Submitted by: Alcoa Inc.
Posted: Mar 27, 2007 – 01:55 PM EST
Mar. 27 /CSRwire/ - PITTSBURGH, PA - March 27, 2007 - Alcoa announced today that 14 of its employees will assist in scientific field research expeditions around the world this year, through a partnership with Earthwatch Institute. Earthwatch is the global volunteer organization that works toward a sustainable environment by engaging people in research, conservation, and education programs. The Alcoa fellows will take active roles in addressing climate change and other environmental issues, from monitoring seabirds in Alaska to assessing impacts on coral reefs in the Seychelles.
The selected employees work at Alcoa locations around the world, from Australia to Mexico. Between June and November they will travel to research sites in Belarus, China, Kenya, and elsewhere to assist on-going research projects on critical environmental issues. This is the fifth year Alcoa has sponsored employees in the field.
"Climate change issues have always been my passion, so I was glad that there was a specific expedition on monitoring climate change," said Sasanka Thilakasiri, an Alcoa employee from Australia who participated in Earthwatch's Climate Change at the Arctic's Edge project last year. "I am glad that I now can say that I have actually measured and seen the effects of anthropogenic climate change. This experience has definitely motivated me to stop sitting on my hands and be more proactive about being a climate change advocate at home."
In addition to encouraging the support of company environmental goals, Alcoa employee fellows are also inspired to take action for sustainability in their local communities. For example, Indiana employee Frank Cicela, who explored caterpillar ecology in the rainforests of Costa Rica, went on to launch a regional conference on energy issues and solutions, sharing insights on subjects ranging from alternative energy sources to designing sustainable communities.
The 2007 Alcoa Earthwatch fellows and their research expeditions include:
The Earthwatch Fellowships give Alcoa employees an opportunity to get involved personally and to share their findings in the communities in which they work and live. During their expeditions, each fellow publishes a diary of his or her experiences along with photographs on www.alcoa.com/earthwatch.
"Alcoa is committed to being part of the solution for global environmental issues," said Rob Bear, corporate director of Environment at Alcoa. "Our Earthwatch partnership matches the enthusiasm of our employees with an opportunity to gain different perspectives, learn new skills, and explore diverse cultures. This is a powerful combination as we continue to do our part to ensure a sustainable future."
The Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows nominate themselves and are selected on merit by a team of judges from Alcoa and Earthwatch Institute. All travel and accommodation costs are covered, and the fellows use their available vacation time to participate on projects for up to two weeks under the guidance of leading environmental scientists. Alcoa provides a grant to Earthwatch to support the research projects in which employees are participating.
Alcoa, a long-time proponent of preserving the environment and combating harmful effects of various pollutants, reflects its commitment in the company's values. Recent company initiatives include reducing landfilled waste by more than 50% between 2000 to 2005 and worldwide direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from managed facilities by 25% from 1990 to 2003 (several years ahead of schedule). A founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP)—the goal of which is to encourage government/policy change that would require significant reduction in GHGs—Alcoa is also a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 2006/07 and was named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for the third year in a row at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Alcoa is also a member of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC), working with other companies to affect environmental change in industry.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production, and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands, including Reynolds Wrap® foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa® wheels, and Baco® household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 123,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com
Earthwatch Institute is a global volunteer organization that supports scientific research by offering members of the public unique opportunities to work alongside leading field scientists and researchers. Founded in 1971, Earthwatch's mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Please include the web site url for Earthwatch Institute (www.earthwatch.org) in any story based on this release so that your readers can find out more.
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