Alcoa Stays Sustainability Course
Alcoa reaffirmed its commitment to the pursuit of a sustainable future today, drawing a clear connection between environmental sustainability, through efficiency and conservation, and economic sustainability in the current climate.
Speaking at the Alcoa Foundation’s worldwide Advancing Sustainability conference in Barcelona, Spain, Alcoa President and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said for Alcoa, operating in a sustainable way was as much about ensuring a solid economic future as a secure environmental future and that it was false to suggest business could have either economic security or sustainability – but not both.
“For Alcoa, sustainability has always been an integral part of our company culture and today more than ever it is critical that we continue to integrate sustainability into all corporate decision making – both inside our business through the products we make and how we manufacture, to our interaction with our external environment through a core focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation.
“Sustainability is about more than just ‘doing good’. It is also about smart business, and at times like these when the economy is down, it is important to make that point very clearly,” said Mr. Kleinfeld.
Mr. Kleinfeld’s comments were made before more than 160 sustainability thought leaders and practitioners, as well as Alcoa’s senior global leadership, at the Foundation’s second biennial Advancing Sustainability Conference, convened to not only share research results from its flagship Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program, but facilitate global cross-sector partnerships and networks to move to the next level of unlocking our collective potential to address global sustainability challenges.
In addressing the convention, Mr. Kleinfeld furthermore announced a renewed commitment by Alcoa Foundation to the advancement of a sustainable future, confirming a six-year extension of the Foundation’s flagship Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program.
The Fellowship program, which commenced in late 2005, is delivering fresh insight into the opportunities and challenges facing the field of conservation and sustainability – environmentally, socially and economically – and linking academia, business, government, and non-governmental organizations around sustainable solutions for joint action.
In making the announcement, Mr. Kleinfeld said the extension of the Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program would unlock answers to the most challenging sustainability issues facing the world today – climate change, energy use, water management, accelerated growth and development in emerging countries by ensuring continued support for the work of over 90 research fellows in all corners of the globe.
“From Australia to Zambia, the program’s fellows are tackling issues that have local impact and global implications – with a goal of providing government and business leaders with usable information they can apply to meet specific sustainability and conservation challenges,” said Mr. Kleinfeld.
“The fellows of this program today are the leaders of tomorrow, and their work is not only defining the challenges we face as a global community, but giving decision makers usable information in the creation of appropriate policy responses to ensure a sustainable future for us all.”
Over the next two days (October 11 – 13), the conference will hear from such global thought leaders as Bjorn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Tim Flannery, Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council and Arab Hoballah, Chief of the UNEP’s Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, in addition to a range of Fellowship program participants who will share the results of their research to date.
More information: www.alcoa.com/advancingsustainability
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is a separately constituted nonprofit U.S. corporate foundation with assets of approximately $504 million. Its mission is to actively invest in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide. Throughout its history, the Foundation has been a source of positive community change and enhancement, with over $465 million invested since 1952. The Foundation is a global resource and provides expertise for social programs and issues leadership for Alcoa and Alcoa communities. In 2007, the Foundation awarded 848 grants in 36 countries. In addition to grantmaking, the Foundation aligns and complements Alcoa’s company contributions, coordinates and promotes Alcoa’s employee engagement, and acts as a conduit with non-governmental organizations and communities. To learn more about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com/foundation.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa(R) wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has 97,000 employees in 34 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.
Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education is the administrative partner for Alcoa Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program. Founded in 1919 by two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and a distinguished professor of diplomacy, IIE is the world’s largest and most experienced nonprofit international educational and cultural exchange organization. It designs and implements fellowship, training, and technical assistance programs for sponsors that include government agencies, corporations, foundations, universities and international organizations. IIE also provides educational and information services to the public and academic community and convenes educators, policy makers, and foundation executives to discuss strategies for investing in people and linking nations. IIE’s mission is to promote excellence in international educational exchange and training. In partnership with forward-looking governments, educational institutions, corporations, and foundations, the Institute’s worldwide staff and programs enable emerging leaders to think globally as they work to improve the societies in which they live.
ALCOA FOUNDATION CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
There are many serious and challenging sustainability issues facing the world today–climate change, energy, water management, accelerated growth and development in emerging countries–that have the potential to impact our world for generations to come.
In response, Alcoa Foundation has created a global program that will make a significant contribution to improving knowledge and building leaders in the field of conservation and sustainability. Alcoa Foundation launched the $9.2 million Conservation & Sustainability Fellowship Program in late 2005. Dozens of academic and practitioner fellows are currently conducting breakthrough research all over the world as part of this Alcoa Foundation program. Through the program’s combination of pure and applied research and unique interdisciplinary structure, these fellows are not only defining the challenges but also working on the appropriate responses to give decision makers usable information that takes into account a whole range of issues.
From Australia to Zambia, the program’s fellows are tackling issues that have local impact and global implications-with a goal of providing government and business leaders with usable information they can apply to meet specific sustainability and conservation challenges.
The six-year program’s unique design–pure and applied research combined with an interdisciplinary approach and opportunities for collaboration–brings together a global network of future leaders and premier institutions to create and leverage sustainability research and share innovative and interdisciplinary work in the conservation and sustainability field.
The research the fellows are producing will provide fresh insight into the opportunities and challenges facing the field of conservation and sustainability, and it will serve as input to other researchers around the world who are also focused on developing enhanced sustainability knowledge, practices, and outcomes.
In addition to enabling breakthrough research, the program is designed to accomplish the following:
— Present research outcomes that lead to the adoption of effective new policies or practices by organizations or communities;
— Create a global, interdisciplinary network of thought leaders;
— Develop fellows’ ability to become recognized as innovators and world-class leaders; and
— Serve as a new model of effective private philanthropic action, bringing together academic, NGO, business, and government leaders to address urgent problems of global concern.
The program is advised by a distinguished panel of experts in the field as well as leaders at Alcoa whose work and interests are in the areas of conservation and sustainability.
Five academic partners, selected by a global competitive process, are hosting 30 post-doctoral fellows. Each fellow’s two-year research project is supported by the academic partner through a multidisciplinary sustainability cabinet and mentors from several key disciplines. The academic partners are:
— Curtin University of Technology, Alcoa Research Centre for Stronger Communities–Perth, Australia
— London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance–London, United Kingdom
— Tsinghua University, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering–Beijing, China
— University of Michigan, Center for Sustainable Systems and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise–Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
— University of Sao Paulo, Center for Environmental Research and Training–Sao Paulo, Brazil
The three sustainability institutes, also selected by a global competitive process, are mentoring 90 practitioner fellows. The practitioner fellows are mid-career professionals from non-governmental organizations around the world who will conduct intensive applied research projects in their home countries for six months. Fellows visit their respective sustainability institute early in their project and remain engaged with their mentors through periodic meetings and remote communications. The program’s sustainability institutes are:
— World Conservation Union (IUCN)–Gland, Switzerland
— Tecnologico de Monterrey–Monterrey, Mexico
— World Wildlife Fund–Washington, D.C., USA
The fellows’ researches have centered on four critical themes:
— Climate change and energy;
— Conservation of fragile ecosystems and biodiversity;
— Integrating sustainability into public policy and governance; and
— Sustainability, livelihoods, and economic growth.
Common issues are emerging in the geographically diverse research projects. For example, research on the types and quantity of products extracted from the mangrove ecosystem in Cameroon, Africa, is helping with the development of sustainable management directives for the coastal ecosystem. A continent away in Mexico, research on ecological services provided by desert oases to biodiversity and human welfare will foster sustainable practices by demonstrating the incentives for conserving these critical habitats.
Advancing Sustainability Conference: Building a Global Network
Alcoa Foundation’s Advancing Sustainability conference serves to share research findings and develop networks to enhance further collaborative research and joint implementation of projects addressing global and local challenges in conservation and sustainability.
The first worldwide Advancing Sustainability Conference convened 140 of the program’s academic partners, sustainability institutes, fellows, and internal and external advisors with representatives from business, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Brussels November 2006.
Alcoa Foundation’s second biennial Advancing Sustainability Conference takes place in Barcelona Spain, October 11 – 13, 2008 and will link academia, business, government, and non-governmental organizations around sustainable solutions to set new direction for joint action.
Keynote speakers for the conference include:
— Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner and leading author on globalization and development, of Columbia University;
— Tim Flannery, Professor, Earth & Life Sciences, Macquarie University and Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council;
— Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa CEO and President;
— Arab Hoballah – Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch (UNEP);
— Teresa Rivera Rodriguez, Secretary of State of the Climate Change Office, Ministry of Environment, Government of Spain;
— Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times
Theme sessions, to highlight emerging issues, examine policy and industry response, and focus on solutions oriented approaches to addressing sustainability and conservation practices, will be led by:
— Thomas E. Lovejoy – President, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment (Conservation of Fragile Ecosystems and Biodiversity)
— Jonathan Pershing – Director, Climate, Energy and Pollution Program, World Resources Institute (Climate Change & Energy)
— Tensie Whelan – Executive Director, Rainforest Alliance (Sustainability, Livelihoods and Economic Growth)
— Karen Poniachik, Chile’s Special Envoy to the OECD, and special adviser to the WEFs Metals & Mining Industry Group (Integrating Sustainability into Public Policy and Governance)
Saturday, October 11, 2008 – Monday, October 13, 2008
Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel
Moll de Barcelona s/n – West Building, Barcelona 08039, Spain
Complete conference agenda available at www.alcoa.com/advancingsustainability