125 Years of Transformation
Making a difference, together.

At Alcoa Foundation, we know that to make a difference, we need strong partners. Our goal is to develop multi-dimensional and robust programming with non-governmental organizations and nonprofits that reflect Alcoa’s values and our sustainability and geographic priorities.

Keep America Beautiful
The partnership with Keep America Beautiful spans five key initiatives that are focused on recycling.
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Pillars of Sustainable Education
Pillars of Sustainable Education, a $1.5 million cross-sector program created by Alcoa Foundation and...
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Instituto de Reciclagm de Aloscente – Reciclar
In São Paulo, Brazil, the Instituto de Reciclagem do Adolescente – Reciclar provided workforce readiness...
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Technical Education Support Program
Over eight years, the Technical Education Support Program has reached 645 students with educational stipends...
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Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland (EPFL)
In October 2013, the Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland (EPFL) launched the Fusebox, an on-line...
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Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
The Metropolitan Policy at Brookings is advancing a vision of a Next American Economy that produces not only more jobs, but...
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The partnership with Keep America Beautiful spans five key initiatives that are focused on recycling. A landmark public service announcement titled I Want To Be Recycled was created in partnership with the Ad Council, targeting nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of Americans who are not avid recyclers.

The other programs are:
  • RecycleMania - friendly competition on college and university campuses
  • College & University Recycling Coalition - webinars and recycling bins donated to 35 colleges and universities
  • Recycling at Work - businesses pledge to increase workplace recycling
  • State and County Fairs - placement of more than 200 recycling bins at three fairgrounds
“This campaign is the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more.”
– Brenda Pulley, Senior Vice President, Recycling, Keep America Beautiful
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Pillars of Sustainable Education
Pillars of Sustainable Education, a $1.5 million cross-sector program created by Alcoa Foundation and Architecture for Humanity in 2013 to explore the use of sustainable materials in architecture and community design, launched in December 2013. Seven universities from five countries will each integrate curriculum about innovative building design and material use and then execute a community-based project that incorporates their research. The grants, totaling up to $60,000 per year will support 1-3 year projects reaching approximately 150 participating students and faculty.

Participating universities are Carnegie Mellon University (U.S.), The Georgia Institute of Technology (U.S.), Purdue University (U.S.), Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences (Germany), the University of São Paulo (Brazil) and Tsinghua University (China). Each school will expand the learning opportunity for the students with professional engagement activities, such as, guest lecturers from Alcoa executives, partnerships with a local nonprofit organization and involvement through the Architecture for Humanity network. Project examples include:
  • Georgia Tech is addressing rising international concerns over energy availability and the need for market rate, carbon neutral urban housing.
  • Tsinghua University is focused on lessening the energy consumption of affordable housing in Beijing through passive building design and the application of high-performance materials and green low-carbon technology while providing a comfortable indoor environment for occupants.
“Thanks to the support from and partnership with Alcoa Foundation, Architecture for Humanity is working with seven universities on four continents to turn lessons learned in the classroom into real-world projects that have a long-lasting positive impact on the environment and communities they serve while influencing the next generation of innovative and sustainable design.”
– Eric Cesal, Studio Director
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Instituto de Reciclagm de Aloscente – Reciclar
In São Paulo, Brazil, the Instituto de Reciclagem do Adolescente – Reciclar provided workforce readiness training to 60 young people through a “green job” initiative located in a Paper Recycling Workshop. By becoming proficient in every phase of producing artisanal paper from recycled cardboard and paper products, each participant gained the “career skills” to work in teams, to communicate constructive feedback and to promote safety in the workplace.
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Technical Education Support Program
Over eight years, the Technical Education Support Program has reached 645 students with educational stipends for engineering and technical degrees - 60% of the graduates have secured positions with industry and 30% went into academia, and women account for 40% of the university students and 25% of technical college students. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education with a consortium of four-year universities and two-year technical degree colleges: Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU), Don State Technical University (DSTU), National University of Science and Technology (MISiS), Samara Metallurgical College (SMC) and Belaya Kalitva Polytechnic College (BPC).

The program’s goals are aligned with the Russian Government’s priorities to increase technical training and to enhance prestige for technical professions. To enhance the institutional capacity for technical education, the program enable 100 junior professors to further their research and to complete advanced degrees, and increased access to quality technical education with upgraded teaching facilities and laboratory equipment.
“Within nine years, the program allowed us to work on strengthening the bilateral prestige of technical education. Firstly, it helps the partner universities to create the conditions and additional incentives for students who plan to pursue a career in the industry. Secondly, it allows schools to preserve a high level of teaching. From 2005 to 2013, investment in Russia under this program amounted to 2.24 million U.S. dollars, 645 students received grants, 80 students of vocational schools and 100 young teachers.”
– Maxim Smirnov, President, Alcoa Russia
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Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland (EPFL)
In October 2013, the Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland (EPFL) launched the Fusebox, an on-line incubator that fosters innovation through collaboration across disciplines. With Fusebox, EPFL hosts real life idea challenges and the “community” contributes ideas, comments and votes – the best ideas get implemented and top innovators get great visibility among investors and industry experts. In collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën, the first Fusebox challenge was to ask people to imagine the interior of future cars.
Illustration by Studio Banana
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Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
The Metropolitan Policy at Brookings is advancing a vision of a Next American Economy that produces not only more jobs, but better jobs that are accessible to a wider segment of the population. The Metro program works with cross-sector stakeholders to build successful strategies for cities to innovate, export and prepare the workforce for advanced industries. Alcoa Foundation has supported this work since 2011 given the emphasis on workforce development and geographic overlap with Alcoa communities including Knoxville, Los Angeles, Charleston, Michigan, Northeast Ohio, and Phoenix.
“Every day at the Metropolitan Policy Program we work with business, political, and civic-sector leaders to strengthen metropolitan economies and support the creation of more and better jobs. Our research on America’s advanced industry sector and the workforce training systems they require has directly informed policy innovations at the local, state, and national level. Our partnership with the Alcoa Foundation has been instrumental in achieving our successes in many communities across the country, particularly in Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio.”
– Bruce Katz, Founding Director, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
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A letter from our president


Elsa Ozer, President of Alcoa Foundation

In 2013, Alcoa celebrated its 125th anniversary – a noteworthy milestone by any measure. For Alcoa, the year was marked by a decided transformation from a commodity company to one that is focused on growth businesses, innovation and value-creating technologies.

“We are well-prepared and fully committed to achieve the Alcoa vision – “Advancing each generation” – for our shareholders, customers, employees, communities and partners.”
Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, 2013 Letter to Shareholders

The idea of a “transformation” really resonates with us at Alcoa Foundation. We are as energized by that dynamism in the business as we are by the notion that our CSR work can bring new life to the natural environment; or that an underperforming student can ignite a passion for science and technology; or that an unemployed individual can acquire critical technical skills, find rewarding work and secure his or her economic future. During times of transformation, we think and do things differently, and we take our future into our own hands.

In that spirit, and in recognition of Alcoa’s milestone anniversary last year, our Foundation partnered with dozens of high-impact non-profit organizations to enable positive, community-oriented change in dozens of countries worldwide. A major part of that transformation was spurred by Alcoa employees, who donated more than 850,000 service hours in 2013. During our annual Month of Service alone, we saw a record 62% of Alcoa employees give their time and energy in more than 1,300 community-based events that lent a helping hand to more than a half million people.

You will read in this report about just a few of the hundreds of transformative programs that Alcoa Foundation, together with our nonprofit partners, initiated last year. We launched one in particular to commemorate Alcoa’s 125th anniversary and help prepare young people around the world for rewarding and stable careers in the manufacturing and technical fields. Our “Advancing Each Generation 125th Anniversary Internships,” developed in partnership with non-profit organizations in eight countries, will place more than 500 unemployed young people in manufacturing and technical internships. That pathway from unemployment to a viable and attractive career is one that Alcoa Foundation is immensely proud to help bring to life.

As the newly named Alcoa Foundation President, I have shared in that pride and gratitude to our non-profit partners and the 60,000 Alcoa employees who help strengthen our communities and transform lives every day. With an eye to 2014 and beyond, I know that our combined efforts will lend resilience and positively impact our communities, helping them grow and thrive for the next 125 years.


Esra Ozer
President, Alcoa Foundation

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AWARDS

In 2013, Alcoa Foundation was honored to be recognized for our work
and corporate citizenship across the globe.

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Endowment Investing Strategy

Alcoa Foundation’s assets are considered to be a perpetual pool of capital. The objective of the investment strategy is to preserve the real (inflation adjusted) value of the assets to maintain the real value of its program spending over the long term to support the goal of contributing 5 percent of the value of its assets each year. The Alcoa Foundation’s assets were $468 million at year-end 2013.

The portfolio's investment strategy has been revised to reduce and diversify the investment risk taken to achieve our long-term objective via increasing both asset class and risk factor diversification. The strategy revisions are expected to increase the probability of achieving our long-term investment objectives while reducing the risk of experiencing large short term portfolio draw downs. Specifically, we meaningfully reduced the allocation to public equities and increased the allocation to macro and equity long/short hedge fund strategies, US inflation protected securities and long duration US Treasury securities.

The revised investment strategy helped us to generate a solid 2013 investment return of 7.1% which outperformed our passive performance benchmark by 1.2% and our 5% real return objective. Through 2013, Alcoa Foundation's investment returns outperformed its passive investing benchmarks for all time periods (1, 3, 5 and 10 years).


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