We know that billionaires with their minds and hearts in right place, can do right by the planet.
Taking notice, Forbes business magazine has looked beyond its regular annual billionaires list and has plucked out Israel’s banking and cruiseline heiress Shari Arison as one of the world’s greenest.
Greenest billionaires, that is.
Shari joins Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Germany’s billionaire Aloys Wobben, among others.
With a personal net worth of a cool $3.4 billion, Shari –– whose eco-spriritual website Essence of Life I used to write for –– may be taken for a bit of quack in Israel, but not in my books. She’s a huge believer that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand, a green prophetess in a country where bribes and scandals around real estate deals and greed emerge daily (see Holyland bribe story).
Shari’s family name is most well-known around the world for Carnival Cruiselines, established by her father Ted in the United States. She’s published a memoir Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together where she spells out how businesses should benefit both the investor and the broader community.
Good ideas are a dime a dozen. What’s she done? Shari has developed businesses around this philosophy, and maintains that the companies’ bottom line is her driver. She is now planning on making her public construction company, Shikun & Binui 100% sustainable via using solar power, water desalination and recyclable materials, within the next five years, according to Forbes.
We faithful followers of Green Prophet already know that her water company Miya, launched in 2007 aims to reduce leaks in underground water pipes in cities and urban areas. And we just wrote a story about Brazil and Israel, and Miya looks like it will be part of the collaboration between countries.
We’re rooting for you, Shari! If you’d like to read more about Shari’s green vision, Businessweek has a good profile on Shari from 2009.