Government offices are going green, following an Environmental Protection
Ministry initiative requiring them to buy environmentally- friendly
The cabinet authorized the “Green Government Project” on
Sunday, which is expected to save NIS 20 million annually.
pilot project, in which ministries were required to use less paper, electricity,
bottles and soda cans and use biodegradable plastic cups and recycled paper,
saved the government NIS 12.3m., according to the Environmental Protection
“This is another proof that green consumerism is good for the
budget and for the environment,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan
“The public’s money does not have to be wasted because of
old-fashioned, polluting behavior.”
Erdan called for the government to
“lead the green revolution” and set an example for the general
The Green Government Project will require ministries to increase
green supplies, such as energy-saving computer screens or printers,
incrementally – by 5 percent next year, and up to 20% by 2020.
Environmental Protection Ministry estimates that, if all government offices
purchase energy-saving computer screens, they will spend NIS 600,000 less each
Government offices will now be required to buy at least 50%
recycled paper, as opposed to 25% in previous years.
reduction in paper use saved NIS 700,000, and ministries spent NIS 5.5m. less on
electricity. They also saved NIS 6.1m. by using less water.
Environmental Protection Ministry also ranked government offices by their
“greenness,” putting itself, the Foreign Ministry and the Construction and
Housing Ministry in first place.
The Agriculture Ministry was the least
green last year.
Also on Sunday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin agreed to
have recycling bins put next to trash cans in the Knesset, following a request
by Knesset Caucus for the Environment chairman Nitzan Horowitz.
surprised to find that there are no recycling bins in the place that is supposed
to lead and serve as an example to the public,” Horowitz said.
an obvious step, considering the progress made in recycling in Israel in the
last few years.”
Horowitz added that recycling is not a passing trend,
and the public must be educated to turn separating garbage into a habit.