Make people live off
the Land sustainably

Testimonial: Barry Howe

Secretary General of the Alstom Foundation

What sort of work does the Alstom Foundation do?
Alstom employs 32,000 people in 60 different countries. The Alstom Foundation was launched in 2007 and supports projects proposed by the company's employees. The goal is to improve the living conditions of local communities—especially communities near Alstom's various branches, so that it's easier for our employees to get involved.

The Foundation funds projects with a focus on economic growth and, more specifically, on access to energy, mobility, water and environmentally friendly farming. Most projects also include an awareness-raising or training component to ensure that they will have a lasting impact. The Foundation teams up with local and international NGOs to carry out the projects.

Why do you support AVSF?
The Foundation is currently helping AVSF support rice growers threatened by flooding in Ecuador's Daule region. We also supported AVSF in 2012 as part of a project to help the indigenous community near Pasto, in southern Colombia. François Sourbadere, who is in charge of the PACIS software at Alstom's Villeurbanne branch, submitted these projects and now helps promote them. He coordinates the collaboration between Alstom and AVSF's teams in France (near Alstom's Lyon branch), Ecuador and Colombia.

These projects were chosen because they are in line with our economic, environmental and social objectives. Plus, AVSF has the experience and resources needed to see the projects through. The fact that Alstom operates in both countries also weighed heavily in our decision to support the projects.

AVSF offers long-term solutions for local communities and helps them boost their income. That approach and those values are in line with our own.

How does your work with AVSF tie in with your mission?
The project in Ecuador aims to improve the living conditions of smallholders in the Daule region, who are threatened by flooding. The project provides training in agroecology for 250 rice growers—particularly organic-compost production and crop diversification—to help them improve soil fertility and, as a result, reduce the risk of flooding. The project also includes a risk-prevention/risk-management component that uses innovative tools, such as a role-playing, to simulate crises and encourage dialog between the different stakeholders working to prevent and manage the risk of flooding.