June 21, 2011

Alcoa employees 'green' their environments

Hundreds of back gardens in Western Australia have received new bursts of life this month as part of Alcoa’s worldwide Green Works initiative.

The local aluminium employer has given each Western Australian employee two native seedlings to plant in their own environment or community.

Green Works, currently in its first year, was created by Alcoa Foundation to encourage employees to volunteer to reduce their carbon footprint, recycle to save energy, and plant trees to replenish the environment. 

Alcoa of Australia’s General Manager of Climate Strategy, Tim McAuliffe, said all the trees planted by employees are part of a much bigger picture.

“We’re aiming to plant ten million new trees globally by 2020 under our ‘Ten Million Trees’ program and all the trees our people plant - in Pinjarra and Mandurah, Harvey and Waroona, Kwinana and Rockingham right through to Bunbury and Perth - will help achieve that goal,” Mr McAuliffe said.

“Many people know Alcoa in WA is a world leader in mine site rehabilitation, because we’ve won numerous awards for this work. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are many more trees we plant, and encourage our people to plant, separate to our rehab efforts, as just one part of Alcoa’s solution to tackling climate change.

“It’s estimated that those ten million new trees will absorb more than 250,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year during their lifetime,” Mr McAuliffe said.

Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Alcoa. Green Works aims to get our employees and their families involved in greening their communities and encourages them to become environmental ambassadors.”

‘Ten Million Trees’ has been running since 2003. It followed the success of Alcoa’s ‘One Million Trees’ program which began in 1998 with the goal of planting one million trees within 10 years.  Employees, contractors and their families, at more than 140 Alcoa locations in 20 countries, raced to that goal in half the time expected.

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Media contact:
Sarah Tempest 0404 800 417

Green Works runs annually from 21 April through 21 June.

Read more about Ten Million Trees.

Alcoa employees across WA will receive/ have received their seedlings on different days throughout June:

  • Huntly Mine (near Pinjarra) – 8 June
  • Bunbury Port – 9 June
  • Willowdale Mine (near Waroona) – 9 June
  • Pinjarra Refinery – 10 June & 16 June
  • Wagerup Refinery – 14 & 15 June
  • Booragoon Head Office (Perth’s southern suburbs) – 15 June
  • Peel Regional Office (Pinjarra) – 16 June
  • Kwinana Refinery – 22 June

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the US, with assets of approximately US$436 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$530 million since 1952. The Foundation’s aim is to strengthen communities and support non-governmental organisations that focus on the environment, education and workforce development. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by more than 1,800 Australian employees who in 2010 gave more than 105,000 hours of their time volunteering to support charities and non-for-profit organisations. In addition, they generated more than US$425,000 in grants for community organisations across Australia.  Alcoa continues to be recognised for its community work in Australia, winning the Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence in 2010 for the company’s partnership with Greening Australia, and the Rotary Club Community Service Award in 2010. For more information about Alcoa Foundation visit www.alcoa.com/foundation.