[Exclusive Interview]: Behind the Scenes at Our Factory
Green Practices Along the Dead Sea Shores
Ready for a glimpse at our Factory's operations and sustainability efforts?
Take this brief journey with our Plant Manager, AlonGertman, as he reveals some of the methods for sustainable production and the importance of leaving the Dead Sea region well-preserved for generations to come.
Would you mind telling us a little bit about your background?
A: I started working in 1993 as an engineer- so it has been more than 20 years now. Since 2001, I have been the VP of Operation and the plant manager.
What does the Dead Sea mean to you?
A: It’s my life- I have been there for 35 years now. I have four children who have grown up there and now my grand children are there. It’s my life. I’ve been there since after the army.
Why is AHAVA the only company with rights to extract mud from the Dead Sea?
A: This is because we are the only company actually sitting on the shores of the Dead Sea. All of the other brands are sprinkled throughout the country: Tel Aviv, Ashdod, etc. but we are located right at the Dead Sea. Most of our workers are living in the area of the Dead Sea and we are really connected to the nature. We want to keep this nature for our children; therefore we really work to protect it as best we can. Right now we own the rights and are digging for all of the other Dead Sea brands. They purchase the mud straight from us.
How would you say that AHAVA is a green and sustainable brand?
A: As I said, we are the only company located at the Dead Sea. Our main interest is to keep the area clean for the next generation. So when we are digging the mud out, we are taking it very carefully. We don’t touch the area. After we collect the mud we always fix the mine to make sure that tourists cannot tell we were there. We are taking very, very little of the actual water from the Dead Sea, as we only need a little bit.
How is the salt water from the Dead Sea extracted and how does AHAVA preserve this water?
A: This solution is the Osmoter™- the main ingredient we are using in our products. Because we are located in the Dead Sea and we don’t have much rain- we don’t have a lot of pipe water. Therefore, we are recycling our industrial water. This is a very special process to gravitate and recycle the dirty water through 7-8 poles. In the end we are getting purified water that the use for the factory. This is part of our water renewal system.
How does AHAVA protect the plants surrounding the Dead Sea?
A: In all the Dead Sea, there are lots of plants that are at risk of disappearing. So we are keeping our own “green garden” to keep some of the plant species at peace. We are also working with a company that takes care of the nature of the Dead Sea, and we use the recycled water to water the plants. We've created a sustainable 'green' oasis of plant-life amid this arid, desert region.
There is a lot of misconception that AHAVA harms the Dead Sea. What do you have to say about this?
A: As I said, we are only using a very small amount of the Dead Sea water, and we are taking from the smallest rocks, not from the middle of the sea. It’s not a lot of quantity that we are taking. The process of the mud is this: we mix it with Dead Sea water and then we take it to separators to take all the junk out of it. Mud that we don’t use we take back to the Dead Sea which ensures that we waste the least amount of material as possible. Because unfortunately the Dead Sea is shrinking, we only extract mud from the shores, at the end of the creeks. This mud is super easy to find because through the years it has become very black from all of the minerals. We sample the shores looking for the black mud- hopefully without a lot of junk so we don’t have to use as much energy form the factory to clean it.
Are there any other sustainable practices that AHAVA uses when making tis products?
A: We are under several government regulations, so we have to recycle everything from paper to glass to cartons… everything! We also have software connected to every engine in the factory to control and save the energy here as well as we can. Compared to last year, our energy used has lowered by 20%, so we are making a lot of progress.