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Comalco joins sustainable business leaders

11 July 2006

Media Release

Comalco joins sustainable business leaders

Comalco has joined the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The majority owner of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (NZAS), which operates the country's only aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point, near Bluff, Comalco New Zealand says its Business Council membership is a logical progression of its efforts to demonstrate leadership in sustainable development.

It is the first heavy refining business to join the Business Council, the now 51 members of which jointly employ more than 55,000 people in managing resources, manufacturing, retailing and the service sector. Members' annual sales of more than $33 billion equate to 28% of gross domestic product. NZAS contributes an average net economic benefit of $121 million a year to the country and 18%, or $500 million, to the Southland region's GDP.

The Business Council believes sustainable businesses are profitable, contribute to social progress and ecological balance – and protect New Zealand's quality of life.

Business Council chair Rob Fenwick describes Comalco as "good corporate citizens with a great track record and a strong heritage of supporting the Southland community and New Zealand economy over the past 35 years".

Comalco New Zealand has sponsored the Kakapo Recovery Programme since 1990, is a major sponsor of the Bluff Healthy Homes Project and supports a range of projects including the Southland Life Education Trust, the Bluff Coast Guard, the Southland Environment Awards and the Relay for Life.

Comalco also has a record of implementing sustainable development measures here and overseas.

Comalco New Zealand's Managing Director Smelting (NZ & UK), Tom Campbell, says the company believes sustainable business practices are part of the firm's competitiveness.

"Our competitiveness depends not only on our people and the quality and diversity of our assets, but also on our record as good neighbours and partners," Mr Campbell says.

"Membership of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development is an obvious progression for Comalco as we seek opportunities to demonstrate leadership in sustainable development.

"By producing aluminium NZAS is delivering one of the building blocks for a more sustainable society. While energy intensive, the lightweight properties and sustainable nature of aluminium are essential to support resource efficiency and fuel savings. These savings also lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

ENDS

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