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December 1, 2006

Alcoa Foundation Calls for Global Action on Sustainability and Conservation

Alcoa Foundation Conference Marks Launch of Global Network for Collaboration on Sustainability between Industry, Governments, NGOs, Academia

BRUSSELS, Belgium--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, today delivers the keynote speech at the Alcoa Foundation’s Advancing Sustainability Conference, a gathering of leaders in the sustainability and conservation movement.

The Brussels conference will mark the launch of the Alcoa Foundation Global Conservation and Sustainability Network – a platform for future collaboration and more informed decision making on sustainability issues by industry, governments, and communities around the world.

In his keynote speech, Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University, the widely-noted author on globalization, called for leadership action on sustainability and climate change by the developed world’s governments.

“Our future well-being depends on taking actions now for conservation and environmental sustainability. If we lack the leadership from the top, then we must have leadership from below,” said Professor Stiglitz.

Alain Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, Inc., highlighted the need for concerted action and broad accountability: “To be true catalysts for change, we must work on all fronts across all sections of society. The Alcoa Foundation’s Global Network will bring together many of the world’s best minds from academia, government, NGOs and industry to find new paths toward sustainability. Simply put, our commitment is to work for step change through innovation and concerted action.”

The Alcoa Foundation Global Conservation & Sustainability Program is funding research into sustainability. This Network will provide the means to accelerate the diffusion and application of cross-disciplinary research outcomes.

From Australia to Zambia, dozens of Alcoa Foundation fellows are currently conducting research and tackling issues that have local impact and global implications. The program’s combination of pure and applied research and unique interdisciplinary structure means that these researchers and practitioners are providing responses that provide decision makers in governments and business with usable information they can apply to meet specific sustainability and conservation challenges.

The Alcoa Foundation’s Advancing Sustainability Conference is centered on four critical themes:
  • Climate Change and Energy
  • Conservation of Fragile Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • Integrating Sustainability into Public Policy and Governance
  • Sustainability, Livelihoods and Economic Growth

Conference speakers include:
  • Alain Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, Inc.
  • John Elkington, Founder, SustainAbility (U.K.)
  • Magnus Johannesson, Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment of Iceland
  • Thomas E. Lovejoy, President of the Heinz Center in the U.S.
  • David O’Connor, Chief, Policy Integration Branch, UN Division for Sustainable Development
  • Leena Srivastava, Executive Director of The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, University Professor at Columbia University

  • A non-profit corporation founded in 1952
  • The second-largest asset-based U.S. corporate foundation
  • Has assets of $497 million
  • Has given grants totaling more than $411 million since 1952
  • In 2005, gave out 921 individual grants totaling $22.7 million
  • Serves more than 30 countries worldwide