part of the solution

trees soak up carbon
The stream zones leading into Western Australia’s Swan River have been given a boost thanks to the planting of 25,000 trees, by a group of Alcoa employees, in the Wooroloo Brook catchment near Perth.
 
Around 50 Alcoa employees and their family members gave up their recent weekend to work alongside the Wooroloo Brook Land Conservation District Committee to rehabilitate and revegetate the stream zones draining into the Wooroloo Brook and ultimately the Swan River. Over two days, each volunteer planted around 500 trees each.
 
Alcoa’s Carbon Strategy Manager, Tim McAuliffe, said 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of Alcoa Tree Planting Weekends.
 
“Community volunteering and looking for ways to become part of the solution to climate change are integral to Alcoa’s values, which is a big part of why we’ve been holding tree planting weekends since 1989.
 
“Our people have demonstrated time and time again that they are absolutely committed to the community and the environment - in fact last year alone, Alcoans in Australia volunteered over 90,000 hours which is equivalent to nearly 10 and a half years,” Tim said.
 
Wooroloo Brook Land Conservation District Committee Chairman Bob Huston said: “The Alcoa volunteers have been planting seedlings for us for 18 years straight.  Because of them, we have been able to plant in wet, boggy degraded areas where the planting can only be done by hand and not machines.
 
“Knowing we have 50-plus volunteers for a weekend has also meant we could take on a very big planting project each year.  Alcoa employees have planted over 540,000 seedlings in our catchment alone over the years.”
 
Back in 2003, in response to global climate change, we launched our ‘Ten Million Trees’ program in which Alcoa volunteers aim to plant ten million new trees by 2020. All the trees planted in the Wooroloo Brook catchment will be counted towards the ‘Ten Million Trees’ goal.
 
“Those ten million new trees will absorb more than 250,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year during their lifetime,” Tim said.
 
‘Ten Million Trees’ grew from our successful ‘One Million Trees’ program which began in 1998 with the goal of Alcoa employees planting a million trees within 10 years.  Employees, contractors and their families, at more than 140 Alcoa locations in 20 countries, raced to the goal in half the time expected.
 
Meantime, our people across all WA sites also recently contributed to the 'Ten Million Trees' program, through our Employee Day of Trees.  Employee Day of Trees, which is held annually, sees hundreds of back gardens receive new bursts of life.  On Employee Day of Trees every employee in Western Australia is given two native seedlings to plant in their own environment.

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Four Australian Alcoa employees are helping to unlock solutions to some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time, during their Earthwatch Fellowships.

Alcoa Earthwatch Fellowships, offered by the Alcoa Foundation, give our people the chance to work alongside leading scientists and researchers from the Earthwatch Institute.

The mission of Earthwatch is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.

You can follow our Earthwatchers by visiting their blogs and leaving questions and comments. Click here.


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Pinjarra employee Clive Hebbard with wife Fien


Kwinana employee Peter Rossi and his wife Lydia have participated in every single Alcoa Tree Planting Weekend


Wagerup employee Simon Gladman (right) with friend Len


Kwinana employee Damian Sparr with partner Lisa


Huntly Mine employee Anika Wall with husband Gavin