Keep America Beautiful, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation Launch "Action to Accelerate Recycling" Commitment to Increase U.S. Recycling Rates
STAMFORD, Conn. (Sept. 25, 2012) — At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting today, Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Alcoa (NYS: AA) and Alcoa Foundation announced a national commitment to increase U.S. recycling rates. "Action to Accelerate Recycling" will generate awareness, create incentives, and provide recycling access and infrastructure to increase U.S. recycling of aluminum, plastic, glass and paper. The commitment, which includes $2 million in funding from Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation, is expected to engage millions of Americans and increase the current U.S. recycling rate by 10 percentage points. Increasing the rate to 75 percent would generate close to 300 additional tons of recycled content, resulting in the avoidance of more than 2,850 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. recycling rate lags the rest of the world, which has financial and environmental implications: millions of dollars spent on landfills and transporting waste; billions of dollars lost from residual value of scrap; and missed opportunities to create green jobs. A recent report from the Blue-Green Alliance found that increasing recycling rates in the United States to 75 percent for all municipal solid waste would create 1.5 million jobs.
"For every can that is recycled, we save energy and money, reduce our environmental impact, and create economic opportunities in U.S. communities," said Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa. "Our partnership with Keep America Beautiful is a 'call to action' for companies, consumers and community organizations to make recycling a priority. Together with our industry partners, we set and can achieve an ambitious yet achievable 75 percent aluminum can recycling rate by 2015 in the U.S."
"We are singularly focused on influencing people's recycling behaviors at work, at home and at play through education, programs and awareness campaigns," said Matt McKenna, president and chief executive officer of KAB. "One of our commitment's key initiatives is the launch of a first-ever, multi-million-dollar national media campaign on recycling scheduled for early next year."
"Action to Accelerate Recycling" includes the design and launch of innovative global recycling programs that educate and activate people of all ages, incentivize behavior change, increase access to recycling bins, and help parks, housing complexes and universities build infrastructure to create and expand recycling programs.
"The Action to Accelerate Recycling" commitment includes:
Keep America Beautiful Initiatives:
- Industry Pledge to
Increase Recycling - Solicit industry to pledge a 10% increase in the
recycling of aluminum, paper, plastic and glass in the workplace through
variety of programs;
- Recycling Media Campaign - Multi-media campaign to reach 200 million people; and,
- State Fairs Recycling Initiative - Provides recycling access and
develops best practices in 4-6 underserved public venues with funding
Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation Initiatives:
- "Pass the Can" - For every virtual can passed through this Facebook app, Alcoa Foundation will donate $1 (up to $75,000) to Keep America Beautiful, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Planet Ark to fund recycling programs around the world. For more information: www.passthecan.com/cgi
- Net Impact - "Small Steps, Big Wins" Campus Challenge will reach 50 college campuses around the world and incentivize students to take 50,000 small steps towards environmental action."
- DoSomething.org - The largest youth-led aluminum recycling drive in the U.S.
- Tailgate Recycling Programs - The Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Purdue University and Clemson University will create innovative recycling programs that encourage fans to recycle in parking lots during football season.
- Pennsylvania Resources Council - The program will educate consumers about the recyclability of pet food cans and create a model for collecting cans that is easily replicated.
"We are excited to create awareness, incentives and programs with dynamic non-profits and universities that share Alcoa's passion for improving the environment," said Paula Davis, president, Alcoa Foundation. "By tapping into strong existing networks and developing multiple programs online and on the ground, we will enlist students, professors, colleagues and friends all over the country in the drive to increase recycling, a meaningful step towards more sustainable and prosperous communities."
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation's leading nonprofit that creates vibrant communities. With a strong affiliate and partnership network, the national nonprofit works with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities through programs that deliver positive and lasting change. For additional information, visit www.kab.org and follow us on Twitter at @kabtweet and Facebook at facebook.com/KeepAmericaBeautiful.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow's leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's (NYS: AA) thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company's signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at www.alcoafoundation.com.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa's operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com. With the fall planting season now underway, national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is encouraging the public, municipalities and civic leaders to plant and re-plant using native species instead of exotic and ornamental plants that are less adapted to local ecosystems.
Director of Communications
Keep America Beautiful
1010 Washington Blvd.
Stamford, CT 06901