Act Locally: Achieving Smart Sustainability
Efrat Peled is the Chairman and CEO of Arison Investments, and also leads SAFO LLC (Shari Arison Family Office), both with a combined asset value of more than US$5 billion, and 27,000 employees in more than 40 countries across five continents.
Arison Investments, owned by businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison, creates long-term business investments that combine substantial financial results with sustainable moral responsibility. Providing values-driven responses to universal human needs, Arison Investments manages a diversified portfolio in finance, real estate, infrastructure, water and renewable energy. The company integrates moral and ethical values in all its dealings, directing its activities towards high financial returns alongside a new business reality that is foremost environmentally and socially responsible.
Arison Investments is the controlling shareholder of the pillars of the Israeli economy, including Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s leading bank (market cap US$7.2 billion, as December 2013) and Shikun & Binui, Israel’s leading infrastructure and real estate group (market cap US$925 million, as of December 2013). Arison Investments privately owns Miya, that maximizes the efficiency of urban water systems, and Salt of the Earth, Israel’s leading salt producer since 1920 that also specializes in real estate and finances.
Peled is a member of the World Economic Forum selective group of Young Global Leaders, (since 2009), and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD group (since 2010), a flagship program that brings together a select group of accomplished young leaders to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
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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