Dizengoff Center won the Green Globe Prize – Dizengoff Center
Dizengoff Center won the Green Globe prize – the environmental Oscars of Israel – in the category of “Green Business”. The award ceremony was held on June 23, 2015 as part of Environment Day at the Knesset, held for the 12th year running. This is the main annual event of the environmental organizations in Israel and is lead by “Life and Environment” – the umbrella organization of the environmental organizations in Israel, in which some 130 organizations from all over the country are members and which this year (2015) is celebrating 40 years of existence. Symbols of appreciation were awarded to 9 winners for excellence in activities benefitting the environment and one “Black Globe” which is a mark of disgrace awarded to the entity that endangers or damages the environment the most.
The selection of Dizengoff Center, a shopping mall, as a “green business”, by the environmental organizations for 2015, is not an obvious choice, and even more so for a company considered the “pioneer” of malls in Israel. However, the prize committee found that Dizengoff Center, and those at the helm: The owners, Alon and Dan Piltz, and the Sustainability Domain Manager, Shana Shechterman, have consistently acted to turn the complex in to a sustainable entity from the environmental and social points of view, in tandem. Following are the deeds that lead to the awarding of the prize.
A green building – Dizengoff Center is the first commercial center that is operating towards environmental management, until obtaining a 14001 standards mark for environmental management. The Dizengoff Center Management Company decided to fall in line with environmental procedures and standards and with trends in the field of green renovations, which have not yet been incorporated in environmental regulation vis-à-vis commercial complexes. In parallel, the Management Team executed an energy streamlining plan, which lead to a savings of 8% in energy consumption. The complex set itself a target of offsetting carbon emissions that, in 2015, was set at 15%, by planting trees.
Dizengoff Center decided upon voluntary reporting via the reporting and registration mechanisms of the emissions of greenhouse gasses of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which constitutes a breakthrough for a retail complex. Dizengoff Center decided upon the voluntary implementation of the Electronic Waste Recycling Law by setting up a collection point of the Ecommunity association, a social corporation for the recycling a reuse of electronic waste, which employs and trains disabled people for fair wages, and by separating waste into crates by type.
Municipal Nature – Urban Bee Keeping – At the end of May 2015, as part of the International Biological Diversity Day, a bio-dynamic bee keeping center was launched in Tel Aviv. This included setting up a beehive farm at the complex and holding symposiums, workshops and courses on the subject. In addition, 10 swift bird nests have been set up on the roof over the past 2 years, to support the “Restore Swifts to the City” project, run by the Friends of the Swifts association.
Sustainable Food – a joint enterprise between Dizengoff Center and the Libinagrin Company, called Green in the City – an urban agricultural complex maintained on the roof of the structure, which holds training workshops for cultivating vegetables using the hydroponic method. The produce is sold to the Dizengoff Center restaurants, with the intention of developing the Grow Local cultivation domain.
Add to these the social steps of the direct employment of security guards and cleaning workers at Dizengoff Center and a range of events such as: The Meatless Monday Race, and restyle events, a second hand clothing sale festival, that promotes the concept of re-use in the world of fashion.
And, in the words of the prize committee “despite its role in the history of consumer culture in Israel, the Dizengoff Center Management Team is attempting to implement practical sustainability in a pioneering manner and in a broad spectrum of aspects, with an increasing and palpable influence in the heart of the big city. The Green Globe was awarded to Dizengoff Center for leading the revolution in environmental perception of urban shopping malls and building a model for replication, that adopts values of urban sustainability without impacting upon the bottom line.
The Green Globe ceremony was again held this year as part of the Environment Day at the Knesset. Inter alia, discussions were held on the subject in the Knesset Committees and a broad conference was held, headed by M. K. Dov Haneen, with the environmental organizations. Hundreds of activists from dozens of environmental organizations from all over the country participated in the discussions, painted the hallways of the Knesset green and participated in the Globe award ceremony and celebrating 40 years of life and environment, which was held in the presence of the Speaker of the Knesset, M. K. Yuli Yoel Edelstein, and the Minister for Environmental Protection, Mr. Avi Gabai.