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Alcoa Foundation

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.



Earthwatch Partner: Alcoa

Since 2003, nearly 400 Alcoa employees have contributed over 15,000 hours in support of Earthwatch's scientific research while also engaging in sustainability training. In 2020, the Alcoa Foundation began supporting Operation Healthy Air. In addition to education programs, eight Alcoa employees were selected to implement action plans with far-reaching community impacts.

Alcoa Case Study



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


Alcoa fellows gathering data
Alcoa Fellows in the field
Alcoa fellows


Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.