Malta's most significant environmental problems include inadequate water supply, deforestation, and the preservation of its wildlife.
- The number of motor vehicles per person remains very high, leading to road crashes, air pollution and noise. Concentrations of particulate matter and ozone levels are still high. Electricity generation largely requires the combustion of fossil fuels, contributing significantly to the existing problems. However, power stations began to use low-sulfur fuels in 2003.
- The country's extremely limited fresh water resources have led to increasing dependence on desalination. The nation's agriculture suffers from lack of adequate water for crops due to limited rainfall. Malta was one of the first countries to ratify the 1976 Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean from pollution.
- Across the Mediterranean region, climate change is expected to add to existing environmental problems, such as desertification, water scarcity and food production, while also introducing new threats to human health, ecosystems and national economies of countries. Among the climate change impacts expected for Malta are drought, salinization of land, increased risk of forest fires, soil erosion, and a loss of freshwater resources, including reductions in water availability.
According to the Second European Quality of Life Survey performed by European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, in Malta the participation rate in voluntary and charitable activities averages between 10% and 15%, one of the lowest rates in the EU. Overall, people in Malta are likely to participate in voluntary work less frequently. However, a Maltese person is significantly less likely to believe that the amount of time they allocate to voluntary work or political activities is just right.
According to OECD there are about 21 environmental taxes in Malta, among which 7 regard fuel and vehicles, 2 regard energy, 4 regard water, 2 regard waste, while the remaining 6 refer to use of resources and nature protection. There are also 20 environmentally motivated subsidies with the purpose to:
- reduce the amount of waste going to landfills
- encourage the collection of cooking oil from the public
- restoring and repairing buildings
- to support businesses in the manufacturing and services sectors to conform to legislation in the areas of energy saving, recycling, health and safety
- offer zero registration tax and promote battery operated mopeds and battery powered electric vehicles
- encourage the consumption of recyclable goods
- encourage the use of household appliances for domestic use certified as being energy efficient
- support purchase of photovoltaic equipment, solar water heaters, wind energy and roof insulation by households
- support the purchase of new buses to replace older buses
- to promote the use of LPG
- subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles
- promote public transport
- promote sustainable fishing.
Increasingly, corporate social responsibility is evolving beyond philanthropy to an essential business function directly related to companies maintaining their social license to operate. Companies' corporate social responsibility may take various forms and may be carried out through various institutes. The Maltese foundation, when set up as a voluntary organization, provides an ideal vehicle for corporate social responsibility. In recent years the Maltese legislature has responded to the growing social consciousness of both companies and individuals, and has created a framework for voluntary organizations.