Alcoa today (Friday 14 October) announced that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will be one of five academic partners in Alcoa Foundation's $8.6 million Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship program that will support the study of global conservation and sustainability issues. Alcoa Foundation's Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship program includes the funding of research by 30 academic fellows from around the world.
LSE was selected to participate in the fellowship program because of their outstanding reputation in the area of environmental research, commitment to interdisciplinary work, and long standing commitment to the study of conservation and sustainability.
The program's launch will be celebrated with remarks by LSE Director Howard Davies, Alcoa Foundation President Kathleen Buechel, President of Alcoa Europe Mill Products Philippe Royer and by John Elkington of SustainAbility on Friday 21 October, at an event for students and invited guests, to be held in the Shaw Library, LSE, at 2pm.
The six-year initiative, fully supported by Alcoa Foundation, is designed to advance the knowledge and support for exemplary work in the field of conservation and sustainability through fellowships to outstanding academics at select universities. Additional practitioners from non-governmental organizations (NGO) will also be part of the research efforts. Through 2009, the program will support the research activities of approximately 30 academics and 60 sustainability practitioners from NGO's around the world. The research initiatives and findings plus the knowledge and information gained from the Alcoa Foundation CSF program will be made freely available and shared with any interested party. Regular covenings will further enhance the creation of networks and substantive exchanges.
Alcoa CEO Alain Belda lauded the goals of the program: 'Sustainability has long been at the core of our business model and has tremendous influence on the way we operate, products we make, and our overall thinking," said Belda. 'Our focus and success will continue to be on the triple bottom line of environmental impact, social responsibility and economic futures and this Alcoa Foundation investment in the fellowship program further highlights our commitment to these ideals.'
Professor Yvonne Rydin, director of LSE's Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance, where the programme will be based, said: 'We are very grateful to Alcoa Foundation for its generous support, enabling LSE academics to develop thinking and take forward new ideas about corporate social responsibility.'
Two year Academic Fellowships will be awarded to post-doctoral researchers, who will stay in residence at one of the Academic Partner universities:
The University of Michigan -Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Tsinghua University - Beijing , China
Curtin University of Technology -Perth, Australia
University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brazil.
London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
Alcoa Foundation President, Kathleen Buechel, described the Foundation's Signature Program as 'A great step towards reaching the goal of advancing the field of conservation on a global scale. Conservation and sustainability is one of the key areas of excellence for the Alcoa Foundation investments. We think it is vital that we promote sound public policy, research, and linkages between business and the environment.'
Moving forward, academic fellows will be recruited and selected directly by the academic partner universities and practitioner fellows will be selected annually through an open global competition.
Contact Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, +44 (0)20 7955 7582
Kevin G. Lowery, Alcoa, + 1 (412) 553-1424
LSE is at the forefront of research into corporate environmental performance and responsibility. Its Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance has recently conducted a major international survey of the environmental standards adopted by corporations, which concludes that corporate environmental performance varies dramatically and that emissions are higher in poorer areas. This year the Centre's Dr Michael Mason also published The New Accountability (Earthscan Publications, 2005), which argues that corporations are increasingly obliged to take into account the cross-border environmental impacts of their activities. Alcoa Foundation is already providing support for Dr Everisto Mapedza, LSE's Alcoa Foundation Fellow in Environmental Sustainability. He is based in LSE Environment and the Department of International Relations, looking at practices and policies related to forest and water management, mainly in Africa.
About Alcoa Foundation
Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in the countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa's ACTION and Bravo! programs which recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com, under Community.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminium, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active 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, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrapâ foils and plastic wraps, Alcoaâ wheels, and Bacoâ household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been named one of the top three most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com/sustainability.
14 October 2005