On 23rd June 2022, a joint training and observatory was held as part of the LEAP4SME project. The aim of the event was to discuss the benefits of energy audits, energy efficiency measures as well as the current policies and schemes in place. Various SMEs and stakeholder representatives were present for this event including representatives from the Malta Chamber of SMEs, Gozo Business Chamber, Family Business Office, and Malta Enterprise.
During the training, presentations were given on the LEAP4SME project results, the energy auditing process as well as the available schemes that SMEs may apply for. The observatory then provided participants with the opportunity to discuss different aspects of energy and water auditing and the barriers encountered when undertaking energy audits and implementing energy efficiency measures.
From the discussions held it resulted that energy and water management ranks highly within the priorities of SMEs and it is considered to be an important contributor to the long-term growth of their business. Moreover, SMEs are willing to invest in measures requiring low capital investment or measures with a Return of Investment (ROI) less than three (3) years. The role and importance of government support to assist SMEs in their efforts to become more sustainable in their operations and product development was also highlighted .
Participants emphasized that implementing the set of recommended cost‑effective measures on the other hand brings with it a set of challenges, with time and planning being the most prominent in view of the fact that these may affect the cashflow of the enterprise. Most participants agreed that dialogue amongst the employees of an enterprise is crucial in order to fully implement the enterprises’ sustainability philosophy. During the LEAP4SME conference, two companies shared their experience with energy efficiency within their operations. Mr. Luke Satariano, CEO of MCL Components Ltd. spoke about the company’s pathway to become carbon neutral which in return is giving them the competitive edge above other manufacturers. Portughes Dry Cleaning Director, Mr. Ian Attard Portughes talked about the company moving to more energy efficient operations and reducing waste to gain business stability. The Agency would like to thank Mr. Satariano and Mr. Attard Portughes for participating in the conference and sharing their company’s experience