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Alcan joins business leaders initiative on human rights

Alcan Inc : 03 August, 2007  (Company News)
Alcan announced that it has joined the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights. BLIHR
“Alcan’s participation in the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights is further demonstration of its commitment to sustainability and the importance it places on the heart of its success: its people,” said Dick Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alcan Inc. “The Company employs the highest standard of human rights in all of its more than 440 OHSAS accredited installations across the world, and through local stakeholder engagements is promoting these rights throughout the communities in which it operates,” he added.

Alcan is engaged in a variety of local stakeholder initiatives aimed at helping developing countries address issues that are critical to their economic and social prosperity, including human rights, HIV/AIDS, potable water, basic sanitation.

The Company’s joint-venture Ningxia primary aluminum smelter in China attained ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certification in just 11 months, setting a new record for time taken for securing these certificates inside Alcan and China, a country often criticized for its position on human rights.

In Ghana, Alcan recently announced a 3-year US$300,000 support of the Government’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Alcan will also maintain its annual contribution of US$430,000 towards the Company-owned-and-operated hospital, which serves more than 10,000 people.

In Cameroon, Alcan’s joint-venture Alucam smelter has been working with the local community in battling serious medical issues, in particular HIV/AIDS, through its TRICAM project. TRICAM provides the entire local community with access to high quality specialized health services. Thanks to wide-scale campaigns and voluntary testing at Alucam, the HIV-positive rate in the Alucam community dropped to under five percent, versus an approximate 12 percent for the rest of Cameroon. Today, it is at 3.5 percent.

“Over the last decade, a growing number of companies have come to recognize that they are not immune from human rights issues, and indeed have an important part to play in fostering greater respect for human rights in the countries where they operate,” said Mary Robinson, BLIHR’s Honorary Chair and President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Companies like Alcan are important to the BLIHR as they are committed to integrating concern for human rights into their operations and developing good practices for other companies to follow,” she added.
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