First ever corporate park achievement award goes to mining company

Alcoa, one of the world's largest producers of primary aluminium, has been recognised by the National Parks Conservation Association with the first-ever Corporate Park Achievement Award.

It was awarded for Alcoa’s decision to permanently set aside 10,000 acres of land for preservation adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.

Kevin J Anton, President of Alcoa Materials Management, said: “We are proud of having the distinction as the first winner of this achievement award for support of one of our country’s most visited national parks. The innovative agreement that we are being recognised for was a win-win for the NPCA, the Nature Conservancy and Alcoa. It is an excellent example of joint environmental and conservation stewardship.”

Last October, President George Bush signed historical land exchange legislation that enabled the preservation of the land along with the relicensing of four Alcoa hydropower dams in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Receipt of the award will no doubt boost Alcoa’s environmental credentials. It has in the past been accused of being one of the worst environmental offenders on the planet. UT Watch, a student based watchdog for the University of Texas in Austin, has said Alcoa has been “at the forefront of poisoning the air, land and water of Texas, the most heavily polluted state in the nation.”

It accuses Alcoa of deliberately flouting environmental rules and regulations and says that, “since 1987, more than forty-seven Alcoa facilities have been cited for pollution violations by state and federal regulators.”

Despite this, the company has won a string of environmental stewardship awards such as the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum-Business Life for Environment award, Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club-Business Service Award, Indiana Governor’s Award for Excellence in Pollution Prevention, and Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

By David Hopkins

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