June 14, 2004

Canadian group makes short list for first Alcan Prize for Sustainability

In Montreal last week, the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) announced the short list of candidates for the $1-million (U.S.) Alcan Prize for Sustainability. The finalists, including one Canadian organization, were selected from almost 500 entries received from 79 countries.

The short-listed organizations are: New Westminster Community Development Society (Canada); ApproTEC, The Asia Foundation and The Nature Conservancy (U.S.); Global Action Plan and Fauna & Flora International (U.K.); Comunidad Indigena de Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro (Mexico); Social Change Assistance Trust (South Africa); Friends of the Earth (Ghana); Forest Stewardship Council (Germany); Sociedade Amigos de Iracambi (Brazil); and FUNEDESIN (Ecuador).

Alcan created the award this past January to recognize outstanding contributions to the goal of economic, environmental, and social sustainability by not-for-profit, non-governmental, and civil society organizations (ELW February 2, 2004). The company, however, does not have a voice in the assessment or selection of Alcan Prize applicants. To ensure credibility and objectivity, Alcan engaged the IBLF to manage the Alcan Prize for Sustainability.

Since the March 31 closing date for entries, the IBLF has co-ordinated assessment panels in the U.K., Poland, the Philippines, and Canada to review entries and select the short list. The adjudication panel, chaired by World Economic Forum CEO JosÈ-Maria Figueres and made up of international experts in sustainability issues, fully endorsed the assessment process adopted by IBLF and have acknowledged the 12 short-listed organizations as a result of the process.

The adjudication panel will now conduct an in-depth review of the finalists and select the winner of the Alcan Prize and up to four recipients of $15,000 (U.S.) Alcan scholarships. These scholarships will allow a senior representative of each selected organization to earn a post-graduate certificate in Cross-Sector Partnership from the University of Cambridge. The Alcan Prize winner and Alcan scholarship recipients will be announced during the World Economic Forum Annual General Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January, 2005.

Alcan has committed to nine years of funding in the first cycle of the Alcan Prize. The call for entries for the 2006 Alcan Prize for Sustainability will be issued by the IBLF when the 2005 winners are announced.

"We have a very aggressive sustainability agenda within Alcan," said company CEO Travis Engen. "The Alcan Prize is one way to demonstrate our sustainability commitment to the world outside our plant gates, and to recognize that we all have a role to play in preserving our planet for future generations."

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