On 5 September 2023 Malta Enterprise launched the ESG Grant Scheme. This grant scheme is in place to facilitate the review of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Practices.
The scope of this incentive is to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (hereafter collectively referred to as SMEs) to carry out their first ESG review. This will help them identify and measure ESG parameters within their business. Through this scheme, SMEs should engage the service of approved ESG advisors, in carrying out an assessment of the company’s ESG performance.
To be eligible for support an applicant must be a small or medium-sized enterprise having at least 5 full-time employees. Applicants should operate from own premises, leased or rented buildings. Applicants operating from leased or rented buildings must:
a) Have been leasing or renting the building for at least 1 year prior to applying for this measure.
b) Be covered by a lease or rent agreement of at least 3 years following the application date.
What is covered
Through this scheme Malta Enterprise shall support SMEs that commission an external Service Provider, selected from the approved list of advisors recognised by the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise (“MEEE”), to compile an initial ESG report that is submitted for publication on the ESG portal. The Corporation shall provide additional support to SMEs that keep their ESG portal report updated for the two years following the initial submission.
The aid must be approved prior to commissioning the task to the selected Service Provider. On requesting support, the applicant should have agreed to the terms of service with the Service Provider. Such terms should be specific to the preparation of an initial ESG report which shall result in populating the ESG template provided by MEEE. The terms of service should specify the cost of the service and the number of months that will be required to complete the report from commissioning.
The eligible costs shall be limited to the provision of advisory services leading to the first ESG report being submitted to MEEE. All costs shall be considered excluding VAT and other recoverable charges.
The complete ESG reports are to be submitted to MEEE, within 6 months of the Corporation’s approval, however MEEE, in agreement with the Corporation, may extend this period depending on the size of the operation being reviewed and its complexity or if the delays are encountered that are a result of externalities not dependent on the beneficiary or Service Provider.
ESG review should not be a one-time exercise and should be conducted periodically to identify changes, establish targets and measure progress. The Corporation shall provide additional support to those beneficiaries that maintain their ESG submission on the portal updated for the two years following the initial submission. While business owners may opt to still use service providers to compile these updates, they should consider building internal competencies to address such reporting.
Eligible enterprises may be awarded a grant of up to €5,000 for preparing an ESG report and keeping it updated for 2 consecutive years following their first submission. The grant shall be structured as follows:
a) A maximum of €3,000 shall be disbursed as a reimbursement of up to 75% of eligible costs incurred to prepare the first ESG report that is submitted to MEEE and approved for publication on the ESG Portal.
b) Beneficiaries that submit an update of the ESG report to MEEE in the two years immediately after the submission of the first report shall receive the following additional grants:
I. For the first update the beneficiaries shall receive a grant capped at the lower of €1,000 or 50% of eligible costs incurred for the first ESG report submitted.
II. For the second update the beneficiaries shall receive a grant capped at the lower of €1,000 or 30% of eligible costs incurred for the first ESG report submitted.
Applying for the ESG Measure
- Application has to be submitted online by not later than 31 October 2023;
- Before proceeding with the application, ensure that the Service provider is available to deliver the service within 6 months from approval date
- The Corporation will review and evaluate all applications submitted. During this process, the Corporation may seek further clarifications from the applicant. Approval is at the sole discretion of the Corporation which shall consider the contribution of the applicant to the country’s economic development.
- If the request for support is approved, a Letter of Approval shall be issued detailing the terms of the support approved. The Letter of Approval shall specify deadlines for submission of claims which unless otherwise justified shall be within 12 months from the signing of the LOA for the submission of the first claim covering the submission of the initial report. Claims in relation to annual updates shall be submitted within 24 and 36 months respectively from the date of signing of the LOA.
If you require further guidance or details in relation to this process, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we may assist you.
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