Fact- and trust-based dialogue is the key to connecting positively with the public, said Dr. Eli Abramov, EVP Global Operations at Adama, who presented on a lively panel discussion at the recent high profile Environment 2050 Conference in Tel Aviv. The session was titled “Israel’s Environmental Vision from Industry’s Point of View,” and included representatives from industry, government and NGOs.
The annual Environment 2050 Conference promotes productive dialogue to enable public sector decision-makers, regulators, business leaders, environmental organizations and academics to spearhead processes in the field of the environment.
Billions invested, with positive environmental results
Addressing the 1,200 conference participants, Dr. Abramov, who also serves as the Head of the Environmental Committee of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, pointed out the remarkable industry’s investment in reducing environmental impact. Adama, for example, has invested more than $250 million in the past few years in its production facilities in Israel in order to reduce their environmental impact, part of the $2.5 billion aggregate investments made by companies throughout Israel. These figures may sound impressive, but according to Dr. Abramov, "Outcomes are what matter, and they are notable". Over the past three years, the industry’s environmental footprint has improved significantly. These are the kinds of results one can be proud of, but industry must continually strive to improve its environmental impact, even as the economy grows, he added.
Celebrating voluntary dialogue
Open discussion with the public is another area that Dr. Abramov discussed at length, since dialogue can help create a real collaboration in order to reach solutions for potential environmental issues. He shared experiences from several key initiatives by Adama to engage in dialogue with the public.
When faced with complaints from the public, he recommends engaging in a transparent process of dialogue. By engaging positively with the public, over time, and sharing information and data, industrial companies can foster an open and transparent dialogue with the communities in which they operate and address the concerns these communities might have.
“The public understands that they have a partner in Adama, and that we, as a part of the community, share their concerns,” he explained. “Our public dialogue activities have brought – and continue to bring – great results, and we as an industry should adopt this approach wherever possible.”