In 2022, in collaboration with its partners, Alma Works set up a greening plan to embellish and reforest the land around its facilities. This ambitious and innovative project, which will be implemented over the next eight years, was inaugurated on 28 September in the presence of employees and community representatives.
To mark the occasion, Rio Tinto and its partners gathered on site at the corner of Des Pins and Dam-en-Terre.
Patrice Bergeron, Operations Director at Alma Works, thanked everyone involved in the project, especially the members of the Environmental Monitoring and Management Committee (CASE), who came up with the idea. Six stakeholders from the community and the agricultural industry, as well as residents, joined forces with the business to outline the greening plan.
“The vegetation around Alma Works dates back to the early days of the plant, about twenty years ago. We asked ourselves how we could improve it and create a beautiful wooded area around our plant for years to come,” said Patrice Bergeron. “This initiative is part of our commitment to produce the greenest aluminium in the world. It’s a small step that contributes to decarbonisation while ensuring that we maintain a beautiful green belt around the plant.”
In 2023, 3,500 trees and 1,000 shrubs were planted in strategic locations around Alma Works.
When the greening plan is completed in eight years, approximately 70,000 trees will have been planted, which will reforest an area of 63 hectares. Another 4,000 shrubs will also be planted to embellish the surroundings of the plant.
“The plant representatives were very receptive to our suggestion. A sub-committee was quickly set up to identify the areas that would have an immediate impact. We’re really seeing the reach of the committee, because the ideas that have been put forward are making progress,” said Jean-Sébastien Harvey, a member of CASE, who is credited with several initiatives, including the creation of a 6-kilometre trail around the plant.
On behalf of the municipal council, the mayor and the other municipal council members on the CASE committee, Denis Verrette, Director of Urban Planning for the City of Alma, highlighted this fine achievement. “This is a very positive project. The environmental benefit of planting so many trees is significant. It’s a project that will live on for years to come. What’s more, this community initiative will help Alma improve its environmental and beautification performance in next year’s Fleurons du Québec competition, which is held every three years.”
The greening plan was launched in spring 2023. Most of the planting activities (embellishment and reforestation) have been carried out over the last few weeks by local contractors.