The FINANCIAL -- Leumi’s Commercial Division’s new center, located in the Tichon Building in Tel Aviv, is the first banking building in Israel to comply with the Standards Institution of Israel and has accordingly received stamp of approval 5281 for green construction.
According to Leumi, headed by senior Deputy CEO and a member of the bank’s administration, Michael Bar Haim, Leumi’s Commercial Banking Division today inaugurated the new “Hashmona'im” Business Center, located in Hatichon Building (The State Comptroller’s Building), 19 HaArba'a St. in Tel Aviv. This new business center was moved from its previous address in the adjacent street (HaHashmona'im) and is one of the 25 planned branches and business centers that specialize in providing banking and financial services to middle market companies.
According to senior deputy CEO and head of the operations and administration section at Leumi, Yitzhak Malach¸ who is responsible for assimilating policy and principles regarding ecology at the Bank, the new Hashmona'im Business Center is also the first green banking building in Israel. “Renovations of the business center were based on adaptation to the Standards Institute of Israel’s green building Standard, and it is now the first in Israel to obtain official confirmation and the stamp of approval. Adapting the building and receiving the approval are the first swallow in the Israeli banking system and is the first step in the long-term process of converting additional branches and building to ‘green’,” said Malach.
"Since its establishment, Leumi has been implementing a policy of social responsibility and is currently the leading body in the Israeli financial system in the social and environmental fields. As a part of this leadership, this year, Leumi published the social responsibility report, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind ever in Israel. Within this framework, the Bank presented its environmental capital, which is to be the leading financial body in Israel in promoting ecological issues." Leumi reports.
Inter alia, the renovations of the new business center included the following:
Energy Conservation: The addition of an automatic monitoring system that controls switching the lights in the rooms on and off using a computerized sensor and monitor. When a person enters a room, the lights will come on automatically and will switch off after a 20-minute delay.
Furthermore, a circuit breaker switch is planned for each room that will enable switching on some of the lights according the user’s choice. In addition, the branch has taken advantage of natural illumination, shadowing windows with shutters and blinds and using LOW-E glass.
Separating Waste and Recyclables: The branch has a facility for storing cartons, a press for organic waste. On each floor, there are facilities for collecting paper and batteries.
Encouragement to use Public Transport: Leumi is working towards enabling its staff and customers to come to the Bank’s branches by public transport to reduce quantity of hothouse gas emissions caused by vehicles. This branch is located proximate to main traffic routes, which provides both customers and staff bus and train services within walking distance.
Water Savings: By installing dual quantity toilets and economizers on the taps, the approx. 33% savings in water consumption are expected.
About the Green Construction Standard
Green construction, a broad field that is developing throughout the world, stipulates integrating environmental elements in planning and construction. These elements, which are aimed at reducing the ecological footprints of a building, and thus of the organization that using the building for its needs. In 2005 the Israeli Standard for buildings, with reduced environmental damage (“green buildings”), Standard 5281, was published. The major environmental issues addressed by the Standard relate to a number of environmental categories such as energy, land, water, effluents, drainage, and reduced hothouse gases etc.
Leumi and Ecology
Leumi is currently in the throngs of a process for consolidating and assimilating policy and principles regarding ecology. This issue is a priority responsibility of the senior Deputy CEO and head of the Operations and Administration Section, Mr. Yitzhak Malach. Recently he appointed a senior supervisor for the ecology field at Leumi. Within the scope of his office, the supervisor is responsible fop consolidating Leumi’s policy on the ecology issue and writing up procedures and work programs relating to the issue’s various aspects. These include paper consumption, energy consumption and efficiency, water consumption, recycling, green purchases, examining the development of green banking products add other direct environmental affects. The work programs include, inter alia, measuring and managing Leumi’s direct environmental influences and plotting goals for the future: reducing the direct environmental implications and creating conditions for positive indirect environmental influences.