December 5, 2012

Alcoa volunteering: Australian best practice

Alcoa employees across Australia devoted more than 10,000 hours to community projects and not-for-profit organisations during the company’s seventh annual volunteering month in October. 
Alcoa’s worldwide ‘Month of Service’, an initiative of the Alcoa Foundation*, is a time when the global aluminium company encourages employee volunteerism and celebrates its hundreds of employees who volunteer all year round.
The company proudly made the announcement on United Nations International Volunteering Day, 5 December 2012.
This year in Australia 2,423 employees participated in a wide range of activities. They weeded wetlands, painted fences, packed food hampers, marshalled at aged care games, built sensory gardens for dementia patients, served food to those in need plus so much more, including delivering intangible benefits like socialising with homeless people and helping ‘at risk’ teenagers build up their confidence and self esteem.
As part of Alcoa’s Month of Service commitments, the company pledged 10,000 volunteer hours to Volunteering WA’s inaugural Give 1 Project**, a call-to-action campaign challenging Western Australian businesses to start or ramp up volunteering programs. Alcoa pledged more hours than any other Western Australian business.
Alcoa of Australia National Partnerships Manager Sarah Fordham said: “Our efforts during Month of Service never cease to amaze me. Our people just get out there and make a huge difference to so many different organisations and individuals. What they have done in hours as crews, teams and families would have taken many organisations weeks, months or in some instances the jobs may never have got off the ground.
“With the Australian benchmark for corporate volunteering sitting around 35% employee participation, Alcoa achieved 43% engagement during our 2012 Month of Service; an extraordinary effort,” said Sarah.
Helen Bagnall, Centre Operations Manager of Amana Living’s seniors’ home, James Brown House, said of the Alcoa employees who rolled up their sleeves to support Amana Living’s 50th anniversary celebrations by improving gardens: “The team effort and camaraderie shown by the group who came to James Brown House, including Managing Director Alan Cransberg, was refreshing; they all got their hands dirty and made the residents feel valued. There was a buzz about the place as they revitalised gardens, mulched, painted and built and planted four new vegetable gardens. Thank you to Alcoa for caring and wanting to help organisations that welcome the extra pairs of hands.”
While Month of Service is the company’s volunteering centrepiece, Alcoa employees are heavily involved in their communities all year round. Throughout the year, the company matches employees’ volunteer time with financial grants to their chosen not-for-profit organisations through its ACTION^ and Bravo!^^ programs.
“Many Alcoans contribute year round in their communities through volunteering and Month of Service is a wonderful celebration which inspires individuals to make a difference,” said Sarah.
In 2012 Alcoa was a ‘Corporate Volunteer of the Year’ finalist in the annual Volunteering WA awards.
- ENDS -
Media contact: Jane McGuire on 0410 694 676 or
Photos: Local photos from the communities in which Alcoa operates can be supplied upon request.
Statistic snapshot
• More than 10,000 employee volunteer hours were devoted to community projects and non-profit organisations.
• Approximately 2,423 employees participated in Month of Service.
• Alcoa achieved 43% engagement during Month of Service (Australian benchmark around 35%).
• 10,000 volunteer hours, the most of any Western Australian business, pledged to Volunteering Western Australia’s inaugural Give 1 Project.
• More than 100 community groups nationwide received volunteer support.
• A record 60 per cent or more than 33,000 Alcoa employees volunteered during Month of Service.
• Alcoa employees from 24 countries participated in more than 1,500 projects.
• Alcoa partnered with 2,050 non-profit organisations.
• As aluminium is endlessly recyclable, 265,455 aluminium cans were recycled via can collection activities.
* Alcoa Foundation: Month of Service is an initiative of the Alcoa Foundation and takes place in 24 countries where Alcoa has a presence.
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the US, with assets of approximately US$446 million. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to non-profit organisations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates.
The Alcoa Foundation celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. More information can be found at
** Give 1 Project: The Corporate Volunteer Council of Western Australia, of which Alcoa is a founding member, devised and launched the Give 1 Project in August 2012. Give 1 encourages employers to think about giving one day, one person, one hour or one per cent staffing hours towards a strategy that would include volunteering in the future. Volunteering WA, the convenor of the Corporate Volunteer Council, assists any business that wants to direct or better understand their options for corporate volunteering initiatives. Additional information including photos of participating companies can be found at the Give1 Project Facebook page.
Alcoa volunteering programs
(Alcoans Coming Together In Our Neighbourhoods) recognises the team effort of at least five Alcoa employees who spend a minimum of four hours on a community service project for a local non-profit, community or non-government organisation. In recognition of the team's effort, Alcoa makes a contribution to the organisation with grants up to $US3,000.
^^ Bravo! recognises individual Alcoa employees who volunteer 50 hours of personal time in one year to a non-profit, community or non-government organisation.