Israel to hold first corporate social responsibility forum

Israel Chemicals, Strauss Group, Hadera Paper among the companies to display their environmentally friendly solutions

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Israel Chemicals' Dead Sea Works, the world's fourth largest producer and supplier of potash products. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Israel Chemicals' Dead Sea Works, the world's fourth largest producer and supplier of potash products. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Israeli companies leading the way in sustainability and innovation in their fields will be on show at Israel’s first ever corporate social responsibility (CSR) conference that will take place next week.

Israel has been named the world’s top innovator in the field of clean technologies by the Global Cleantech 100 Index. The country leads the way in environmentally friendly solutions from recycled paper to water production, sustainable healthcare, energy conservation and green construction and infrastructure, according to Maala, the Israeli CSR standards-setting organization that is organizing the conference.

The two-day event will gather leaders from Israel’s business community and international opinion-shapers in the sustainability and CSR community to address Israel’s surge onto the international CSR stage, its current standing and infrastructure, and the challenges the country still faces ahead.

Speakers at the conference in Tel Aviv on November 30 will include Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy and representatives from Intel Corp., 3M, Strauss Group and Bank Hapoalim Ltd. The second day of the gathering, December 1, will feature on-site visits to companies and their sustainability activities, including Israel Chemicals Ltd., Strauss Group’s food innovation hub, paper manufacturer Hadera Paper and construction company Shikun & Binui.

“Israel’s surge within environmental innovation stemmed from a need, a need for a solution to drinking water shortages or agricultural solutions in the Negev desert,” said Momo Mahadav, Maala CEO. “It is out of this necessity to innovate that Israel has pioneered its way to the forefront of environmental sustainability and we are excited to showcase this at the Israeli CSR Experience and look for ways to expand and continue growing this effort.”

Ninety-eight companies now voluntarily participate in the annual Maala CSR Index, an assessment tool benchmarking Israeli companies on their corporate social responsibility performance. They include companies like Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Unilever Israel, Strauss Group, Siemens Israel, Microsoft Israel, Intel Israel, El Al and LivePerson. These 75 large companies and 23 small to mid-size companies together comprise 310,000 employees and annual sales of $94 billion, representing approximately one-third of Israel’s GDP, Maala said.

Maala was established in 1998 with the goal of promoting corporate social and environmental responsibility in Israel. Today, the organization aids some 110 large and mid-size Israeli companies with the responsibility of corporate citizenship.

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