The Alcoa Foundation provides grants that contribute to environmental excellence around the world, particularly in areas of biodiversity conservation and climate change research.
The Alcoa Earthwatch Fellowship Program launched in 2003. The program aims to introduce Alcoa employees to key climate change and sustainability topics as they relate to forests, carbon, and ecosystem services so that each employee can become an advocate for Alcoa’s commitment to sustainability. Over 282 employees from 24 countries have participated in week-long Sustainability Training Teams around the world from the edge of the Arctic to the rainforest to the Andorran Pyrenees.
Employees have provided essential assistance to 50 Earthwatch research projects in 30 countries and contributed over 14,000 field research hours. Their work as research assistants creates the foundation for taking action on sustainability at work. An Earthwatch learning facilitator leads them through the business implications of climate change and guides their creation of a sustainability project to implement in their workplace and the creating of an environmental volunteering event. Employees have gone on to create sustainability task forces in their office, create sustainability education programs in local schools, and create training for mine site workers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
Achieving a more sustainable world requires participation at every level, from large sweeping actions of many to meaningful individual actions. My favorite part about our partnership with Earthwatch is seeing how our creative employees implement their learnings in their communities upon their return, creating a ripple effect of change, hopefully for years to come.
Rosa Garcia Pineiro — Alcoa VP, Sustainability and Alcoa Foundation President