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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2007 — Environment

Innovation for capital expenditures

All of the major capital expenditures at Alcoa are subject to a rigorous evaluation process that takes into account their impact on the environment and health and safety. This so-called PESHER, for Project Environment, Safety and Health Review, is based on compliance with U.S. regulations, where the program was originally developed.  The tools being used in the U.S. have differed from those used in Québec, each having their own advantages and inconveniences.  A team from Alcoa Canada undertook to evaluate every facet of the program, retaining the best ideas and eventually proposing new tools that could be adapted for all users.
From the start, the goal was to develop a PESHER based on reflection and not merely a series of boxes to be checked off.  The team started from the ground up by reformulating each question to bear on specific aspects of operations.  It also added a sustainability component to assess problems and benefits linked to this important Alcoa value.
The new PESHER is being tested in Québec and at the Massena, New York plants to ensure that it adequately meets the needs of projects south of the border.  The official North American launch is scheduled for the fall of 2007.
Another phase is planned for this initiative that involves adapting the “4QA” tool used to analyze project options in regards to potential impact on the environment as well as costs.
By putting a new spin on work processes, the PESHER reform team from Québec has created an integrated process that could adapt well to all Alcoa capital expenditure projects around the world.