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Alcoa Foundation Receives Tennessee State Conservation Award.

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Natural Heritage Conservation Award Given in Recognition of

Environmental Philanthropic Activity; Underscores Alcoa's Commitment

to Environmental Stewardship

In ceremonies today in Blount County, Tennessee, Alcoa Foundation was awarded the Natural Heritage Conservation Award, part of the 2002 Environmental and Conservation Stewardship Awards given by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

TDEC Commissioner Milton H. Hamilton Jr. recognized Alcoa Foundation for its efforts in preserving Tennessee's natural heritage through many environmental grants, including a $250,000 grant given earlier this year to Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (GSMIT). That grant, received by Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was the largest single monetary corporate foundation gift in the history of the park.

The grant enabled the Friends organization to match the gift, bringing the total funds to $500,000. It also inaugurated a major fundraising effort for GSMIT, the first key step to strengthen the park's residential environmental education programs. In the past 12 months, Alcoa Foundation and Alcoa Inc. have also been active partners and donors with other local environmental organizations such as Ijams Nature Center and Little River Watershed Association.

"Many individuals and organizations go quietly about their stewardship activities seeking no recognition," Hamilton said. "Organizations such as Alcoa personify leadership by example, and we applaud their efforts to enhance the natural beauty and quality of life in this beloved land we call Tennessee. Beyond the money, Alcoa's exemplary environmental record in Tennessee--and the leadership it provides in public policy development--underscores a real commitment to environmental stewardship."

The sizable gift to the park was the culmination of work by the Alcoa Community Advisory Board (CAB), a 14-member Blount and Knox Counties community board that identified the grant as its top priority last year. The advisory board was formed in January 2001 as part of Alcoa's community partnership plan celebrating a combined 100-year anniversary in East Tennessee: its 90th year in Blount County and its 10th year in Knoxville.

Ernie Blankenship, special assistant to Commissioner Hamilton, praised the board's innovative formation and structure as part of Alcoa's efforts to stay connected with local community needs. Since last January, the CAB has assisted Alcoa by recommending multiple granting opportunities in Blount and Knox Counties, resulting in more than $700,000 in diverse community gifts.

Mike Coleman, President of Alcoa Rigid Packaging and Vice President of Alcoa, said Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation appreciate the state's recognition, and considers their work "to be a clear investment in the future." In January 2001 Coleman announced a community partnership plan that pledged significant financial resources over a five-year period, the formation of the CAB, and a national-level workshop to benefit local nonprofits.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000 employees in 38 countries.

Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide. With more than $339 million invested since its inception in 1952, Alcoa Foundation has positioned itself as a source of positive community change and enhancement. Out of that legacy has emerged a set of strengths and competencies that reflect community aspirations and needs around the world.

In 2001, Alcoa Foundation made $21.3 million in grants around the world. Communities where Alcoa has a presence are the primary focus of its grantmaking programs. Alcoa is widely considered one of the key philanthropic companies in East Tennessee. Alcoa's Tennessee Operations is a major employer in Blount County. East Tennessee also is home to two of Alcoa's key businesses - Alcoa Rigid Packaging, headquartered in Alcoa, and Alcoa's U.S. Primary Metals business, headquartered in Knoxville.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 28, 2002
Words:692
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