Alcoa Dover plant encourages employees to go green

by Dylan Lyons, for the Daily Record

DOVER, NJ — Alcoa Power and Propulsion has made a pledge to Record eliminate its landfill waste by 2020, but the aluminum producer’s environmental goals don’t stop there.

The Dover company on Tuesday invited the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions to launch its “Make an Impact” campaign designed to empower employees to live “greener” at home.

“We’re giving our employees the tools they need to personally make an impact, which aligns with Alcoa’s core value of sustainability,” said Shannon French, human resources manager at the Dover site, which specializes in the manufacture of investment castings and alloys for airplanes and industrial turbines.

The launch at the Dover plant took place in three stages, featuring a presentation and activities for each shift of the site’s nearly 800 employees, including a program at 3 a.m. for overnight workers.

Steve Fromkin, the plant’s environmental health and safety manager, shared the company’s goals to reduce water use by 75 percent, landfill use by 80 percent and its elimination of thermal waste discharge into the nearby Rockaway River. Fromkin said the plant has spent close to $10 million on sustainability initiatives in the last 10 years.

Katie Mandes, of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, encouraged employees to use an online “carbon calculator” to determine how much money they can save by reducing their carbon footprints at home by making small changes and shifting behaviors, such as switching lightbulbs and composting.

“Per capita, we use the most power of any country in the world,” Mandes said. “And 20 percent of U.S. energy use comes from households.”

Employees were also invited to a mini farmer’s market with locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables.

“I’ve learned a lot more than I ever would’ve on my own,” said Nichole Stratford, an Alcoa engineer.

Mandes said the organization shares its Make an Impact program for that reason.

“You must have the business community at the table,” Mandes said, “They are going to develop and deploy the technologies we will ultimately need.”

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