With transitions of governments towards more carbon-neutral and green energy and trading, this automatically pushes businesses into following close behind.
Businesses have already faced growing pressure from the public in recent years to become more environmentally friendly – and it has pushed several to be more climate conscious through changes in business strategy and attitude.
Yet, the continued transitions towards environmentally friendly business will doubtlessly keep businesses seeking to remain as green as they can – both for ethical and financial reasons. As renewable energy grows in prominence, investing in fossil fuel-related businesses will become less profitable – especially in the long term.
At a local level, Malta still has a long way to go in terms of electric cars specifically. In an interview with Times of Malta, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, Miriam Dalli, has stated that this area is where Malta has a lot of work to do still – yet proper planning will help reduce emissions from transport.
“Our plan is to invest more there. We need to make sure we have more [Electric Vehicles] on our roads, with the full understanding that the price today is more expensive than vehicles with an internal combustion engine.” Dalli explained, further stating that “We need to have more charging infrastructure because this will help the uptake of cleaner vehicles.”
Other efforts to help cut emissions around Malta from a business perspective have come in the form of the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project which is expected to be completed in 2023 and will turn Malta’s Grand Harbour into a far greener area. Further plans and preparations to implement similar projects at the Malta Freeport are also underway.
Malta’s recent ban on single-use plastic imports (such as plastic bags, cutlery, straws and stirrers) also leads the way towards encouraging businesses to change their attitude when it comes to utilising plastic packaging especially for businesses such as restaurants and shops.
It should also be noted that Malta has already started to recognise the importance of green investment – introducing subsidies and other financial initiatives to further encourage a more eco-friendly business attitude.
Through actions such as this, and also with continued public pressure and awareness on this topic, business will definitely be more inclined to swap towards more eco-friendly packaging. This is especially so when online shopping and takeaways have skyrocketed in use over the pandemic especially.
Throughout the pandemic, we have also already seen the start of what business and trading may look like in the future.
Tesla’s stocks have skyrocketed to the point of becoming the most valuable car company in the world. Whilst oil and gas company ExxonMobil – once the world’s most valuable company of any kind – fell in share price drastically.
Yet, it is not just Tesla who have been making strides. Shanghai-based electric carmakers NIO have also grown exponentially in 2020 and look to keep on rapidly growing in 2021.
Whilst they continue to create revolutionary electric cars, they have also announced that they shall also focus their efforts on creating accessible and extensive infrastructure for electric cars across China to compete with Tesla – and make it far more worth for the public to buy electric cars as well.
Looking ahead to 2021, every action taken by businesses and people alike will have immense effect in the long-term. Over the past few years, we have seen several businesses shift towards eco-friendly practises. Whilst we have also seen many start-up companies rise into a new market of eco-friendly businesses.
Continued public awareness and support for companies to be held accountable towards their carbon footprints will be critical in ensuring that businesses stick to their commitments of being environmentally friendly.
It will also encourage businesses to further research and develop environmentally friendly and sustainable business practises that encourage businesses to call themselves eco-friendly and flourish – instead of feeling that going eco-friendly also means profit loss.
What businesses do you feel need to be more eco-friendly? Let us know!