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.