Beyond mobility: Team Alstom joining the fight against the coronavirus
During a global crisis like COVID-19, everyone can make a difference. For businesses, it is a time to prove what they stand for both to their employees and to the public. Learn about some of Alstom’s contributions and how they have helped local communities.
With shared mobility being distinctly different from medical science, it may not be obvious at first how companies such as Alstom can contribute during a global pandemic. However, the trains and systems that Alstom provides have become essential, transporting people to and from their essential jobs in healthcare, for instance. Or carrying patients between hospitals across the country, or for freight deliveries for shops and supermarkets, to name some obvious examples. At the same time, Alstom has ensured safe working conditions for its employees committed to delivering and maintaining these systems and services.
But Alstom’s contribution has not been limited to the mobility sector. To meet the unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 presents, a vast number of social responsibility initiatives have spontaneously emerged from among employees, sites and countries, illustrating a spirit of international solidarity and ingenuity in the face of a crisis.
Many of our sites have been able to provide help to healthcare professionals through the donation of resources and equipment. Some sites have provided protective equipment such as disposable gloves, hydroalcoholic gel, integral antiviral suits, glasses, goggles and eye shields. French industrial sites have given over 70,000 masks to local hospitals, along with numerous other supplies essential for antiviral protection.
Major contributions have also been made by our sites through financial support to medical facilities. In many cases, this means simply collecting funds for local hospitals. Alstom teams in Italy have donated 8,000 euros to the hospital of Milan, the city most affected by the virus in the country. Our Belgian teams have put forward an important contribution to buy an artificial respirator and protective equipment for the Charleroi hospital.
One of the most innovative projects has been started by the Smart Operations industrial teams in Barcelona and Saint-Ouen: using 3D technology and expertise for producing face shields and valves for respirators. The nature of this initiative allowed it to be replicated on any site around the world where 3D printers were available: this was the case for Tarbes and La Rochelle (France), Katowice (Poland), Hornell (US) and Los Hornos (Argentina) to name a few, with other sites preparing to join the game soon. Beyond that, employees who have a 3D printer at home are invited to join in.
There have also been initiatives aiming to assist groups of people other than the healthcare workers. Our Chinese teams focused on helping the frontline workers in transportation: around 15,000 masks have been distributed to operators and drivers of metro trains. United Arab Emirates teams have collected 10,000 AED (2,500 euros) in order to provide grocery vouchers and multivitamins to underprivileged local families.
In many countries, our employees have launched personal initiatives such as donations or volunteering activities. In the UK, as a part of a national effort to support the National Health Service (NHS), Alstom employees were invited to help to people in isolation: either by supporting them in purchasing medicine and food, or remotely through holding telephone conversations. In Spain, 20 volunteers will also take part in Fundacion Addeco support program through phone calls with vulnerable people.
Alstom’s role in helping communities with COVID-19 goes beyond these few actions described, and it continues to grow. In this spirit, Barry Howe, Community Investment Director, encouraged local CSR teams to use their remaining 2019/20 budget on coronavirus-related actions, such as support of charities, associations, NGOs involved in the fight against this global health emergency.
It's in times of crisis that good leaders emerge. Alstom is immensely proud of how its teams have responded to this challenge, and encourages everyone, both within Alstom and without, to contribute in whatever way they can, no matter how big or small.