Since the creation of the Foundation in 2008, the employees of the various Air Liquide subsidiaries can recommend or support projects as sponsors. This year, Air Liquide France Industrie (ALFI) has decided to pay special tribute to its employees who support the actions of the Air Liquide Foundation by organizing a seminar last September bringing together its employee sponsors. Louis-François Richard, Chief Executive Officer of Air Liquide France Industrie, and Corinne Rodriguez, ALFI employee and sponsor of a project, look back on 9 years of commitment.
Why bring the Foundation’s action to ALFI employees?
Louis-François Richard : within the Southwest Europe Cluster and at ALFI, we are convinced that our CSR goals must be concretely embodied in the daily lives of our teams. The Foundation’s project employee sponsors are precursors in the transition to action. We have the intuition that they can help us to bring our CSR actions closer to our teams.
As an ALFI employee, what made you decide to start sponsorship?
Corinne Rodriguez : I regularly spearhead social activities and the activity of the circus, Le nez dans les Étoiles in Bourges immediately drew me in: at the request of the reception center, the managers opened their classes to young people with mental disabilities. Juggling, trapeze, balancing… circus activities are a great way to fulfill these young people! In view of the results obtained, this activity has grown: around fifty people benefit from it today.
What objective did you pursue in organizing the sponsorship day?
Louis-François Richard : we wanted to bring together, on a voluntary basis, all ALFI employees who for 9 years have been sponsors of projects supported by the Air Liquide Foundation. Through this event, the sponsors were able to meet and exchange; we also worked with them on ways to make ALFI’s CSR commitment more visible and concrete in the daily lives of our teams. The choice to hold this day at the Plus Petit Cirque du Monde embodies the consistency of our action. The Plus Petit Cirque is both an initiative supported by the Foundation, sponsored by an ALFI employee and is located in Bagneux, the city where the headquarters of the subsidiary is based. It was also a way to mark our local investment!
Do you interact with your colleagues about your role as a sponsor?
Corinne Rodriguez : At the seminar, I understood the responsibility that I hold to share my commitment with ALFI teams. This day was also an excellent opportunity to testify to my role as a sponsor, to present Nez dans les Étoiles and explain the role played by the Foundation. The circus tent of Nez dans les Étoiles was completely worn out and too small given the growing number of students, which restricted activities. Thanks to the support of the Foundation, the circus has been able to equip itself with a new rigid canvas tent for special development spaces! It is an experience that makes sense to me and that, without being time-consuming, allows to open up to others.