Created in 2008, the Saint-Gobain Foundation engages in solidarity actions in France and worldwide in the fields of sustainable social living spaces and professional integration. It relies on project sponsorship by Group employees. Since 2008, almost 150 projects have been supported under the banner of 115 non-profit organizations. For its 10th anniversary, the Foundation is expanding its field of action and boosting all Saint-Gobain employees’ awareness of solidarity commitment through the TIME TO ACT! mobilization campaign.
10 years of solidarity actions and initiatives
The Saint-Gobain Foundation was created in 2008 under the impetus of Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Group. The aim was to create a structure working for the economic and social development of the regions close to Saint-Gobain’s sites, to support people experiencing hardship, while focusing on the Group’s fields of expertise (new construction and renovation of sustainable social habitat), and the professional integration of young adults. In 10 years, the Foundation has supported 148 projects led by 115 non-profit organizations, all supported by one or more Group employees or retirees. “Solidarity is one of our Principles of Conduct and Action, the values that form the basis of the Saint-Gobain Group’s Code of Ethical Conduct. The Foundation is a concrete expression of that value. It is an integral part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” declared Pierre-André de Chalendar.
TIME TO ACT!
Today, the TIME TO ACT! campaign marks a turning point. The aim is to encourage an even greater number of Group employees to become involved in whatever way they can and want. The Foundation provides them with the opportunity to become project sponsors or to volunteer their expertise or time. During this campaign, it is promoting the organization of solidarity teambuilding exercises, and the donation of funds or materials.
To mark its 10th anniversary, the Foundation has created its own website: foundation.saint-gobain.com. An information platform, a discussion forum and launchpad for action, it provides the Saint-Gobain teams with all the details about the Foundation’s missions, as well as the potential for complementary actions, such as how to donate materials in the Group’s various countries or how to organize solidarity teambuilding exercises. Everyone can share their community engagement experience and put their name forward to support a project as an expert or volunteer.
The Foundation Week
The highlight of the TIME TO ACT! campaign is the Foundation Week that takes place throughout the entire Saint-Gobain Group during which events and initiatives are organized worldwide to raise teams’ awareness of solidarity commitment and to honor the actions undertaken over the past 10 years. At Saint-Gobain’s headquarters in France, the Foundation Week involves a series of talks on solidarity by committed personalities, a collection by La Cravate Solidaire of business attire for job seekers and a solidarity speed meeting organized with Pro Bono Lab where groups of employees can talk to non-profit organizations to help them solve a variety of issues: internal organization, strategy, communication, marketing, etc.
In France, the Foundation has also introduced a temporary operation for this anniversary enabling Saint-Gobain employees to directly fund non-profit organizations and help them with three specific projects: a professional integration project in the Greater Paris region led by ATD Quart Monde, the construction of a multi-unit housing project in Douai led by Habitat and Humanity, and the refurbishment of a day center for the Abbé Pierre Foundation in Marseille. The Foundation will double the funds donated. Some Saint-Gobain subsidiaries have introduced a salary rounding operation with the funds raised donated to non-profits in partnership with the MICRODON organization.
“The Foundation Week is an ideal opportunity to encourage everyone to take the plunge and propose projects and initiatives on their own or as a group. We want to involve the greatest number of people possible by encouraging everyone to participate in whatever way they can in projects benefiting people experiencing hardship. Anyone can be a sponsor, or a volunteer, expert or donor. Over the past 10 years, the non-profit organizations supported by the Foundation have already helped thousands of people directly or indirectly. This is immensely satisfying but of course you can never do enough in these sorts of areas,” added Pierre-André de Chalendar.