Fostering social cohesion
Diversity, osmosis and regional accessibility
As a leading mobility player, SNCF treats all its train, bus and tram passengers the same. Its Foundation is cast in the same mould and shares the Group's ethos of promoting diversity, osmosis and regional accessibility.
"Social harmony is not a foregone conclusion. It requires conscious and constant efforts on all sides."
Marianne Eshet, Managing Director, SNCF Foundation
An SNCF Group Foundation
The SNCF Foundation is a major contributor to corporate social responsibility and a strategic asset for the Group.
For the Foundation, the 2016-2020 period represents a major turning point. It has been given a Group dimension to encompass the five entities that are SNCF Réseau, SNCF Mobilités, SNCF Logistics, Keolis and SNCF, under the stewardship of Patrick Jeantet, SNCF Réseau Chairman & CEO.
The SNCF Foundation supports more than 900 community projects across the country that fall into three categories: Education, Culture and Solidarity. With its annual budget of €5million, it is one of the country's top ten foundations.
3 spheres of action
"Education is fundamental. It is the stuff that successful societies are made of."
Patrick Jeantet, SNCF Réseau Chairman & CEO and Chairman of the SNCF Foundation
The Foundation's mission is to help those who may have slipped through the education system net, by offering them a chance to develop the skills necessary to gain a foothold on the social and employment ladder:
- basic skills: reading, arithmetic, IT tools,
- rudiments of science and technology.
Over the last 12 years, the SNCF Foundation has become a key sponsor of efforts to combat illiteracy in France.
To help school dropouts learn how to use IT tools in a work environment, WeTechCare (Emmaüs Connect) has created ClicNjob, a web platform, which assesses their level and proposes a number of freely accessible support services (CV assistant, 600 job fact sheets, CV library, etc.). WeTechCare works with the social services in training young people in difficulty.
Window on the world
The SNCF Foundation affords those with little or no access to art and culture the chance to discover music, the theatre or fine arts and introduce them a world often deemed the preserve of the select few. Through its schemes, they can attend performances, learn to play musical instruments or take part in group art projects.
In partnership with the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts), the SNCF Foundation has established the Via Ferrata project, which consists of priming students from underprivileged backgrounds for Art school entrance exams. Members of the SNCF workforce have coached them for their orals, as part of a skills patronage campaign, for which the Foundation has received a Cultural sponsorship award.
Part of the SNCF Group DNA
Solidarity, a thriving legacy value, is the glue that cements the different SNCF Group teams, the link that binds the regions and the network. The Foundation supports projects geared towards diversity, social cohesion and shared experience as well as encouraging younger people to become involved in community actions.
Become a Citizen Corps
Become a Citizen Corps is a 3-week programme for teenagers (14-15 years), comprising a mixture of sporting challenges, writing workshops and a complete community teamwork project. The aim is to bring youngsters from different backgrounds together so they can learn from each other, become more self-confident and develop a taste for community action.
Action on 3 levels
The SNCF Foundation juggles with 3 main levers to give its actions maximum effect: regional footprint, co-construction and employee commitment.
Feedback from the field
To match local needs to local players, the Foundation can rely on its network of regional contacts in France but also further afield in countries such as Morocco, India, Australia, etc. 90% of the actions it supports are local in nature.
With associations or other firms
The SNCF foundation is supportive of partnerships geared to pushing back the boundaries. The "United Way" -"Alliance for Education" duo is a good example of what co-construction is all about. 100 different companies, 800 employees and 27 associations from 8 regions that have come together in the "Youth Challenge" project, which aims to channel 17,000 working class youngsters each year towards academic success.
The SNCF Foundation is happy to give its backing to projects proposed by Group employees, who work with different associations in their spare time. In 2018, 400 projects were supported in this way across the whole of France.
Staff are encouraged to use their skills and abilities during work hours to support associations in need of help. They are allowed to spend up to 10 days on this type of activity. Nearly 3,000 employees have already volunteered and, with the agreement of their line managers, are involved in projects proposed by one of the Foundation's partner associations. Volunteers may mentor jobseekers or provide expertise, in computing for example, etc.
Skills patronage is an excellent way of creating cohesion within the teams and a source of pride and personal satisfaction, while the associations enjoy the know-how of the 150 job categories represented within the Group free of charge. It was this mentoring scheme that earned the SNCF Foundation the "Mieux Vivre en entreprise" award, in recognition of its contribution to corporate cohesion.
Points to remember:
- The SNCF Foundation encompasses all branches of the SNCF Group, and is currently chaired by SNCF Réseau (until 2020)
- It operates in fields conducive to interaction between regions and generations: education, culture, solidarity
- The Foundation has been rewarded for its efforts by the « Mieux Vivre en entreprise" Trophy and the Cultural Sponsorship prize