Alcoa Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Alumar Environmental Park in Brazil: A Living Laboratory for Ecological Education
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Alumar Environmental Park in São Luis, Brazil, located on the site of the Alumar complex, one of the world’s largest primary aluminum and alumina facilities.
This ecological sanctuary, which covers 1,800 hectares (4,447 acres), is an example of Alcoa’s “Smelter in the Park” model of industrial and environmental harmony. Land traditionally used as a buffer zone around aluminum operations is turned into protected park land for rehabilitation and community environmental educational programs and is voluntarily maintained by Alcoa.
“We’re very proud of this work. Respect for the environment is one of the principles that guide Alcoa’s operations worldwide,” said Franklin L. Feder, president of Alcoa Latin America and the Caribbean. “One of the main tools in this conservation process is using protected areas to implement environmental education programs.”
The Alumar Environmental Park is a living laboratory where the flora and fauna and integration with the environment can be studied. It contains the main ecosystems typical of São Luís, such as mangroves, swamps and flood forests.
The park is also home to more than 200 botanical species, with a great variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, some of which are on the endangered species list. The three-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagaroundi), squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurus), capuchin monkey (Cebus robustus), collared anteater (Tamanduá tetradactyla), spotted paca (Agouti paca), agouti (Dasyprocta azarae), scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) and the little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) are just some of the species found here.
To celebrate the milestone, 15 Alumar employees who worked at the plant when the environmental park was dedicated in 1996 planted 15 new trees. A variety of activities took place for community members as well including educational programs on sustainability and recycling, and workshops on suspended vegetable gardening, an increasingly popular upside-down gardening technique, primarily for leggy crops like tomatoes. In addition, visitors to the park could trek along the park’s nature trails, stop at the Sapling Nursery, or attend presentations to learn more about the Environmental Park and Alcoa’s Alumar facility.
More than 130,000 adults and students have visited the park since it opened in 1996. The park includes an amphitheater, lodging for scientists, a plant nursery, a compost area, and classrooms for workshops.
Since it was inaugurated, the Alumar Environmental Park has donated more than 450,000 tree saplings through Alcoa’s Ten Million Trees Program. The work forms part of an ambitious Alcoa environmental project, the aim of which is to make a contribution to global sustainability.
In addition to the Alumar Environmental Park, Alcoa maintains an 18 hectares (44.47 acres) environmental park in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, and a 12 hectares (29. 6 acres) park is planned for Tubarão, located in Santa Catarina State.
Alumar is one of the largest complexes in the world for producing primary aluminum and alumina. Inaugurated in July 1984, it is formed by Alcoa, Alcan and BHP Billiton. The consortium uses advanced industrial production technologies and the strictest environmental management standards in its operations. Alumar’s Environmental Management System gained ISO 14001 certification and was recognized at the “World Summit for Sustainable Development and The United Nations Organization for Industrial Development” by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD – UNIDO) in 2002. The Consortium is a benchmark for other units within Alcoa and BHP Billiton worldwide.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.
Alcoa has been in Latin America and the Caribbean since the end of the 1950s and has some 7,000 employees in the region, with operations in Brazil, Jamaica and Suriname.