Bank of Valletta has this year renewed its commitment towards Earth Hour by symbolically switching off the lights on the facades of some of its important buildings, including its BOV Centre and Premier Centre in Santa Venera as well as the premises in Zachary Street, Valletta.
As announced by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the organiser of this worldwide movement, increasing knowledge and driving awareness is critical. Since its inception in 2007, the ‘lights off’ movement has worked to raise awareness about climate change and nature distress. The world is currently on the way to breaching the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit by 2030 set by the Paris Climate Agreement. The next seven years are critical to ensure that we remain under the climate threshold and avoid irreversible damage to our planet.
Speaking about the Bank’s role in this event, Ernest Agius, Chief Operations Officer explained that over the years the Bank has consistently featured the environment as one of its key stakeholders. This became even more of a priority once Bank of Valletta committed itself to ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) principles. “Beyond the symbolic gesture of switching off the lights across our premises, the Bank has been undertaking a series of green investments, such as the installation of over 500 PV panels across our different sites, double glazing windows offices, and the replacement of air condition units with more efficient ones that produce less harmful refrigerants.”
He went on to say that the extensive refurbishment exercise being undertaken across the Bank’s retail network is also targeting greater energy efficiency, using all-natural, fast-renewing materials and reducing paper usage. “This concept has also driven our ongoing works at BOV Centre, redesigning the working environment of our Head Office into open-plan designs that allow more natural light and fresh air. The Bank also has two large water reservoirs with a combined estimated capacity of 600,000 litres. This second-class water is used for toilet flushing bowls and firefighting water tower.
Ongoing efforts are also made throughout the year to encourage employees to increase their commitment towards the environment, encouraging waste separation and providing regular tips about how one can support the environment.