March 27, 2013
Alcoa presents an eco-efficient project created in Juruti that has won prizes internationally
Young female engineers from Alcoa present a project that is pioneering in the mining area in Brazil and provoke a debate about sustainable development in Pará
In order to promote an educational exchange between society, government and specialists, on Wednesday (27) Alcoa arranged a panel debate on "Mining and Sustainability" in the Company's office in Belém. During the meeting, participants discussed the challenges and advantages of applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification (LEED), which was the theme of a project developed by Pará engineers, Jorgeane Almeida, from the Forestry area, and Raiza Oliveira, from the Mines area, both of who are working in the Company's unit in western Pará, where it is intended to implement certification. Debate focused on an analysis of the new mining sector context in the State. "This meeting is very important and shows the strength that the expansion of mining is having in Pará", said Miguel Sampaio, director of the Commercial Association of Pará.
According to Leonardo Bello, a Panel participant from the state government’s Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, the involvement of all segments of society is proving to be the way to ensure the effective application of new technologies in the mining sector in Pará. "Sustainability is a very current topic and should be viewed by the public, society and academia as being in favor of the development of the state itself, which has undergone a paradigm shift; once it used to about hunting and gathering and now it’s undergoing a change towards adding value and the vertical integration of production. The entire supply chain can be improved and boosted through the use of clean social technologies, such as alternative sources of energy, the reuse of water, etc., and not only by companies but by society as a whole. Accordingly, Alcoa is to be congratulated for this action", commented Leonardo Bello.
The project for applying LEED certification, a pioneering move in Brazil in an undertaking in the mining area, aims to introduce environmental certification when future administrative buildings are being built for Alcoa Juruti. The proposed model provides for the adoption of green technologies, including energy efficiency, water management and saving, thermo-acoustic comfort, and other sustainable techniques. The innovative initiative has earned global recognition for the young professionals. They were participating in the company’s New Engineers program, the final stage of which was to develop a reference project in innovation. The engineers from Alcoa’s Juruti Bauxite Mine were presented with prizes and their project was recognized as the best among all the company’s units in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The goal now is to seek LEED certification in the New Construction and Major Project category. As a differential, certification adds the quality of life of the population to improvements in civil construction, thus contributing to environmental preservation with social responsibility and ecological awareness. "LEED certification is new to me. This exchange of information is very important for you to be able to add value and exchange experiences in order to pursue mining development in Para in a sustainable way, considering not only environmental but social issues, too", said participant, Edwin Soeiro, an environmental engineer from the National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM).
According to Fabio Abdala, Regional Sustainability Manager for Alcoa, the objective of the Panel is precisely to allow for discussion of issues that are relevant not only to Alcoa, but to the whole of Pará "In these meetings, which take place every two months, we intend to promote an educational interchange between society, governments and specialists, thereby stimulating an exchange of technology and the dissemination of qualified information, in order to guarantee the strengthening and sustainable development of the Pará mineral market, "he said.
Encouragement for innovation
This weekend, Raiza and Jorgeane, the engineers from Pará, are going to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), where they will visit Alcoa’s corporate office, which served as inspiration for development of the innovation project for Juruti. The visit will also take in the Alcoa Technology Center and the Cleveland industrial plant. According to Raiza, who was born in Belém, this chance will make a difference not only when introducing the project in Juruti, but also in the development of other initiatives in the area of green technologies. "Getting to know Alcoa’s unit in Pittsburgh will broaden my view of the Company's business. I expect to acquire new knowledge and exchange experiences with the people who devised the project that served as a mirror for us and improve our work", she added.
For Jorgeane, who comes from Oriximiná (PA) and began her career in the internship program while the project in Juruti was still in the set-up phase, being part of the company's engineering team is something to be proud of and serves to encourage the formation of new professionals in their own region. "I believe that with study and with the search for qualifications, you have that opportunity. There are already universities in Santarém and Oriximiná where you can do undergraduate courses, and Senai offers technical courses, among other initaitives, such as its Young Apprentice program, which give people the opportunity of joining the company with a great chance of growing within it", she concluded.
Alcoa Alumínio S.A. is a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc. which is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. The company employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries and for the eleventh consecutive year the company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Alcoa is present in Latin America and the Caribbean where it has operations in Brazil, Jamaica and Suriname and about 7,000 employees. This year, the company completes 125 years of operations in the world.
In Brazil the company operates in the whole of the aluminum production chain, from bauxite mining to the production of transformed products. Alcoa has six production units and three offices in the states of Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará, Pernambuco, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and the Federal District. The company also has shareholdings in four hydroelectric power stations: Machadinho and Barra Grande on the border of the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; Serra do Facão in Goiás; and Estreito, between Maranhão and Tocantins. In 2012, Alcoa recorded revenues of R$ 2,6 billion in Brazil. In the same year it was considered a benchmark in sustainability, being one of the year’s 21 model companies in the Guia EXAME de Sustentabilidade [EXAME Magazine’s Sustainability Guide], besides being recognized as one of the Best Companies to Work for the eleventh consecutive year and Best Company for Women to Work in Brazil, by the Great Place to Work Institute. Further information can be found at www.alcoa.com.br.