July 28, 2011

Alcoa Employees Join Expedition to Brazil and China as Earthwatch Fellows

25 Alcoa Fellows will work alongside Earthwatch scientists as environmental stewards

 

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alcoa Foundation announced today that it will sponsor 25 employees from the Company’s operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Spain, Suriname and the United States on Earthwatch Institute expeditions to Brazil and China. The employees, who volunteered to become Earthwatch Fellows, will venture to Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve in Paraná State, Brazil, and the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in Zhejiang Province, China, to become sustainability leaders. This is Alcoa Foundation’s ninth year supporting Earthwatch expeditions.

The Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows will work alongside professional scientists to collect data that contributes to a global sustainable forestry research project. They will tag and identify trees, measure their diameters, and gather, classify and identify leaf samples. Fellows will also participate in sessions to learn how critical environmental issues relate to their lives and Alcoa’s approach to sustainability.

“As a mining, manufacturing and innovation company, environmental sustainability is a priority at Alcoa,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “The Earthwatch Institute fellowship is an investment in helping our employees become environmental stewards and ambassadors. This experience will prepare them to advocate for and create more environmentally sustainable business practices and innovations where they work and live.”

Alcoa Foundation is sponsoring three employee teams: two will go to Brazil and one will go to China. The expeditions will be facilitated in English, Mandarin and Portuguese. The expeditions run from July 31 until September 23.

Follow the Alcoa Fellows Earthwatch Blog
Follow the 2011 Fellows through a blog on www.alcoa.com/earthwatch, where they will post videos, photos and stories about their experiences. The Fellows will also create a sustainability plan to share their knowledge and experiences from the field with their Alcoa colleagues and their local communities upon their return.

Since 2003, 119 Alcoa employees have served as Earthwatch Fellows and have ventured into the wilderness, forests and jungles all over the world to study climate change, water issues and sustainability. They’ve contributed almost 9,000 research hours to solving some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time.

The Earthwatch Institute fellowship builds on US $7 million in environmentally focused grants that Alcoa Foundation announced earlier this year. Since 2008, Alcoa has invested US $23 million in environmental nonprofit organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute, Conservation International, Global ReLeaf and The Nature Conservancy.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$436 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$530 million since 1952. In 2010, Alcoa Foundation contributed nearly US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, focusing on promoting environmental stewardship, enabling economic and social sustainability, and preparing tomorrow’s leaders through education and learning. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers, who in 2010 gave more than 720,000 service hours. Through the company’s signature Month of Service (October) program, Alcoa employees share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in our communities. In 2010, a record 49 percent of Alcoans took part in nearly 1,000 Month of Service events across 24 countries, reaching 59,000 children, serving 17,000 meals, planting 16,000 trees and supporting 3,000 nonprofit organizations. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, please visit www.alcoa.com/foundation.

About Earthwatch Institute
Founded in 1971, Earthwatch is an international environmental organization whose mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Our vision is a world in which we live within our means and in balance with nature. Earthwatch currently supports 61 environmental research projects in 29 countries by providing funds and paying volunteers who work alongside leading field scientists and researchers. In the past 40 years, Earthwatch volunteers have contributed over 10 million hours to essential fieldwork. For more information about Earthwatch, please visit www.earthwatch.org.