Four Indian NGOs are among the 10 organisations shortlisted for the $1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability 2006, Alcan Inc. and the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) announced on Wednesday.
The Canada-headquartered global leader in aluminium and packaging, Alcan created the Alcan Prize for Sustainability in 2004 to recognise outstanding contributions to the goal of economic, environmental, and social sustainability by not-for-profit, non-governmental and civil society organisations.
To ensure credibility and objectivity, Alcan engaged the IBLF to manage the Alcan Prize for Sustainability.
"Ten organisations were selected from a field of almost 200 entries from 55 countries around the world, and they now face a final consideration by an international adjudication panel of distinguished sustainability experts," an official statement said from Montreal.
"Of the 10 organisations selected, four are from India."
The four Indian NGOs are The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Naandi Foundation, The Barefoot College and International Development Enterprises (IDE).
Naandi works with under-served communities spread across 6,000 villages in seven states of India. It also works with over 3,000 government elementary schools across these regions providing health facilities for nearly 100,000 children, learning support for 200,000 children and midday meals for 500,000 children daily.
IDE strives to provide affordable, appropriate and environmentally sustainable technologies to small and marginal farm families through private marketing channels.
The Barefoot College addresses problems of drinking water, female education, health and sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.
Set up in 1974, TERI relies on entrepreneurial skills to create benefits for society through the development and dissemination of intellectual property.
"On behalf of Alcan, I congratulate this year's finalists," said Daniel Gagnier, senior vice president corporate and external affairs of Alcan Inc.
"Since the Alcan Prize's inception in 2004, the 32 short-listed organisations have, through their commitment and collaborative approaches to problem-solving, confirmed Alcan's conviction that cross-sector engagement is the most effective way to pursue international sustainable development," he said.
In selecting the 2006 shortlist, the IBLF coordinated assessment panels in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Pakistan and Britain.
The assessment process, in which almost 90 representatives of business, governments, academia and the NGO community took part, was fully endorsed by the adjudication panel, which reviewed and approved the shortlist.
Alcan does not have a voice in the assessment or selection of prize applicants.
"As a result of a rigorous first round of assessment, IBLF congratulates the 10 short-listed organisations in 2006," IBLF managing director Adrian Hodges said.
"The Alcan Prize highlights innovative sustainability practices and how action translates into social, economic and environmental impact. This shortlist demonstrates the commitment to sustainability is alive and thriving in the NGO community."