A global player committed to local communities
Alstom offers a full portfolio of solutions adapted to the cities, countries and regions that it serves. In doing so, the Company, whilst being a global player, seeks to develop a strong local presence. This reflects in its engagement with local communities: to have a positive impact, nurture good relationships and demonstrate long-term commitment.
Alstom in the community
Alstom’s Community Investment Policy focuses on 3 priorities:
- Meeting social needs through donations, local development, volunteering and the work of the Alstom Foundation
- Supporting education through partnerships with schools and universities
- Cultivating local enterprises through partnerships with local research centres and supporting local supply chains and start-ups
- Protecting environment through cleaning places, planting trees and acting towards biodiversity and climate
Alstom’s local community activities are performed under the banner of “Alstom in the Community” with 2 axes.
- The Alstom Foundation: a philanthropic organisation which finances local community-related projects around the world that are implemented by expert NGO partners.
- The Country Community Action Plans (CCAPs), developed each year, for the application of the Company’s Community Investment policy in all countries where Alstom has a significant presence.
The Alstom Foundation, giving back to our communities
Established in 2007, the Alstom Foundation focuses on 4 key areas:
- Economic and social development
- Environmental protection
- Access to mobility
- Access to energy and water
In 2018, it was decided to bring focus to the economic and social development axis with two distinct categories:
- Skill development and employability (especially for disadvantaged youth and women)
- Support for disadvantaged children (especially street children and orphans)
The Alstom Foundation only supports projects submitted by Alstom employees. All are conducted in strong partnership with local or global NGOs with a proven ability to implement the projects on the ground.
The Alstom Foundation has partnered with BirdLife International on a significant new project which focuses on restoring an internationally important wetland’s biodiversity and improving people’s livelihoods in Senegal, through community resilience to climate change and participatory ecology. Are you wondering how we plan to achieve this? By moving towards more environmentally friendly buildings constructed with typha, a wild aquatic plant. On the sandy plains of northern Senegal, you can already see small houses which look like mushrooms popping out. These huts are partly constructed of typha, which has excellent thermal insulation properties.
The Alstom Foundation and its partner Fundacion Calicanto have trained women in Panama City, West Panama and the Colon Province, through the execution of four CAPTA programmes. CAPTA is a soft and technical skills training programme helping at risk women overcome their fears, problematic situations and/or obstacles to become empowered, independent individuals and workers who contribute to society. The main goal of the programme is to assist women in achieving social, human and vocational empowerment, so that they can incorporate themselves into economic activities. Despite the challenging pandemic context, 113 women were trained and successfully graduated from the programme. These beneficiaries were mostly adult women who had not completed elementary or high school studies, were unemployed and had been exposed to physical or psychological violence.
The country community action plans (CCAPs)
Apart from the Foundation, Alstom also encourages local initiatives and volunteering through the Country Community Action Plans. While the Foundation follows a complex annual selection process at central level, the CCAPs are under the responsibility of local management in each country, ensuring quick responses to the possible multiple requests. Typical actions range from charity donations, fundraising and volunteering to the sharing of expertise (STEM – science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in schools and universities or general support to local projects.
Responding to local social needs
- In Belgium, the «Social restaurant» initiative supporting unemployed people to reintegrate the labour market is regularly practiced. Staff is encouraged to have regular lunch in this restaurant, or use the «traiteur service» for meetings with visitors.
- In Italy, a collaboration with NGO «Casa do menor» promotes the collection of plastic caps whose amount coming from its sale helps children living in streets in Brazil.
- In Austria, a sponsorship is in place with the FIVERS handball club in Vienna which works with young people (migrants mostly) to encourage performance at school & integration through sport. Sometimes organised by the Company, sometimes by national or even global movements, the Company often provides the time, the transportation and the equipment for such engagement in the interest of the environment.
- In several countries (e.g. Australia, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Morocco, Qatar, Belgium & France) Alstom encourages its employees to give blood by arranging for the blood transfusion services to come to Alstom premises and by allowing employees to donate during working time. In the case of Spain, Alstom staff fitted out a tram with the necessary equipment and facilities for it to be used as a travelling blood donation facility.
- In France, the Company is also in partnership at a national level with NGO “Nos Quartiers ont du Talent” (NQT) in order to help youth with a high degree level, but from disadvantaged backgrounds, to find a job.
Supporting development through education
Alstom has apprentice and internship programmes in place in several countries which are often focused on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In France, Ornans (and other sites) has integrated a person in the frame of a commercial contract with SNCF based on “Insertion par l’activité économique” (IAE or Integration through Economic Activity).
Mentorship is also a common practice. In Canada for instance, a collaboration with Connexion CA links companies with local NPOs that need experienced people to sit on their Board of Directors, participate in a working committee or to be a mentor and share knowledge for a few hours.
These actions frequently involve partnerships with local institutions, the training of internal mentors, and the development of a training plan. The aim is for apprentices to learn a trade as leverage for future employment – whether in Alstom or elsewhere. Training can be full or part time and of different durations.
Protecting the environment
Several countries organised volunteer days in order to clean places. In Malaysia for instance, a mangrove clean-up took place at the Kuala Selangor forest, while in Australia and in the Netherlands some hours were dedicated to clean beaches.
In Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan or Brazil, employees planted trees as a contribution to enlarge greener spaces and reduce CO2 emissions. France, through its €55,000 agreement over three years with ONF, has pursued with planting another additional 4,000 trees in Hauts-de-France forests.
Some countries put in place initiatives to favour recycling and circular economy. In Italy and Singapore for instance, employees were invited to collect old running shoes and give them to companies that transform them into material to be used for the construction of children’s playgrounds, athletic tracks, fitness corners or gym pads.
Finally biodiversity topics have been tackled by a few countries, for instance in France, where employees in La Rochelle participated in the safeguard of bees by hosting & sponsoring beekeepers.
The “Challenge Accepted” programme
In 2021, Alstom University launched “Challenge Accepted”, a programme hosted for five months on the Alstom i-Learn portal, in which any Alstom employee that attended a learning module could collect points to be given at the end of each month to a non-profit organisation working in the social and economic development field. A ceremony was held at the end of the period, and points were converted into money donated to the selected organisations.
This programme enabled the donation of a total of €46,000 to eight organisations. In China for instance, World Vision was given €8,000 to strengthen protection skills of local NGOs and support various quality designed activities which targeted most vulnerable children and families.