[Exclusive Interview]: Behind the Scenes at Our Factory

May 9, 2016 Team AHAVA

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, Alon Gertman, 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?

I started working in 1993 as an engineer- so it has been more than 20 years now. Since 2001, I have been the Plant Manager.

What does the Dead Sea mean to you?

It’s my life- I have been here for 35 years now. I have 4 children who have grown up in the region and now my grandchildren are there. It’s my life.

Why is AHAVA the only company with rights to extract mud from the Dead Sea?

Dead Sea Raw Mud Extract

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 live in the Dead Sea area 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. Currently we own the rights for mud extraction for all of the other Dead Sea brands. They purchase the mud straight from us - and we are the sustainable protectors of the region.

How would you say that AHAVA is a green and sustainable brand?

We are the only company located at the Dead Sea. As such, 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. We are taking very, very little of the actual water from the Dead Sea, as we only need a little bit. There's a misconception that we are lowering the water levels - that is not at all the cause; the Dead Sea water levels have been reducing due to natural solar evaporation.

How is the salt water from the Dead Sea extracted and how does AHAVA preserve this water?

This solution is the OsmoterTM, 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 also 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 we use for the factory. This is part of our water renewal system.

How does AHAVA protect the plants surrounding the Dead Sea?

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.

dead sea region plants preservation ahava

There is a lot of misconception that AHAVA harms the Dead Sea. What do you have to say about this? 

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 a minimal quantity. The process of the mud is this: we mix it with Dead Sea water and then we take it to separators to remove the impurities.

Mud that is not used, is taken 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 impurities, so we don’t have to use as much energy from the factory to clean it.

Are there any other sustainable practices that AHAVA uses when making its products?

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 conserve the energy as efficiently as we can. Compared to last year, our energy used has been lowered by 20%, so we are making a lot of progress.

Have any questions for Alon? Leave them in the comments below! You can also check out some other employee profiles here:

Miriam Oron

Ze’evi Maor

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