Alcan Champions the Need to Protect the Planet's Most Precious Liquid

Jan. 23, 2004

Alcan Inc. urges a rethinking of how the world's freshwater is managed and used in a position paper released today entitled "Committed to the Sustainable Management of Water, One of Our Most Precious Resources".

The paper outlines Alcan's corporate water strategy and offers further evidence of the company's commitment to building a sustainable future and to protecting the resources entrusted to it. By contributing to the evolving body of knowledge on sustainable water management, Alcan hopes to stimulate discussion and provide insight into the types of best practices that will help protect and preserve the planet's freshwater.

"While water is not our core business, without it, we would have no business at all," said Travis Engen, president and CEO of Alcan Inc. "We want to contribute to preventing and resolving water crises by sharing our successes and the lessons we have learned in freshwater management throughout our 101-year history. No matter where we operate, it is our corporate responsibility to bring solutions to the table and to help manage the earth's water with care. Ensuring the sustainable management of water is essential to safeguarding our long-term license to operate and to grow."

Alcan's business is inextricably linked with water. The company manages watersheds, uses water to generate hydroelectric power and uses water in its industrial processes. Recognition of Alcan's dependence on water has triggered a heightened awareness of its responsibility to manage this crucial resource in an efficient and sustainable manner.

"We believe that water management requires effective management, responsible governance and pro-active stewardship," continued Mr. Engen. "We have learned that the only way to successfully manage water issues is to engage multiple stakeholders and to seek to balance the interests of all. We hope that our experience will inspire others to rethink how they manage water and to develop solutions that help spare, share, and care for the earth's freshwater resources."

The position paper was prepared in recognition of the International Year of Freshwater (2003) and as a submission to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Water Initiative, which is co-chaired by Mr. Engen.

Source: Alcan, Inc.