April 6, 2011

Growing Stronger Together: Alcoa and Greening Australia

In what is the longest running corporate/not-for-profit environmental partnership in Australia, Alcoa of Australia and Greening Australia have signed a new three year agreement.

This year marks the 29th year of the long-standing environmental conservation and sustainability partnership, which is supported at two levels by both Alcoa of Australia and the Alcoa Foundation. 

Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said Greening Australia has become the company’s signature national partnership.

“This partnership touches every community where we operate in Australia from Pinjarra to Portland, Wagerup to Geelong, and beyond. Together we will continue to addresses environmental issues in landscapes that are important to the community, our stakeholders, and to the people in both Alcoa and Greening Australia.

“This partnership is also part of Alcoa’s integrated carbon strategy. We are working hard to educate people on ways to reduce their carbon footprint. We are also continuing to work inside our operations to minimise our environmental footprint, while connecting with community partners to further make an impact.

“There’s going to be many opportunities for our employees and local community members to get involved in the various programs this year, so together we can make an even greater positive difference to the community and the environment where we live and work.

“Our investment in 2011 and moving forward signifies the commitment of Alcoa in the environmental space and the confidence we have in Greening Australia as the leading environmental not-for-profit organisation in the country.”

Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis said: “Alcoa is a part of the fabric of over 200 communities around the world and for our operations to thrive, the places in which we operate must thrive as well. Our partnership with Greening Australia is particularly gratifying for the genuine difference it makes on the ground.”

President of Greening Australia, Rob Gell, pointed to the leadership role corporations can play in giving back to their communities.

“We are excited by the opportunity that serious investment in the environment provides. Alcoa is a leading example of a corporation that believes in giving back to the communities, and to the environment in which they operate, and our long-term partnership is an example of the leadership role that can be taken to seriously address the challenges our environment faces.”

Alcoa and Greening Australia will focus on five key projects over the next three years:

  • Transforming landscapes: Continuing to address environmental issues through a number of on-ground rehabilitation and conservation projects such as Nell’s Block near Wagerup in WA and Moolapio around Point Henry in Victoria.  

  • Make an Impact: Created by Alcoa and Greening Australia in 2006, this program continues to help individuals become part of the solution to climate change. 2011 will see the program rolled out in two communities around our operations. A roll out in Anglesea, Victoria, has already begun and plans are underway to make the program available to the community surrounding Pinjarra in WA.

  • WA sustainable landscape research project: Phosphorus management to protect RAMSAR Wetlands. Based in the Peel Harvey catchment of WA, this project builds on a partnership between Greening Australia, Alcoa, University of Western Australia, the Peel Harvey Catchment Council and the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce and aims to deliver productivity, biodiversity and water-quality benefits to the region.

  • Victorian sustainable landscape research project: Harnessing bioenergy markets to build resilient landscapes. Loss of biodiversity and elevated atmospheric carbon are two problems arising from the over-clearing of land for agriculture throughout much of Australia.  While emerging carbon markets provide a real opportunity for large scale revegetation, there is a risk that this could result in large tracts of monoculture plantings, creating associated environmental and social problems.  Based in Victoria’s south-west, this project aims to develop and apply models for integrated land-uses which not only enhance productivity, but capture CO₂ and enhance biodiversity, through strategically placed mixed native species plantations.  

  • National revegetation project, linked with Alcoa’s existing Ten Million Trees program: This revegetation project is more than just a tree planting exercise and will be spread across five priority sites associated with Alcoa’s operations in Australia. Alcoa employees, their families and communities will contribute to improving their local environment in a very hands-on way.  This will deliver in the vicinity of 50,000 new plants into the ecosystem.

Alcoa of Australia and the Alcoa Foundation are together investing AUD$1.6 million into Greening Australia in 2011.

- ENDS –

* Alcoa Foundation
The Alcoa Foundation works alongside Alcoa and the communities in which it operates to partner on issues and projects that address priority local challenges and contribute to the sustainability of each community where the business has a presence.

Alcoa Foundation has contributed $530 million to Alcoa communities since 1952.

Media contact: Sarah Tempest 0404 800 417