iGEN core team meet with Dr Miriam Dalli to discuss sustainability

Following the effective dialogue and co-operation between iGEN and the Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise around the World Cleanup Day event, we requested a meeting with the Ministry to build on this momentum. Our ambition is for iGEN and the MEEE to build a long-term working relationship to promote sustainability and diversity, each bringing our own unique experience and perspectives to a discussion around some key issues. 

We had a very positive meeting with Dr Miriam Dalli and her team at their offices in Valletta on 23rd January. This meeting was seen as a meet-and-greet to establish contact and set out a broad framework of issues we would like to bring up for discussion in future. We gave a brief presentation of iGEN and the iGaming industry in Malta, and the work we do with Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives, and then we had a discussion around a broad range of sustainability issues which have been identified as key for our industry. 

Participating were: 

  • Enrico Bradamante, Chairman and founder iGEN 
  • Glen Smith, Comms and CSR coordinator iGEN
  • Roderick Spiteri Schillig, Head of Communications, Betsson
  • Liesbeth Oost, Sustainability Manager, Aspire Global
  • Ivan Filletti, CEO, Gaming Malta
  • Minister Hon Miriam Dalli, MEEE
  • Andrea Bellia, Advisor, MEEE
  • Kristy Bartolo, Advisor, MEEE
  • Katrina Cuschieri, Advisor, MEEE

Key discussion points put forward by iGEN:

•Less focus on expensive construction projects creating new ‘green’ environments, instead give more protection for the natural environment, with more access for the public

•What is being planned to encourage companies in Malta to comply with EU’s CSRD directives to improve sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint

•More and better funded eco-rangers and EPU-police, with real powers to effectively prosecute breaches of regulations and illegal activity

•Single point for reporting all environmental issues, illegalities and regulation breaches – one app, one phone number, one email – with proper follow up

•More investment in waste infrastructure – more frequent emptying of public bins, more efficient handling of household refuse

•National awareness campaigns around sustainability and the social and economic cost of environment degradation 

•Highlight and reward responsible behaviour by individuals, groups and organisations

During a broad discussion it became clear that progress is already being made on some of the points which come under the Ministry’s direct remit, but the Ministry has perhaps not been successful in communicating progress and initiatives to the general public. We also touched on the recent effectivisation of national refuse collection schedules, the new BCRS bottle recycling system, urban community gardens, the experience of Majjistral Rangers in prosecuting wrongdoers, problems with the blocking of public access in rural areas, among other things.

Some of the other points on the list are not directly the responsibility of the Ministry, but the Minister could give factual accounts of what was being done by other departments and authorities, for instance around the EPU police and eco-rangers. 

There was interest from the Minister in learning more about iGEN members experiences around sustainability in other EU states. A direct consequence of this meeting was the agreement to initially prioritise our focus on two areas which can give us a good foundation for future co-operation: 

  1. A workshop around Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSRD) – which helps companies reduce their environmental footprint in a range of ways – where we can use our experience of its implementation in our different EU member countries to pave the way for a smooth transition in Malta. Liesbeth and Ivan to lead this.
  2. Explore how our two organisations can work together to raise awareness of serious environmental and sustainability issues towards the general public, perhaps in the form of national information campaigns. We agreed to initiate contact between iGEN’s comms team and the Ministries communications department. Glen to lead this.