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Shoresh Sandals Factory Owner Yoki Gill Makes History by Transforming his Factory to Become Carbon Neutral

October 1, 2022

The Shoresh company, located in Tirat Carmel, has been leading the field of travel and camping in Israel for over 33 years and is known to every Israeli for its Shoresh sandals. The company’s military division supplies self-defense and carrier systems to the infantry divisions of the world’s leading armies.

The company employs about 300 workers in the company’s factory in Tirat Carmel, and is an example and model of a valuable and advanced Israeli industry. In many ways, the Shoresh company is a microcosm of Israeli society where Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze work side by side, young people after the army and adults after retirement age who continue to work and contribute, veterans and new immigrants, people with disabilities and even asylum seekers. With everything related to sustainability values, Shoresh is a pioneer and a trailblazer. In the last three years, the company has established a demonstration project in the field of renewable energy in cooperation with the Heschel Center for Sustainability and with 50% financing from the Ministry of Energy.

This project, the first of its kind in Israel and one of the first in the world, is working to demonstrate how a manufacturing plant can become energy independent with the help of solar energy alone 365 days a year and without the need to use the national electricity grid.

Last week, a ceremonial event celebrating the Shoresh sandal factory project was held with Minister of Energy Karin Elharar. This renewable energy project is paving the way, showing that it is possible to achieve both- “a zero-carbon and prosperous industry”.

The project aims to show how it is possible with today’s technology to build a low-carbon economy and fight the cost of living through the decentralization of energy production. It is also intended to provide a practical example to the entire industry and business sector in Israel of how the global fight against the climate crisis can be dealt with now. This was a real and tangible guide for how the manufacturing sector can contribute to the Israeli government’s national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our planet for future generations.

Minister of Energy, Karin Elharer: “In the past year, we have promoted many important steps to diversify Israel’s energy sources and promote the transition to renewable energies. The transition of the Shoresh factory to energy independence, based on the use of renewable energies, is pioneering, brave, and above all proves that it is possible. I am glad that the Ministry of Energy’s support of NIS 1.5 million for the project helped to establish it and I hope that in the future we will see more projects that follow the same path.

Glad to be here with you on this exciting occasion. I want to say to you all the best to you. In the end, a government follows ideas and you, Yoki, showed us that if you want, it’s not a fairy tale, we took it to heart.’

MK Ram Ben Barak, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee “The climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing the entire world today. If we do not know how to reduce pollutants and emissions and reduce them to zero, the future of the globe is in existential danger. I am happy that the Ministry of Energy headed by Minister Karin Elharar, standing at the forefront of the challenge, understands it and makes the moves that will lead the State of Israel to be a leader in the utilization of renewable energies that will replace the polluting energies of oil and gas.

We are blessed with a sunny country, we are blessed with brains and startups that improve and upgrade the ability to utilize solar energy in the best way and we are on our way, I hope, to reach effective storage capabilities that will allow the continued use of solar and other non-polluting energies.

The Shoresh factory, headed by Yoki Gill, is an example of the ability to produce energy that operates an entire factory with zero damage to the environment. This model is not only environmental, it is also a national security issue because it allows the distribution of energy sources and in the future if we persist in the solution, there will be no situation where it will be possible to paralyze the flow of energy to factories and homes. Today, power generation facilities are targets for all of our enemies, and dispersing them will reduce the threat. I want to thank the hosts, and the Minister, strengthen everyone’s hands, and continue the important work for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Ramzi Gabbai, Chairman of the Textile and Fashion Association of the Association of Manufacturers “Shoresh has been an international brand in the sandal field for years and is one of the most successful companies in the textile industry in Israel. The Shoresh Company is very active in the social field and employs about 300 employees of all religions, of all ages and strictly to employ a significant percentage of those with special needs and with all that has been said, the thing that distinguishes Shoresh is the very extensive engagement in the field of sustainability and environmental quality.

Shoresh’s project for energy independence, thanks to solar energy without help from the national electricity grid, should be a marker and an example for all industrial establishments that take advantage of solar energy, reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of living for all of us.”

Former MK Dr. Dov Knenin, chairman of the Israeli Climate Forum: “The visit to Shoresh is actually a journey into the future, but not to the one with the environmental disasters of droughts and fires, but to the future of solutions that can be created together. Your model at Shoresh should now be replicated in many other factories in Israel.

The Israeli Climate Forum supports the operation of the micro-grids as the center of the energy revolution that Israel needs to go through: to change our way of thinking, and instead of generating electricity in one place and transferring it to another place, generate as much electricity as possible in the places where we want to use it.”

The Mayor of Tirat Carmel, Aryeh Tal: “I congratulate Yoki Gill and the management of the Shoresh company for the important and groundbreaking move. The great partnership between Shoresh and the Tirat Carmel town began about three decades ago, during which the company became one of the points of pride in the city and a source of employment and livelihood for many of its residents. I am convinced that other organizations and companies will follow the model led by Shoresh, in similar moves that will contribute to the quality of the environment and the world we live in. Good luck!”

Yoki Gill, founder and owner of the Shoresh company: “Every factory, business or household in Israel produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions, most of them through electricity consumption, the use of private and commercial vehicles, and waste management expenses that goes to the landfill. The Shoresh company directly emits 850,000 kg of carbon dioxide each year into the atmosphere and pays 1 million NIS every year for electricity consumption, fuel expenses, and waste treatment (that is sent to landfill).

In this pioneering project, we demonstrate how the transition from a centralized grid to a decentralized grid in energy production by using only solar energy, the factory reaches zero greenhouse gas emissions, and zero air pollution, and therefore, we decrease a million NIS every year of expenses, and increase our income by 1 million NIS.

We celebrate the success of making our sandal factory energy-independent and share with you a small glimpse of the future. May the Torah come out of the Carmel Rainforest and the gospel will come out from Shoresh (the root, translated in English) and together with the Ministry of Energy, the Knesset of Israel, the Manufacturers Association, civil society, and the Noga company (the management of the electricity system) will do a fantastic scale-up for the energy island that we are implementing at Shoresh.”

Sigal Feldman

Photo Credit: Liron Cohen Aviv