For another year, Bank of Valletta has renewed its commitment towards Earth Hour by symbolically switching off the lights on the facades of some of its main premises, including its BOV Centre and Premium Banking Centre in Santa Venera, Zachary Street Offices in Valletta, as well as the Chairman’s Office situated at the House of Four Winds, also in Valletta.

For the 18th consecutive year, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the organiser of this worldwide movement, issued an invitation for participation in the ‘lights off’ movement to raise awareness on climate change and nature distress. During last year’s event, around 410,000 hours were given back to the planet across 190 countries. This year’s even was even bigger with 1.4 million hours given back = to earth.  

Speaking about the BOV’s role in this event, Ernest Agius, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Bank of Valletta explained that “Earth Hour is an opportunity to create greater collective consciousness about the importance of safeguarding our environment. At Bank of Valletta, our commitment goes deeper than the symbolic gesture.”

In fact, he states that BOV considers the green stakeholder to be key for both its CSR programme and its commitment to the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. “We have continued to undertake a series of environmental initiatives aimed at protecting our environment, while spurring the local business community to act in a responsible manner”.

In this respect, he mentioned the Bank’s 500+ PV panels across different sites, double glazing windows offices, and the replacement of air condition units with more efficient ones that produce less harmful refrigerants.

The refurbishment programme, currently underway across the Bank’s branches and other offices, is harnessing the concept of environment-first. All-natural and fast-renewing materials are being used, together with LED lighting and recyclable flooring material.

“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,” explained Mr Agius.

The amount of rainwater that is typically harvested by the rainwater harvesting system as well as condensation from air-conditioning units at BOV Centre is over 4,000 cubic metres a year.

In addition, batteries are currently being collected for Hospice under the GreenPak campaign.

Given the permanent nature of the material, metal requires less intervention for it to be recycled as it keeps its material properties. An estimated 15,000kg of metal has been sent for recycling and reuse by the bank.

Continuous efforts are also made throughout the year to raise awareness among employees to increase their commitment towards the environment, encouraging waste separation and providing regular educational tips about how one can take care of the environment in the long-term by making small adjustments to one’s lifestyle.

“Cumulative small steps lead to bigger and more meaningful actions. For us, this is the spirit of Earth Hour, which we try to live on both an operational and strategic level,” concluded COO Ernest Agius.

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