Running a Green Strategy with Paul Grech, Senior Manager, Strategy and Investments

26 February 2024

GO Green

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What influences our strategy?

A well-crafted strategy is not subject to frequent changes; rather, its enduring quality lies in the comprehensive exploration of our purpose and the underlying reasons driving our actions. That is why we went through the whole process of finding what is our purpose and why we do what we do. This intrinsic understanding serves as a beacon, illuminating the path for every decision we make. Our commitment to fostering a digital Malta where inclusivity prevails is not merely an ambitious statement; it encapsulates our essence and steers us through strategic choices and investment focus.

The decision to invest in Fibre, for instance, was a manifestation of this overarching ambition. It exemplifies our dedication to advancing a digitally connected Malta, ensuring that no one is left behind. Our strategic decisions align with this purpose, guiding us toward investments that resonate with our commitment to a technologically inclusive future.

How does the environment affect our strategy?

In our commitment to environmental stewardship, we have embraced challenging goals, aspiring not only to be a significant player in Maltese society but also to sustain it for both the present and the future. This dedication necessitates that our strategy reflects the seriousness of these environmental commitments. Fortunately, our sustainability endeavours align seamlessly with our digital goals, creating a harmonious synergy.

A tangible illustration of this interconnected approach is evident in our investment in the fibre network. Beyond enhancing digital connectivity, this initiative contributes to our sustainability objectives by reducing the need for equipment and, consequently, the power required for the network. This technological leap allows us not only to advance as a sustainable entity but also to actively contribute to the realization of a digital Malta.

Clarity in our purpose is pivotal, especially in my role involving investments, as it guides us in determining the areas we are willing to explore. This strategic perspective plays a crucial role in making investment decisions that resonate with our dual commitment to sustainability and digital advancement.

Our actions at GO underscore our eco-friendly initiatives, with the adoption of the Fibre network being a noteworthy example. Furthermore, the upcoming Zejtun premises epitomize our dedication by incorporating solar panels for energy generation and electric car. These initiatives collectively reinforce our commitment to ensuring sustainability permeates every aspect of our company.

Are there any other clear examples of this strategy taking place?

A classic instance of our strategic alignment is evident in our acquisition of SENS, an IoT (Internet of Things) company specializing in energy consumption management. This investment seamlessly integrates with our broader strategy, presenting a perfect synergy for GO. The application of SENS is currently particularly prevalent in the hotel industry, where guests often leave lights and air-conditioning on in unoccupied rooms. SENS leverages motion detection technology to intelligently control lighting and adjust air-conditioning, ensuring a stable temperature and minimizing unnecessary energy wastage.

This strategic move makes sense when viewed within the context of our overarching goals. SENS not only contributes to our digital aspirations but also positions GO as a catalyst for Maltese businesses to compete on a global scale while upholding sustainability principles. Through SENS, hotels and companies can significantly reduce their energy consumption, a commitment that extends to GO itself as the upcoming Head Office prominently features SENS technology.

Our aim is to make SENS the industry standard, not just locally but also internationally, leveraging its presence in foreign countries. The clarity of our purpose guides decision-making, providing a solid foundation for both investment and strategic considerations. This comprehensive understanding allows me to approach decisions with confidence, knowing that they align with our purpose and contribute to our multifaceted objectives.

How has the sustainable aspect come into focus over the last few years?

The Increasing awareness of environmental changes over the past decade has prompted a significant shift in public concern. A decade ago, discussions on these issues were more theoretical, but today, the tangible impacts are undeniable, with rising temperatures and decreasing water availability becoming increasingly apparent. This broader environmental context sets the stage for a more urgent conversation about sustainable practices.

Amidst these concerns, GO has consistently maintained a focus on providing the right technology for the Maltese islands. This commitment has been the driving force behind our purpose—to advance Maltese technology through telecommunications. Our dedication to this objective remains unwavering, even as the environmental landscape undergoes notable transformations.

While external factors present challenges, our resolve to drive technology forward for the benefit of Malta remains at the core of our mission. The evolving environmental scenario underscores the importance of advancing technology responsibly and sustainably, aligning with our commitment to contribute positively to the Maltese society.

What are some of the main challenges in attempting to be more sustainable?

Expressing intentions is one thing, but the real challenge arises when those aspirations are translated into tangible actions documented and disseminated company-wide. Moving from verbal commitments to the practical implementation of sustainable practices is the critical step from talk to action, and it stands as a formidable challenge. This transition requires specific tasks to be identified and undertaken, demanding a concerted effort from the entire organization.

Despite the complexity of this shift, there is a noticeable increase in actions aligning with the desire for environmental sustainability. The commitment to sustainable practices is becoming more evident within the company, reflecting a positive trend toward incorporating eco-friendly measures.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the existence of technological barriers and associated costs. These challenges can pose hurdles in the journey toward sustainability. Fortunately, GO’s involvement in the investment space provides a unique advantage. Our access to evolving ideas and innovations in this domain positions us at the forefront of sustainable solutions. This vantage point enables us to proactively address and overcome technological barriers, turning challenges into opportunities for advancement.

Looking ahead, it becomes increasingly apparent that not adopting sustainable measures will pose a more significant challenge for companies. Given the trajectory of technological and environmental developments, taking proactive steps becomes imperative. GO’s positioning allows us to not only stay abreast of emerging ideas but to lead in implementing measures that ensure both environmental sustainability and technological progress.

What role does GO play in terms of sustainability in Malta?

As one of the largest employers and companies on the island, GO bears a significant responsibility to take a leadership role in environmental initiatives. Our size and influence amplify the impact of our actions, making it crucial for us to set an example in sustainable practices. Concrete actions speak louder than words, and when people witness our commitment, it resonates more deeply, inspiring others to follow suit.

Our commitment goes beyond mere rhetoric; there’s a tangible level of concreteness and dedication evident in our actions. This commitment extends not only within the company but also externally, showcasing our responsibility to the community and our shareholders. By setting specific targets and actively measuring our progress, we not only demonstrate accountability but also provide a framework for continuous improvement.

This approach signifies more than just meeting certain benchmarks; it reflects a proactive stance in holding ourselves accountable for our environmental impact. This commitment empowers us to not only achieve our targets but also strive for continuous advancements in our sustainability efforts. It’s a testament to our dedication to making a meaningful and lasting contribution to the environment and the community we serve.

Will there be continued investment in the future and these kind of companies?

In a word: yes. Our commitment to environmental sustainability already extends beyond individual initiatives like SENS; we’ve also made investments in other companies with a focus on the environment, such as Raylo. While Raylo is based in the UK and not Malta, its mission aligns with creating a circular economy, reshaping the way people interact with mobile phones.

Raylo’s innovative approach involves leasing mobile phones rather than outright purchasing. After the two-year lease, the phones are returned to Raylo. The company refurbishes them, extending their lifecycle to five years. This model significantly reduces the need for new mining activities and minimizes pollutants associated with mobile phone production and packaging. The result is a more sustainable approach to mobile technology consumption.

Our decision to invest in Raylo stems from our familiarity with the mobile market and a recognition of the tangible benefits their solution offers. By supporting initiatives like Raylo, we contribute not only to environmental conservation but also to the promotion of sustainable practices within industries that traditionally generate significant electronic waste. This investment reflects our commitment to leveraging our resources and expertise to support innovative solutions with real-world benefits.

Our GO Green Initiative

At GO plc, we’re not just a telecommunications company, we’re a group of people who connect people all over Malta and Gozo. We strive to maintain this connectivity, not just digitally, but also physically. It’s important that we take care of our physical environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same connectivity. That’s why we’ve set up GO Green, an extension of GO primarily focusing on helping sustain and improve the environment whenever possible.


A woman with sunglasses holding the lgbt flaq

This blog post was written by Benjamin Thomas Scerri – Sustainability Associate, GO Green.

Benjamin is a member of the GO Green team. His main focus is keeping track of new ways in which to make GO more sustainable wherever and whenever possible.