In 2011, as a result of a social diagnosis that was carried out in 52 municipalities in which Alcoa operates in Brazil, the Alcoa Institute reformulated its Support for Local Projects Program and created its first “signature program”: ECOA (Community Environmental Education Program) in partnership with the Integrated Center for Sustainable Development Studies and Programs (CIEDS).
ECOA is an initiative of the Alcoa Institute that aims to encourage communities to participate in the construction of sustainable societies, via environmental education processes directed towards human values, knowledge, skills and attitudes. The program works with articulation and mobilization training, aimed at development and environmental education. ECOA is currently involved in all regions in which Alcoa operates and has already mobilized more than 24,000 people, who have taken part in more than 180 educational activities. ECOA has awarded certificates to 302 environmental agents and signed partnership agreements with some 160 local institutions.
The ECOA Program involves the following stages:
1. Community articulation and mobilization;
2. Local launch event;
3. Start of the sustainability center;
4. Educational, cultural and sporting activities;
5. Constitution of the environmental agents’ group;
6. Environmental agents’ course;
7. Perception survey and other actions;
8. Environment workshops;
9. Theme events;
10. Constitution of the action plan with the community;
11. Optional course;
12. Agreeing on the action plan;
13. Strengthening and empowering the community.