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Israel’s Green Business Tycoon

Shari Arison
Mazal Tov to Shari Arison! Forbes recently unveiled a list of the “Top 10 Greenest Billionaires.” The Israeli heiress to the Carnival Cruise Line was included.

For Arison, profits and environmental sustainability are not opposing forces at all. Being environmentally friendly actually has increased her companies’ success.

In an interview with BusinessWeek she said,

“Sustainability is the key to our survival on this planet and will also determine success on all levels.”

Arison’s net worth is 3.4 billion dollars thanks to her lucrative companies such as Miya, a water company based on technology which eliminates water loss in transit.

While her father, from whom she inherited Carnival Cruise, was still living, the now 52-year-old tycoon did her best to stay out of the limelight. When she inherited a large chunk of the company in the late 90’s all of this changed.

Ms. Arison chose to focus her attention on the two largest assets in the estate: Bank Hapoalim, which is now Israel’s second-largest financial institution; and Housing & Construction Holding, the Jewish Country’s biggest construction firm.

Last year, Arison published a book in Israel in which she talks about her spiritual journey and lays out a vision for how to save the planet.

Now the english translation of her book, When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together, has been released in the U.S.

Arison holds that it is possible for businesses to succeed while benefitting their natural surroundings; and economies can thrive if they would only take the environment into consideration.

Arison has sold off her personal jet and yacht, switched to a hybrid automobile, and she even ordered a retrofit of her home to make it more environmentally friendly.

About her company, Housing & Construction she says:

“Within five years it will be a 100%-green company.”

The construction giant is taking steps in this direction by planning and building Israel’s first “green” neighborhoods in Kfar Saba and Netanya, and a huge shopping mall in Beer Sheva which takes into account the city’s desert conditions.

Her start-up, the Luxembourg based Miya, which she launched in 2006 is underwritten with $100 million of her own money. This is a consulting and audit company which advises municipal water utilities on how to reduce leakage from underground pipes.

2 Comments

  1. Why is it “antisemitism” to label Israel an apartheid state? Nobody says why.

  2. Scooter Shooter

    July 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Israel’s Arab citizens can go to the same beaches, restaurants and shopping malls as Jews; they can run in elections and even become ministers in the Israeli government; There have been Israeli Arab members of the Knesset since the first Knesset elections in 1949. Arabs can go to the universities, become professors (at Bar Ilan University, I had an Arab professor).

    We do not look at the “occupied territories” as colonization, as Palestine belonged solely to the Jews, originally, when the land was given that nomer, and there have been Jews in these territories ever since.

    Since in neighboring Arab countries, gays, secular Muslims, women, Christians, Jews, Bedouin, sometimes Kurds and other islamic sects are brutalized and oppressed, we call it a double-standard to label ISRAEL apartheid.

    And we conclude that such a twisting of rhetoric is an example of anti-Semitism.

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