Act Locally: Achieving Smart Sustainability

Efrat Peled: Sustainability is a really broad scope of dealing with conflicts or with issues or challenges that you come across.  In the more developed countries we'll look at how we avoid abusing the environment and how we can build buildings in a green sustainable standard.  And we're very advanced on that side.  But if you go to Africa, to countries like Uganda and Nigeria and Ghana and if you go to Central America, the basic needs of sustainability sometimes is to teach the basic hygiene for children.  Giving them a toothbrush and explaining to them how to cross the road for safety, which is something that they're not familiar with because they live in distant and rural areas.  And working with the community around what is important for them as part of their sustainability, how they build the capabilities over time [is important], whether again this is more of a health care issues, [or] education around topics.

We embrace the environmental issues into these ideas, but in a very soft way.  So there is a big difference for sustainability in a developed or in the third world countries and in the developed world.  We are doing this big water project in the Bahamas.  It's a $90 million project on reducing water leakage in the system.  Over a ten-year period, we will reduce the water leakage from 50 percent to 25 percent.  And we've been doing a lot of work around education of people, working with schools, working with children about the importance of water, about the importance of saving water, about creating the awareness of why water is so crucial in our life.  Why clean water is so crucial in our life.  This is sustainability for these specific citizens in this specific area of the world.

So you can combine the message according to what you do and according to what the people on the ground need.  And these things have been very successful.  You can save a lot of money, not only water but a lot of money for these schools and for these families if you make and create the awareness and education programs around that.

 Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton


Efrat Peled, of Arison Investments, on how her company's sustainability projects are tailored to meet local needs.

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