The Gozo Business Chamber (GBC) has just organised its second conference on ‘Ethics in Business’ which this year mainly focused on ‘Development and Self-Interest’.
Opening the conference, held at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Victoria, the chamber’s CEO, Daniel Borg, said the environmental situation was such that we needed to act now at all levels, while GBC president Joseph Borg said the chamber had always been vociferous on the subject of development and that business should be caring, ethical and strive to achieve the common good.
The main speaker was Daniel Darmanin from the Centesimus Annus Foundation and Justice and Peace Commission president. He spoke on the effect of development on the quality of life; the need for reflection about what is happening around us as a community and a society; and the need to engender values in the business and political environment. He also questioned the type of values individuals are searching for.
Bank of Valletta chairman Gordon Cordina also addressed those present.
He emphasised that through collaboration and cooperation “we can actually develop sustainably as we would not be seeking to take advantage over one another”.
From a bank’s point of view, he added, they had an important role in engendering environmental responsibility in businesses.
Anthony Zammit, from the Interdiocesan Environment Commission, remarked that not all development was wrong and negative. However, there was consensus that not all that was going on was good.
The onus did not lie solely on construction, but on the whole economic set-up of the country. Recovery started with self awareness, he said.
Malta’s Ambassador for Climate Action, Simone Borg, noted that “we were living beyond our own means when it came to the exploitation of our natural resources”.
“We should appreciate the unique product we have not only from a heritage or environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view,” Borg, a professor, said.
She also pinpointed the lack of investment opportunities which actually drove many people to turn to construction.
Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma said people must stop and think, as everyone was part of the problem. This should drive one to reflect on their own responsibility. Without formation and awareness one cannot change, he said.
“Change came from formation and education... we need to take action,” he added.
Quoting Pope Francis, bishop Teuma said the house was burning now so there was no chance of procrastinating further.
The Gozo Diocese, the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation and Bank of Valletta, also supported the conference.