Employee Volunteer Initiatives
Our social commitment goes beyond handing out grants. Attentive to the needs of their communities, our people spend thousands of hours volunteering, in addition to participating in community activities that contribute to improving the quality of life for everyone.

2012 Results

Click on graphs to enlarge them


Grants and Programs
Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products


Grants and Programs
Alcoa Canada in 2012

ACTION programs in Canada

Bravo! programs in Canada

Worldwide Month of Service

Alcoa Canada team key to the success of the 7th Worldwide Month of Service



The tangible results of these actions, not to mention a record 44 group volunteering projects undertaken in 2012, speak to the ongoing participation by our people in local initiatives. Their engagement is supported by four employee volunteer initiatives: ACTION, Alcoans in Motion, Bravo!, and the Worldwide Month of Service. Two additional programs focus on the environment: Alcoa Green Works and the participation of Alcoa employees and partners in Earthwatch research.



The name of this program is an acronym for Alcoans Coming Together In Our Neighborhoods. ACTION projects involve a group of Alcoa employees helping out a non-profit or non-governmental organization by volunteering their time. To support them, Alcoa gives the chosen organization an amount equivalent to between US$1,500 and US$3,000, depending on the number of employees participating in the project.


In 2012, more than 500 Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products employees in Québec took part in a record 44 ACTION projects, for a total of 2,168 hours of volunteer time and a financial contribution of $129,000 from Alcoa Foundation. A total of 54 projects were carried out across Canada, more than one every week.


Alcoans in Motion

A new program was launched in 2012 to support employee teams who run, walk, bike or participate in a group physical fitness activity to benefit a non-profit cause. In addition to the energy of our employees, Alcoa will donate US$2,500 to each organization.


During its first year, Alcoans in Motion sponsored 87 activities in 16 countries, including three bike rides by employees of Alcoa’s Québec smelters for the benefit of Centraide,  Opération Enfant Soleil and the Fondation du Centre de santé et de services sociaux de Manicouagan.



Alcoa also encourages its employees to get involved as individuals. With its Bravo! program, Alcoa recognizes the work of every employee who volunteers at least 50 hours a year to a non-profit or non-governmental organization, by giving the organization the equivalent of US$250 for every participating employee.


The range of activities is as diverse as the interests of our employees. The only requirement is that the organizations meet the program's admission criteria, and this flexibility has helped maintain a high level of participation. In total, 443 applications were submitted by our employees in 2012, with nearly $110,000 in donations.


Alcoa Foundation staged a global commemorative contest to mark the 10th anniversary of Bravo! Up for grabs every month: one day of paid leave for the lucky volunteer for the benefit of the organization of their choice, plus a US$1,000 cheque for the same organization. These prizes were given out monthly in a different country. In Canada, we held a draw from among our hundreds of volunteers. Through his stroke of luck, Mario Germain of the Deschambault Smelter was able to spend a day at the Portneuf Curling Club, where he has already given 2,200 hours of his time over the last 22 years.


7th Worldwide Month of Service

Alcoa's annual Worldwide Month of Service (WMS) program in October each year is the centerpiece of Alcoa's Volunteer Program. Alcoa Foundation took the 7th annual Worldwide Month of Service as the ideal opportunity to underscore the commitment of Alcoa and its people to their host communities. Here are some of the highlights from 2012:

  • Over 2,035 employees took part in the WMS, for a 53% participation rate.
  • Our people completed 13 ACTION volunteer projects during the month, including five during the same weekend, mobilizing 125 volunteers for more than 500 hours. Alcoa took the opportunity to announce two surprise grants of US$5,000 to local groups.
  • 40 community initiatives were carried out in 31 days in Canada, including a blood drive, a recognition activity in Portneuf, food drives, United Way/Centraide fundraising campaigns, activities organized as part of Semaine de réduction des déchets and the announcement of partnerships.



In 2003, Alcoa Inc. established a partnership with the Earthwatch Institute to lend the volunteer support of Alcoa employees to the organization’s scientific teams. The employees enjoy a priceless experience while contributing to field research that helps address today’s most pressing environmental issues. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation chose 26 of its employees from 13 countries, with 3 Quebecers among them who participated in expeditions in Brazil and at the edge of the Canadian Arctic.


To learn more, consult the expedition blog.


Alcoa Green Works

Launched in 2011, Alcoa Green Works is a new initiative that aims to engage, from April 21 to June 21, Alcoa employees and our host communities around the world in activities to reduce, recycle and renew for a greener planet.


In 2012, the Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products team took many actions. More than 25,000 trees and 5,000 shrubs were planted as part of the activities organized by our smelters and five planting projects undertaken in conjunction with partner organizations, bringing to 97,000 the number of trees and shrubs planted in Canada since the beginning of Alcoa’s 10 Million Trees initiative.


As part of the 5th edition of the Climate Challenge in Québec to reduce greenhouse gases, some 1,000 vegetarian meals were served in our plant cafeterias and five green volunteer projects were also carried out.


Signature event

Each year, our plants simultaneously carry out an ACTION initiative during the same weekend. In 2012, such an activity took place during the last weekend of September to mark the launch of the 7th annual Worldwide Month of Service.


In December, for the fourth consecutive year, Operation Red Nose benefitted from the volunteer assistance of some 100 employees from our Baie-Comeau, Bécancour and Deschambault smelters. During a single weekend, they provided transportation and remitted nearly $12,000 to three foundations under the ACTION program.

Pedalling for a good cause...

Our people combine their passion for cycling and a commitment to their communities during five annual cycling events:

  • Randonnée Vélo Santé Alcoa, the brainchild of our Baie-Comeau employees
  • Randonnée de l’Espoir ABI, created by our people in Bécancour
  • Raid Extrême Alcoa Bras du Nord, supported by our team at the Deschambault Smelter
  • UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships, of which the Baie-Comeau Smelter and the Alcoa Foundation are the main partners
  • And Randonnée Vélo Énergie Alcoa that gathered 15 cycling enthusiasts from Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products and its host communities, who biked 260 km in a single day. 


These activities all share a common goal of promoting healthy living. Three of them are also opportunities to raise funds for not-for-profit organizations. As evidence of their success, all of these events have already been confirmed for 2013.


In addition to all of these programs, Alcoa employees give generously in time and money to causes they care about, including Leucan, Opération Enfant Soleil, Centraide and Opération Nez Rouge. Their donations to these organizations totalled $550,000 in 2011-2012.