Case Studies

These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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The children built boats for a race.
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The children built boats for a race.

A group of children visiting the Manic-2 plant
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A group of children visiting the Manic-2 power plant. All camp participants (475) went on this tour to learn more about hydroelectricity.

A solar oven was used to bake this cake
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A solar oven was used to bake this cake... which was declared delicious by participants.

2007 — Environment

Learning about energy while having fun

In a Canadian city economically centered on energy-intensive industries, 475 local children learned about energy and energy consumption through a fun and interactive Alcoa-sponsored program called Kilojoue.

To increase awareness of energy production and consumption, Alcoa Canada Primary Metals approached the Quebec-Labrador Foundation (QLF) to develop a program and the city of Baie-Comeau to explore its interest in participating. The resulting Kilojoue Program, which is a play on the French words kilojoule (unit of energy) and joue (to play), was integrated into the city of Baie-Comeau's day camp resource network by QLF.

Programming implemented by a full-time Foundation intern explored the themes of the nature of energy, how energy is harnessed, the impacts of energy consumption on the environment, and the wise use of energy.

"Kilojoue fosters in all participants values and skills aligned with sustainable development, creativity, understanding and appreciating the natural environment, a basic awareness that human consumption affects the natural environment, and a belief that every person can make a difference," said Simone Hanchet, internship coordinator for the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. "Kilojoue aims to foster these values in the next generation of Baie-Comeau leaders, giving them a perspective that will help them make sustainable, wise decisions in their personal and professional lives.”

All of the children and 75 counsellors in the 2006 program participated in two required activities – a geothermic boat race and a visit to a hydroelectric dam. Most also elected to participate in one or more of eight optional activities:

  • Let the North Flow: Viewing a film about the link between hydroelectric energy consumption and wild rivers in Quebec.
  • Energy Around Me: Introducing the types of energy found in the environment.
  • The Energy Reporters: Team reporting on wasteful and conservative energy use in their daily lives.
  • Solar Oven: Building a solar oven, baking something in it, and eating the results.
  • Consuming Publicity: Exploring how consumption of products relates to energy consumption by looking at advertising.
  • Geothermic System: Building a model geothermic plant.
  • Hydroelectric System: Building a model hydroelectric plant.
  • Demystifying Alternating Current: Learning how an alternator works.

Counselors also received additional training on energy conservation and were encouraged to integrate an environmental conservation theme into their regular camp programming.

In 2007, the most popular KiloJoue activities were introduced in Bécancour and Deschambault, while the experience was repeated in Baie-Comeau with a series of new activities on climate change added to the roster.
Instilling a passion for sustainable development in the next generation is important to Alcoa.  And if we can have fun doing it, why not?