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.

Featured Case Studies


Building Opportunities for Women in a Hard Hat Company


Rooting Sustainability into the Mine Planning Process

United States

Recycled Casting Materials Go to Bottom Line Rather than Landfill

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Reducing Process Materials Minimizes Costs, Environmental Impacts

Reducing the amount of chemicals, lubricants, and other materials used in its processes is helping Alcoa lower costs, increase production efficiencies, and minimize the environmental and safety impacts associated with their use and disposal.


Clearing the Career Path for Women in Brazil

A low unemployment rate, renewed leadership commitment to gender diversity, and internal goals spurred Alcoa’s Brazilian operations to implement wide-ranging initiatives that not only increased women in its workforce by 6% in under two years but also helped motivate the country’s women to pursue degrees and enter the labor force.


Alcoa Plants Tap Non-Traditional Sources to Reduce Freshwater Use

From reusing another company’s treated industrial effluent to installing a rainwater capture system, Alcoa locations around the world are making large and small changes to meet the 2020 strategic sustainability target of a 25% reduction in freshwater use from 2005 levels.


Juruti Mine Lessens Impact in Amazon through Innovation

Harnessing the regenerative power of Mother Nature while minimizing the amount of virgin forest that needs to be cleared is helping Alcoa’s Juruti Mine in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon lessen its environmental impact and reduce the cost and time needed for rehabilitation.


Training Brings Employment Opportunities to Disadvantaged in Brazil

Recognizing that rural women, underprivileged youth, and people with disabilities have limited prospects in the local labor market, Alcoa’s Poços de Caldas location in Brazil has partnered with three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged individuals through free vocational training and job placement assistance.


Dross Recycling Reduces Costs, Landfilled Waste

An Alcoa-developed process to recycle a casthouse waste known as dross has the potential to save the company more than US$5 million each year and reduce landfilled waste by 6,000 metric tons annually once fully implemented at key smelters by the end of 2014.


Global Efforts Eliminating the Risks of Mobile Equipment

A global effort to eliminate fatalities and injuries associated with mobile equipment contributed to Alcoa working fatality-free in 2013.


Helping Military Veterans Transition to the Civilian Workforce

From a skills translation tool to mentoring and career development, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are helping members of the U.S. military overcome the challenges of transitioning into the civilian workforce and securing a job that utilizes the skills and knowledge gained while serving their country.


Literacy Program Brings Economic Opportunities to Guinean Villagers

An ongoing literacy program in 13 villages in Guinea that is funded by an Alcoa/Rio Tinto Alcan partnership has helped almost a thousand residents increase their employment opportunities and better participate in the stakeholder consultation process for a proposed alumina refinery in the region.


Focus on Safety Delivers Record Performance for Global Rolled Products

Following a fatality and a number of serious injuries, Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products (GRP) business implemented a multi-faceted safety initiative focused on fatality and serious injury prevention, human performance integration, and the elimination of hand and finger injuries that resulted in record safety performance in 2013.


Transforming Locations into Record-Breaking Performers

Five Alcoa Power and Propulsion (APP) locations that had missed their safety targets in 2012 turned around their performance within one year to become major contributors to the business achieving record safety rates in 2013.


Alcoa’s Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment System Eliminates Wastewater Discharge, Reduces Freshwater Needs by 25% in Saudi Arabia

The Alcoa-designed Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment (NEWT™) system at the Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture project in Saudi Arabia will enable the reduction of freshwater demand by nearly 25%, achieve zero wastewater discharge, and save more than US$7 million in annual water purchases.