Malta: KPMG Climate Change And Sustainability Services

Last Updated: 12 July 2013
Article by Steve Stivala

Corporate Sustainability

Why does it matter?

Climate change and Sustainability issues are becoming increasingly important in today's corporate agenda. Major businesses are becoming more engaged in adopting essential initiatives to improve their business performance, reduce and manage costs, innovate, respond to stakeholder demands and gear up for regulatory changes. Specifically, businesses are concerned with mitigating climate change and sustainability risks, and in turn convert these risks into strategic opportunities. But, what does it mean to be sustainable?

A preliminary study conducted in 2011 by KPMG International in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit entitled "Corporate Sustainability: A progress report", defined corporate sustainability as "adopting business strategies that meet the needs of the organisation and its stakeholders today, without compromising the ability of the organisation to sustain the resources both human and natural that will be required in the future".

What are your challenges?

Corporations are nowadays moving away from the view of sustainability as part of regulatory compliance. Voluntary incorporation of this concept has become an integral part of corporate strategy and provides significant opportunities to achieve both short and long term growth. Pertinent challenges for local organisations amongst others may be:

  • Resource constraints As fossil fuel markets are becoming more volatile and unpredictable, increasing demand pressures and changes in the consumption of fossil fuels could potentially cause supply uncertainties and as result continue to increase energy costs. Climate change is putting further constraints on water quality and availability. If your business is heavily dependent on traditional energy and water resources, the increasing scarcity of these non-renewable natural resources may potentially become a threat to your organisation's long term profitability through higher marginal costs.
  • Regulatory requirements The EU Ecolabel and the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) are voluntary initiatives whereby organisations are encouraged to evaluate, report and most of all improve on their environmental performance through their production levels. Within the local context, the 'A Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands, 2007-2016', seeks to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns through the promotion of registration to the EU Ecolabel scheme and the EMAS. In view of this, increasing climate change and sustainability pressures are will continue to bring in a new whole influx of voluntary and regulatory requirements of various complexities.
  • Reputational challenges Organisations face the risk of damaging their reputation and brand image if it is perceived that management is failing to act in an appropriate manner in response to climate change and sustainability challenges. Stakeholders such as investors, consumers, policy makers, employees and the media give higher value to organisations which account for sustainability challenges in their long-term strategic agenda.

Embedding sustainability into your corporate strategy

Business is changing - The time is NOW – act now before it's too late.

Leading organisations are now re-shaping their future competitive and operational strategies to reflect climate change and sustainability challenges. Significant opportunities to achieve both short and long term added value are becoming more apparent. Organisations need to develop resilience and flexibility to mitigate risks stemming from climate change and sustainability related issues, and build the capacity to anticipate and adapt in various scenarios. Specifically, embedding the concept of sustainability into your organisational strategy will help you reap out potential benefits, including:

  • An improvement in your business performance through the identification of opportunities that reduce your dependency on traditional energy and water resources
  • Managing costs and achieving cost optimisation through a reduction in energy and water costs, leading to an improvement in your profitability and enhanced internal management
  • Enhance your internal management capability of proactively managing climate change and sustainability risks
  • Increase the level of preparedness for the current and prospective regulatory requirements in place applicable to your organisation and proactively managing the risks of future climate change regulation
  • Respond to stakeholder demand by strengthening your brand identity and brand image as consumers and investors are more than ever being encouraged to make informed choices and signal their preferences towards environmentally friendly products and services. This will enhance your brand image leading to competitive advantages.

How KPMG can assist you

  • Do you have a clear understanding of the risks that your organisation might face with regard to climate change and sustainability related issues?
  • Are you prioritising your issues accordingly?
  • Would you like to achieve resource and cost savings?
  • Are you aware of the challenges and regulatory risks your organisation might be facing in the short and medium-term scenario?
  • Interested in pushing your performance a step further and achieve competitive advantage?
  • Do you want to be innovative and be part of a better future?

At KPMG, we understand change. We understand the impact that climate change and sustainability changes might have on your organisation. As trusted advisers to our clients, we are constantly refining our knowledge of emerging issues, best practices, and developing trends. We have the expertise that would help you understand how diverse regulatory and policy changing scenarios might affect your business.

Our professionals assist organisations in their pursuit of growth, performance and governance agenda. This involves improving organisational performance, identifying responses and solutions to regulatory changes and organisational processes.

We assist clients in various ways, by carrying out the preliminary risks assessments, developing sustainability strategies and throughout the implementation and monitoring stages.

KPMG may be vital in assisting your organisation with addressing climate change and sustainability challenges by:

  • Assessing organisational risks relating to climate change and sustainability in order to plan and manage costs in a cost-efficient manner and achieve cost optimisation in your organisation.
  • Helping you develop a clear understanding of the complex and ever-changing voluntary and regulatory framework and ways how you can be compliant with initiatives such as the Ecolabel and EMAS schemes.
  • Formulation of sustainable strategy tailored to your business needs by drawing from international best practices.
  • Improving business processes to lessen the environmental impact of your activities to the least possible and thereby avoiding the risk of litigations.
  • Providing assistance in enhancing your brand identity and brand image to gain competitive advantage and respond to stakeholder demand through sustainability reporting.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Steve Stivala
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