Israel Electric Corporation Donates Forest Grove in Honor of CEO’s Environment Award Winners

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:36 AM

Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) employees from the Generation and Transmission Department plant a tree in Ofer Forest on the Carmel in honor of having won the CEO’s environment prize.


Michael Ben-Abu (right) awards a KKL-JNF certificate and Blue Box to Ron Weiss. Photo: Yoav Devir

Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) employees from the Generation and Transmission Department planted a tree in Ofer Forest on the Carmel in honor of having won the CEO’s environment prize. “It’s nice that we can take part in caring for the KKL-JNF forests on the Carmel as part of our work for the environment,” said the director of the department, Ron Weiss, at the ceremony that took place there.
The ceremony was held at the donor recognition site in Ofer Forest, which was created by KKL-JNF in gratitude to the many friends of KKL-JNF in Israel and abroad, who helped with the rehabilitation of the Carmel after the disastrous 2010 forest fire. The new grove was dedicated to the winners of the CEO’s Environment Contest, which is held annually by the IEC. Every year, a grove is planted in honor of the winners in one of KKL-JNF's forests all over Israel.
The event was emceed by KKL-JNF Israel Fundraising Director, Michael Ben Abu, who stressed the importance of the ongoing cooperation between KKL-JNF and IEC. He highlighted the development of Hagit Forest by IEC customers. Hagit Forest is dedicated to customers who have opted for receiving their electricity bills by electronic mail, which saves trees that would be felled for paper. The forest is located near the green Hagit power station, which produces energy using natural gas. Development of the forest includes footpaths, bicycle trails, a recreation area and picnic sites.
Ben Abu told those present about the rehabilitation of the Carmel forests, over a year since the fire. “KKL-JNF experience shows that forests renew themselves naturally,” he said, “and we assist renewal by thinning the trees and thickening planting where it is needed.” He also noted the importance of developing natural leisure sites in the areas of the Carmel that were not damaged by the fire, for the benefit of the public that frequents the forest.
Rami Bar Niv, Director of the Negev and Eilat secondary power station, who chairs the department’s environment committee, said that IEC's vision is to work with determination for the preservation of the environment. “We work for energy efficiency and prevention of land pollution,” he said. “Working to increase the awareness of employees as to the importance of environmental issues is no less important.”
Bar Niv said that carbon dioxide, which is also emitted from power stations, is one of the causes of global warming. “One dunam of forest absorbs half a ton of carbon dioxide in a year, which undoubtedly helps the environment,” he said. “We are closing a circle today, by planting trees that will contribute to this process, which also attests to the broad base of collaboration between the two organizations, IEC and KKL-JNF.

View of Ofer Forest. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

 Arik Kushner, Director of the IEC Production Department, congratulated the department for winning the prize in a contest that has been nicknamed the Green-Blue-Orange contest. “Your winning will motivate all of us to do more for the environment. We invest a lot of resources in this.”
Entertainment at the ceremony was provided by the IEC singing group, Dudu Ashkenazi and Chana Hirshfeld, who sang The Green Mountain and other songs. The unit supervisors were called up to receive the awards for the prize. When the recognition plaque was unveiled, Weiss said, “Our department is now engraved in stone and planted in the earth, here in the KKL-JNF forests on the Carmel.”
Avi Azoulay, Technical Manager at the Northern Israel secondary power station, recited the Planter’s Prayer, and representatives of the IEC planted a terebinth tree.
Last year, the Jerusalem branch won the IEC CEO’s Environment Prize, and the ceremony was held in Aminadav Forest in the Jerusalem vicinity. Now that the Generation and Transmission Department won this year's prize, we can only wonder who will win next year. One thing is certain - in any case, we will all benefit from the important work being done for the preservation of the environment.