Alcoa Foundation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Launch School-Based Carbon Footprint Challenge

FOR RELEASE: February 1

Alcoa Foundation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Launch School-Based Carbon Footprint Challenge

4,000 students to participate in the Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow (CO2) challenge with chance to win $5,000 grant

Alcoa Foundation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) announced today the start of the second annual Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow (CO2), a month-long educational energy conservation challenge to be held in eight middle schools around the country. The program challenges students, parents and the community to learn how to use energy more efficiently while vying for a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize or one of three $1,000 grants for their school from Alcoa Foundation. The challenge will run from February 1 through February 29.

“The Make an Impact: Change Our Tomorrow school’s challenge taps into the power of young people to educate and empower middle school students to reduce their carbon footprint,” says Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Together with our employees from Alcoa U.S. facilities and C2ES, we will reach thousands of students with the message that their everyday actions can improve the environment.  This is how change happens”

The program promotes energy efficiency in homes through a fun and engaging online competition based on Alcoa’s Make an Impact website (, which features energy conservation resources, an interactive carbon calculator and energy efficiency checklist.

Alcoa Foundation selected the eight schools based on proximity to four Alcoa locations in the US — Bellingham, WA; Point Comfort, TX; Whitehall, MI; and Winsted, CT.

The winning schools will be determined based on the highest percentage of carbon calculator and checklist completions by students, parents, teachers and community members. Alcoa Foundation is distributing energy efficiency toolkits, kilowatt meters, posters and other materials to the schools to promote the challenge and energy efficiency.

“Knowing the impact of your energy choices is an important first step to change,” said Katie Mandes, C2ES Vice President of Community Outreach and Director of the Make an Impact program. “We hope this challenge will motivate young people and the entire community to learn how easy it can be to be part of the solution.”

Last year, Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow was an enormous success. Collectively, the participating schools engaged more than 8,000 students, parents and community members in energy-saving activities. Through the use of the carbon calculator, participants identified more than 14.4 million pounds of potential reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and $1.75 million in energy savings. This is the equivalent of taking 1,281 cars off the road, and planting more than 160,000 trees and letting them grow for 10 years.

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Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. C2ES is led by Eileen Claussen, who previously led the Pew Center and is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. More information can be found at

The Make an Impact program, developed by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, in partnership with Alcoa Foundation, helps Alcoa employees, their families and surrounding communities reduce energy use, manage their carbon footprint and become an active part of the solution to climate change. The program features:

  • A custom-built carbon calculator with individual carbon footprint analysis.
  • A dynamic website with tips, tools and resources on how to reduce energy bills and live more sustainably.
  • A comprehensive outreach program of educational workshops and hands-on activities to support local action.

The Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow (CO2) program promotes energy efficiency through a fun and engaging online competition, which features educational resources about energy conservation and an interactive carbon calculator. To find out more about Make an Impact, how your company or organization can sign on or to measure your own carbon footprint, visit