Malta

malta

Malta ranks 25th in the 2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard with a composite index of 64 relative to the EU-average index of 100. The country slightly exceeds the EU-28 average in terms of resource efficiency outcomes (with an index of 104), but lags behind in eco-innovation inputs, activities and outputs and socio-economic outcomes.

The development of eco-innovation is hindered by a mix of natural constraints and structural challenges, including the country’s small size and insularity, limited potential to develop renewable energy sources, a weak human resources base in science and technologies, limited capacity and readiness for research and innovation on behalf of local firms, and relatively low levels of investment in R&D.

Nevertheless, several recent policy initiatives – most notably, a new National Research and Innovation Strategy to 2020 – reflect the Government’s commitment to improve Malta’s innovation environment and R&D potential. Policy initiatives specifically related to eco-innovation and the circular economy include a Green Economy Strategy and Action Plan, a National Electromobility Action Plan, and a new Waste Management Plan. Areas that have benefitted from eco-innovation solutions in the past two years include water management (in particular, efforts to address water scarcity) and energy efficiency

 

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Malta

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Green Hotels

Malta_GPE_GreenHotelThe ECO certification scheme was launched in 2002 seeking to improve the environmental performance of hotels in the Maltese Islands. Within the scheme, there are several focus areas including energy efficiency, reducing water consumption, waste management and green procurement. The scheme also aims to increase environmental awareness amongst employees as well as hotel guests.

The ECO certification criteria are composed of 38 compulsory criteria and 62 non-compulsory criteria. In order to obtain ECO certification, hotels must satisfy all the compulsory criteria as well as 65% of the total criteria.

Once hotels send the application to Malta Tourism Authority, an audit by an independent environmental auditor will be done. An Eco certification audit whereby auditors assess the scheme criteria in detail and later present their preliminary findings to the ECO coordinator will furnish an overview of hotel operations in terms of environmental performance. Any deficiencies will be recorded in the audit report and an action plan to address these areas, inclusive of time-frames, will be suggested by the auditors. The hotel will need to agree to this action plan.

Once the hotel implements the action plan, a shorter second audit may need to take place for verification purposes. This is conducted at no extra cost to the hotel. The scheme criteria will require the creation of a sustainability policy, setting environmental goals, appointing an ECO coordinator, attending training seminars, informing guests about the hotel’s environmental management programme, etc. Hotels therefore gain from technical support on environmental issues, including through the annual seminars organised by the Malta Tourism Authority.

Sustainability

The Malta Tourism Authority’s ECO certification scheme has succeeded in encouraging hotels to deliver a better product. The latest information available shows that approximately 12% of hotels on the Maltese Islands are Eco-certified. This is translated to almost 30% of hotel rooms. Among the benefits that the ECO certification, lower energy consumption, lower water consumption, waste reduction as well as the reduction of operational costs are found.

A Research conducted by the Malta Tourism Authority (2009) shows that 68% of tourists surveyed expressed high levels of interest in environmental issues, while 57% would be willing to pay an average of 8% more for their hotel accommodation. This gives a competitive advantage to certified hotels which can also benefit from increased customer satisfaction given an increase awareness of traveller on environmental issues. Although environmental concerns still have little effect on the choice of tourist accommodation, it is likely that proportion of ‘green’ hotel customers will increase in the coming years.

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Malta

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