part of the solution
alcoa and greening australia tackle climate change head on
Everyday Australians have the potential to become global leaders in the fight against climate change thanks to Breathe Easy , a new carbon offset program officially launched last week by Greening Australia and Alcoa.
As emissions from our operations reduce, they also reduce in our communities. Our 27 year partnership with Greening Australia now sees Alcoa as the foundation partner in Breathe Easy which has created ways to offset household energy use.
More effective than monoculture planting schemes (where only one species is planted), Breathe Easy focuses on mass planting of a mix of species to offer:
• carbon offsets
• landscape transformation and
• nurtured biodiversity
Breathe Easy has already seen the planting of 250 hectares in Gondwana Link, Western Australia, neutralising the impact of the annual carbon emissions of 3,571** average households.
Breathe Easy is an Australian Government accredited program and is fully compliant with the Kyoto Protocol and the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme.
For Alcoa, Breathe Easy forms a core part of a crucial strategy to facilitate change at an individual level. It complements our Make an Impact* program, created in 2006 by Alcoa and Greening Australia.
At Alcoa, we have long recognised climate change as the key sustainability issue of our time. Over a decade ago, we took a global leadership position in finding solutions to reduce emissions, through technology, through partnerships, and through people.
At the launch of Breathe Easy in Canberra, National President of Greening Australia, Mr Rob Gell stated, “We are enormously proud to introduce this world-changing, practical solution, which will provide direct and immediate benefits to the Australian landscape.”
“Alcoa provides a prime example of a corporation that is aware and active in restoring Australia’s environment,” said Mr Gell.
“We commend Alcoa for its leadership in identifying the critical role Australians can play in addressing the impact we are having on climate change.”
Tim McAuliffe, Alcoa’s Manager of Environment and Sustainable Development stated, “We partner with Greening Australia for its vision and expertise in environmental sustainability. The community is increasingly aware of the effects of climate change and it’s important to Alcoa to take the lead on this issue by supporting a groundbreaking and practical environmental solution that demonstrates immediate benefits.
“Global climate change represents a profound long-term challenge for government, business and society. Alcoa has taken a global leadership position on the issue in setting clear emission reduction targets and facilitating behavioural change at an individual level, with Breathe Easy and our other core greenhouse program Make an Impact*.
“The enthusiasm from our people and their families has been very encouraging, we have more than 1000 staff already signed up, reducing their greenhouse emissions, and the message is fast spreading amongst their wider communities,” said Mr McAuliffe.
“Alcoa aims to empower our communities to address climate change and find local solutions to this critical global issue.”
Mr Gell said Australians emit 600 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
“To put that in perspective, the UK generates virtually the same amount with more than three times our population.
“The average Australian household emits 14 tonnes of CO2 each year, while the average car emits six tonnes.
“If every Australian reduced or offset just three tonnes of CO2 this year, we could reduce our national emissions by 10%, or 60 million tonnes. The secret to living with as little impact on the environment starts with reducing where you can and offsetting where you can’t.”
Greening Australia estimates that through its work in carbon offsets it has the potential to generate income in excess of $100 million per annum by 2011, which will enable it to undertake more multi-million dollar, large-scale re-vegetation projects to transform the Australian landscape.
The organisation is already undertaking inspirational projects involving individuals and local, regional and national groups that are offsetting carbon, repairing landscapes and nurturing biodiversity in regions of high biological significance.
“In order to transform Australia’s landscapes successfully we need to collaborate with entire communities, formulate strong partnerships with corporations and draw strength from each other to achieve a common goal.
“Until now, there has been no integrated product that offers the quality and volume of carbon credits that Australia needs, nor one with a visionary program to engage the whole community and provide multiple environmental benefits,” said Mr Gell.
To find out exactly how Breathe Easy works and to offset your carbon emissions visit: www.alcoa.com.au/makeanimpact
* Make an Impact
In 2006, in a first for Australian industry Greening Australia and Alcoa developed Make an Impact (MAI), a
greenhouse footprint reduction program for Alcoa employees and their immediate communities, with the support of the Australian Greenhouse Office. The program aims to provide thousands of Alcoa employees with an opportunity to understand and measure their energy use; take action to reduce greenhouse emissions, and now through Breathe Easy, the option to offset what they can’t reduce.
** Figure based on Australian Government’s estimation that an average Australian household generates around 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year.
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