The Azrieli Group, Dor Alon and the Delek Group were the three most flagrant
violators of environmental compliance orders in the Environmental Protection
Ministry’s second annual “Ranking of Environmental Compliance for Public
Companies,” released on Monday.
With the purpose of providing vital
information to investors both in Israel and abroad, the ranking system aims to
shed light on the environmental conditions of large publicly traded companies,
according to ministry officials.
By providing transparent information
about company environmental behavior, the rankings can motivate the firms to
take steps to reduce their impact on the environment, the officials explained at
a press conference in Tel Aviv on Monday.
In this year’s rankings, the
ministry identified numerous environmental violations such as emitting toxic
substances into the air, discharging hazardous materials into the groundwater
and hiding information from the ministry.
“The public has a right to know
what environmental damages its investment funds are financing,” said
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz. “A company that violates the law
creates risks for investors, and we must inform them. Today we are giving yellow
and red cards to companies that committed environmental crimes against the
The rankings, Peretz explained, represent “the struggle for the
environment” and an attempt to involve the public in influencing corporate
This year the ministry compiled data on 61 companies, using a
methodology built in conjunction with the firm Greeneye, explained Galit Cohen,
deputy director-general for policy and planning at the ministry. The method took
into consideration hazards or incidents known to the ministry as well as
enforcement measures taken against companies that have violated regulations,
Topping the charts of the worst offenders was the Azrieli
Group, predominantly due to its ownership of Sonol fuel
Ministry data showed that approximately 64 percent of Sonol
stations hid vital information from the office regarding their actions to
prevent fuel leakage to the ground, ministry officials said.
Holdings Blue Square- Israel Ltd. and the Dor Alon company – under the same
ownership – came respectively in second and third place due to Dor Alon’s
concealment of water pollution activities, which even resulted in a criminal
conviction in court.
Meanwhile, the Delek Group was the fourth top
offender for violating the poisons permit issued to the company, as well as for
allowing oil to spill on land, ministry officials said.
after an emergency event occurred in one Delek Group facility, another occurred
at that same site and ended up killing one worker, the officials
Trailing the Delek Group in fifth place was the Paz Group, for
emitting toxins into the air that exceeded acceptable levels by
“We are talking about many violations for every company,” said
Shuli Nezer, director of air quality and climate change at the
Other companies to receive red-card status included the Bazan
Group, Elbit Systems, Israel Corp., Israel Petrochemicals Enterprises and Hadera
Another 15 companies received yellow-card status: Clal, Mivtah
Shamir (for Tnuva), Carmel Olefins, Ten Gas Stations, Rekah Pharmaceutical
Group, Israel Electric Corporation, Polyram, Israel Chemicals, Shikun V’Binui,
Teva, Africa Israel Investments, Danshar, Makhteshim Agan, Osem, Sano, Delta,
Koor Industries, Discount Investment Corporation, IDB Group, Plasto- Sac, BIG,
Perrigo and Palram.
The officials stressed, however, that despite these
34 yellow and red cards, there were also 27 companies on the list that showed no
negative environmental behaviors and properly reported all of their relevant
environmental data to the ministry.
In response to the report, the Delek
Group said in a statement that the company performs pollution prevention
activities and checks company infrastructures frequently, in amounts that exceed
the quantity required by law.
The company invests tens of millions of
shekels each year in preventing pollution of the air, soil and groundwater and
in treating past hazards, the statement continued.
One-third of the
industrial activity at Delek focuses on recycling and distilling oils and
solvents for reuse in industry, the company added.
Regarding the specific
death that the ministry referred to, the company rejected the claim that the
“unfortunate work accident” was related to environmental issues.
company has been and will continue to follow all instructions of the Environment
Ministry and the Water Authority, the statement said.
The Delek Group
also said that it has expressed complaints about the methodology of the report
and the ranking method, charging that it does not truly reflect environmental
compliance and thereby misleads the public.
Sonol, meanwhile, said that
the index published “does not reflect the changes and improvements that have
been made in the past two years.”
The ratings contradict another report
published several days ago ranking Sonol in first place for gas stations in
terms of preventing land contamination, the statement continued.
Sonol response called the ministry ranking process “bizarre and unacceptable”
and stressed that the gas stations work with transparency and full cooperation
with the ministry.
The Azrieli Group, which owns Sonol, said that Sonol’s
contribution to the entire Azrieli Group’s profits is only 0.7%.
group slammed the ministry for employing a “flawed methodology” as well as
“distorting reality and misleading the public.”