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alcoa MD pushes for CSR ‘DNA’
Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg has called for an urgent re-think on corporate social responsibility as the world experiences unprecedented challenges.

Addressing  business, government and social leaders at the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) 3rd Annual conference in Sydney in  February, Mr Cransberg said we need to achieve a state where corporate social responsibility is in the DNA of business.

 “The GFC has spread much further and much deeper than anyone predicted. I believe what matters most for business and society, is that we take a closer look at the fundamentals on which our communities are built – and inevitably this means closer scrutiny of our priorities and our values,” he said.

“No amount of blame or looking back is going to serve our interests; instead there is work to be done with new thinking and commitment. To secure the here and now, and provide for a resilient tomorrow, the game has changed.”

Mr Cransberg observed a pressing need for a “true union” of economic, social and environmental goals, looking to the global financial crisis to propel change whereby government, business and the community take a longer term view of what is right.

He recognised that while publicly listed or private enterprises are aiming to create value for their shareholders, Alcoa worked out long ago that the best way to create value is by doing the right thing.

“As a business person, I have to focus on sustainability. You can’t run operations like ours without CSR being embedded in the DNA of your organisation, and community engagement plays a critical role in our success.  Our actions have global impact and together with other businesses, the community and government support, we are shaping the new order of things”.

Sharing ways to run a sustainable business, Mr Cransberg cited examples of Alcoa’s achievements in fighting climate change through emissions reduction technology and commitment to research and development, as well as its strong water and waste management strategies and aluminium recycling business. He also acknowledged the importance of people.

“I would argue that running strong volunteer programs is the crux of a strong connection between business and community - the best way to break barriers, share knowledge, and simply help each other.

“We are seeking long term solutions to these global problems and we continue to move beyond the work gates and out into the community to do so. We work at multiple levels, engaging all of our capabilities, big and small.”

Energy security was addressed as a key challenge to sustainability as Mr Cransberg reiterated the need for a national energy security strategy, saying Australia needs to look to gas as a transitional fuel with the timely adoption of complementary renewable resources.

“We have an opportunity to help carve Australia’s energy future, to see industry and individuals cut their emissions. Everything we do now will affect the generations to come.  My kids will know that I acted responsibly.

“Maybe, if anything constructive can come out of the carnage of the GFC, it is that ‘corporate social responsibility’ will become, for everyone, the way business is done.”
alcoa again named one of the world's most sustainable corporations 
Alcoa has been named one of the most sustainable corporations in the world in the fifth annual Global 100 ranking of the top role models in sustainable business practices, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Alcoa has attained the sustainabilityranking every year since the Global 100 was launched in 2005. Alcoa is the only US based company named to the list from the Materials sector.
The Global 100 includes companies from 15 countries encompassing all sectors of the economy. The companies were evaluated on how effectively they manage environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities in relation to their industry peers.
This year, the 100 companies were traced back to their year of origin to see what kind of longevity they have demonstrated in managing stakeholder relationships. In all, 46 of the 2009 Global 100 companies have been in existence for at least 100 years.
The list was created by Canadian media company Corporate Knights Inc. and international investment advisory firm Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, which specializes in analysing “non traditional” drivers of risk and shareholder value.

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Cransberg calls for an urgent re-think on CSR

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Alcoa has been named one of the most sustainable corporations in the world - scroll down for full story