Brazil Green Fair demonstrates how climate solutions can be scaled

Seeing is believing, even if it’s a meticulously built model used to illustrate action in real life.

Take the model home Escola University volunteers displayed at a recent Alcoa Green Fair in Poços de Caldas, Brazil. From top to bottom, it demonstrated energy-saving actions in every nook to help visitors see how each small change can save kilowatts — and money.


Communities can use the same concept to illustrate and communicate what actions will help save energy and reduce climate impacts.

The way we talk about climate and energy issues can either empower people to act or leave them overwhelmed. People won’t necessarily be moved to act just because they know about the challenges. More often, they will be moved because they feel a collective responsibility for a shared problem and understand how they can make a positive impact.

Through the Alcoa Green Fairs, C2ES and the Alcoa Foundation work to drive action on climate and energy issues in a positive and engaging way. Now, Alcoa and C2ES have pushed this successful U.S. program to the international stage. The first-ever fair in Brazil in August attracted 17 organizations and more than 750 people to Alcoa’s Poços de Caldas plant, about four hours north of the capital Sao Paulo, to see demonstrations, learn about resources, and discover new ways to be eco-friendly.

Events like the Alcoa Green Fairs highlight how organizations are stepping up to reduce their impacts, both collectively and one employee at a time. This leadership was evident when Alcoa plant managers, employee champions, the Alcoa Foundation, C2ES, and Sustainable Poços Association (APS) gathered at an early-morning roundtable discussion before the fair.

The roundtable showcased programs and solutions that are inspiring people to cut their carbon footprints, save money, and improve the environment. For example, APS is leading Poços citizens to participate in worldwide environmental days, recycle waste, go car-free on some days to lower community carbon emissions, and conserve water.


Brazilians clearly care about climate change. A Pew Research poll this year found that 75 percent say they are very concerned about it. And it’s encouraging to see this awareness extending to personal action. To further encourage eco-friendly action, Alcoa gave everyone at the recent Green Fair native trees to plant. Each will capture about 220 pounds of carbon per year.

These organizations and individuals are building successful solutions at the scale that impacts them the most. Their efforts illustrate the kinds of actions we can all take to reduce energy use and carbon emissions – at home, in the workplace, or in our communities.