The Israeli town of Tsfat (or Safed) is typically associated with the colour blue, owing to the tint that many of its buildings are painted with. But modern Tsfat, famous for being a centre of Jewish mysticism, its graves of tsadikim and art galleries, could just as easily be associated with brown. Since 1956, Israel’s major coffee and chocolate manufacturer, Elite, built a factory there, making the smell of coffee, not to mention smoke from the plant and traffic which have become part of many residents’ daily lives.
According to a recent report in Ha’aretz, the Elite plant is now undergoing a “green revolution”. Last week, a large furnace was installed to burn leftover coffee beans to power the plant instead of oil, a move which the company says will reduce the consumption of the fossil fuel by 50%. Typically, vehicles also burn gas to truck the spent beans from the factory, passing lorries carrying oil on their way in.
“This creates a direct connection between being ‘green’ and being efficient,” Pini Kamari, vice president of Strauss. “Motivation for the change came from our desire to cut costs, reducing energy costs and transportation costs for both the shale and the waste. At the same time, emissions will be much lower, both from the smokestacks and from the trucks. We will create less waste and need to bury less garbage. Noise will also be reduced.”