Alcan: Clean solutions for today and tomorrow

(DISCLAIMER: The work portrayed in this document was undertaken with the former Alcan, prior to its acquisition by Rio Tinto in 2007.  Rio Tinto Alcan remains committed to sustainable development. As such, the work begun with The Natural Step as described below was folded into larger efforts centrally directed by Rio Tinto in London, UK. The specific partnership between The Natural Step and the former Alcan’s Bauxite & Alumina division was halted in 2007 within the above-mentioned context.) The Opportunity Committed to sustainability and increasingly reliant on projects based in lesser-industrialized countries, Alcan’s Bauxite & Alumina (B&A) division saw an opportunity to develop a sustainability vision that brought social and environmental concerns even more into focus for the business. The Response In 2007, The Natural Step principles and process were put into action at Alcan’s B&A sites in the Pacific Region to help reduce risks and increase the company’s competitive advantage in alignment with their sustainability vision. The Process In 2007, The Natural Step Canada advisors Chad Park and Joe Herbertson held a workshop with the Alcan management team in Montreal, Canada. The workshop had two main goals: To develop a sustainability vision that would guide Alcan’s B&A sustainability strategy moving forward. To align the management team with a shared definition and understanding of sustainability, and to build buy-in for the sustainability vision. Early in the workshop, participants identified Alcan’s top sustainability challenges, two of which were viewed as critical: meeting company growth expectations and addressing the issue of emissions associated with bauxite mining and alumina production. To address these challenges, the participants proceeded to develop a sustainability vision...