our people
recognising our people as our most valuable asset
Employee suggestions and achievements from 2008 were celebrated recently at the Alcoa Western Australian Operations Annual Awards for Excellence.

Ideas direct from Alcoa’s refinery and mine site workers continue to result in significant financial savings for the business as well as safety, environmental and efficiency improvements.

At Alcoa, we recognise that our people are our success. The WA Operations Annual Awards for Excellence is a way for Alcoa to say thanks to our number one resource: our people.

General Manager of WA Operations, Simon Butterworth, said: “Alcoa would not be what it is today without our dedicated people.  Our people are extraordinary because they are willing to go the extra mile for business improvement.”

Alcoa has had an Employee Suggestion Scheme in place for a number of years, offering cash incentives to employees who come up with bright ideas. 

 “We believe we have a more productive and engaged workforce if employees are encouraged to make suggestions for improvement and are then listened to by management,” Managing Director Alan Cransberg said.

As we move through these challenging economic times, finding ways to conserve cash is at the forefront of all Alcoans’ minds.

Jonathan Visser, Area Engineer at Wagerup, and his team recently demonstrated what team work and lateral thinking can achieve. 
Jonathan’s team’s initiative resulted in a saving to the business of more than $1 million.

“Re-aligning a spacer and installing some new gaskets on an air compressor will save $1.33 million in the first year and $830,000 for every year after that,” Jonathan said.

alcoans volunteer to prevent dieback
More than 70 volunteers, including 12 Alcoa employees, joined forces with a number of community groups last month in a bid to protect trees at Wireless Hill Park in Western Australian against the soil-borne disease phytophthora dieback.
Phytophthora dieback is caused by a mould that kills plants by attacking their roots and limiting their uptake of water and nutrients. It is known as “the biological bulldozer” because of its devastating impact on natural bushland.

The disease is already known to be deadly to over 40 per cent of the 5,700 plant species in WA.  It is spreading rapidly throughout the State and is endangering land used for tourism, and also horticulture, as well as threatening the extinction of a number of native animals as a result of habitat loss.

The team, which was joined by the City of Melville Mayor, spent more than three hours vaccinating 800 trees over three hectares of bushland, which involved drilling holes into the trunks and injecting an environmentally-friendly fungicide which boosts immunity to dieback. This tireless volunteer work will sufficiently protect the area for the next five years from dieback infestation.

Alcoa employee and member of the Dieback Working Group, Dr Ian Colquhoun, said: “The disease is having a massive impact on a range of plant and animal species locally, as well as throughout the State, and the vaccination program will help to save the trees in the infected area for a good few years to come.”

“We’re fortunate to have so many volunteers who are prepared to lend a hand for the environment, and who are dedicated to dieback prevention in our local bushland,” added Dr Colquhoun.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who got involved last weekend as we could not have protected the trees without their help – it is incredible to have such a dedicated group of volunteers.”

Alcoa actively encourages employee volunteering, recognising that volunteers are the backbone of our community.  Getting involved in the community is therefore part of the Alcoa culture and every week our people are helping to make a positive and meaningful difference to the lives of others by volunteering their time. 
In recent years, over 90,000 personal hours have been volunteered annually by Alcoa employees in local communities.  We match our employees’ time with financial donations to their chosen not-for-profit organisations, through ACTION and Bravo! grants from the Alcoa Foundation. 

The volunteer effort to save the Wireless Hill trees from dieback was registered for an Alcoa ACTION grant, providing the Dieback Working Group with $3000US.

The recent vaccination working bee was organised by The Friends of Wireless Hill with support from The Dieback Working Group, The Wildflower Society, Alcoa, the City of Melville and Murdoch University.

The Federal Government recognises that Dieback is one of the biggest threats to the nation’s biodiversity and WA’s Environmental Protection Authority has ranked it alongside climate change and salinity as a major threat to the State’s environment.

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The WA Operations Annual Awards for Excellence is a way for Alcoa to say thanks to our number one resource: our people

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Pinjarra Refinery Manager Armando Torres with General Manager of WA Operations Simon Butterworth

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The volunteer effort to save the Wireless Hill trees from dieback was registered for an Alcoa ACTION grant, providing the Dieback Working Group with $3,000 US. Scroll down for full story

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