of achievement of CSR initiatives and highlight needs for corrective action over time.

7. Encourage the participation of large businesses in CSR practices and raise awareness of the value of

responsible corporate practices to attract and retain valuable talent towards the company as well as their

positive impact on the wider community.

8. Encourage and promote good governance practice in the reporting of CSR activities in the Annual Reports of

large businesses. Inform large businesses with over 500 employees on the obligations of the Non-Financial

Reporting Directive, and encourage them to align their CSR programmes with international guidelines and

principles.


Measures to Support the Implementation

of the Action Plan

Supporting and Promoting CSR:

9. In liaison with the relevant Ministries, organise an event for the official launch of the National

Action Plan.

10. Establish a programme to identify and reward CSR activity amongst enterprises, with awards being

presented in a variety of areas of CSR in a National CSR Awards Ceremony.

Mentorship:

11. Implement a Start-Up Mentoring Programme to support entrepreneurs in building profitable

ventures and to realise the benefits of social and environmental responsible business practices.

Monitoring:

12. Monitor evolving trends in the implementation of CSR in businesses and identify best practices

through relevant tools and studies.


Timeframe of Measures

Activity:

Starting 1 :

Official Launch of the National Action Plan Month 1

Duration

:

Setting-up the Implementing Body of the Action Plan Month 2 3 months

Identification of Government policy relevant to CSR Month 5 3 months

Communication of the Action Plan with business and employers’

representative bodies

Raising awareness of CSR with businesses through business and

employers’ representative bodies

Month 2

Month 5

3 months

Ongoing

Developing a platform enabling cooperation between businesses Month 2 Ongoing

Establishing a Start-up Mentoring Programme Month 7 6 months

Putting the mentoring programme into operation Month 14 Ongoing

National CSR Awards Event Month 6 Annual

Monitoring of CSR initiatives in businesses

Dependent on

launch of platform

1

This schedule starts to apply following the approval of the National Action Plan by the relevant Ministry(ies)

Ongoing


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