From the very beginning, the Foundation has encouraged Air Liquide employees to actively take part in the projects it supports. This participation can take many forms: sponsoring, project monitoring (for scientific or local development projects) or skill-based sponsorship. Each and every time, their understanding of local issues and knowledge of NGO’s acting on the ground have proven decisive for making real progress. They also ensure that needs are truly being met and they see for themselves the benefits for their local communities. Employees enjoy a unique, moving experience and a feeling of accomplishment that is more than just professional. Helping others is an incredible source of motivation. Group employees create real value for the Foundation, and they greatly contribute to its efficiency.
We all must work together to fight the enormous social and environmental issues we face and that is why the Foundation encourages Air Liquide employees to work on behalf of their communities by sponsoring an organization of their choice. They are then updated about the project's progress by the Foundation team.
Air Liquide employees present the Foundation with local development projects they care about in the fields of education, job training, disability, social issues or access to healthcare. These projects must take place in Europe or in a developing economy, always located near an Air Liquide subsidiary.
In order to make a difference where it really counts, the Foundation relies on local employee contacts who volunteer their time to evaluate and support local development projects. This provides a unique opportunity to understand the expectancies on the ground, help those in need and develop trust with partner organizations and local communities. All our scientific projects receive support from our Air Liquide R&D researchers and experts.
The Foundation asks Air Liquide experts, doctors and researchers to assess the quality and relevance of the research projects. Discussions and laboratory visits often take place before the project is sent to the Board of Directors for a decision. When a local development project is shortlisted, a volunteer from the local Air Liquide subsidiary is chosen by the Foundation to work alongside the organization that will lead the project. Their job is to support the organization's team throughout the program, from the feasibility study to the final completion and impact testing. The employee is responsible for visiting the project site and verifying that it meets the Foundation’s selection and viability criteria. Once the support agreement has been signed between the Foundation and the organization, the employee will also ensure that the work is going smoothly and that the Foundation’s funds are being used properly. Once the project is complete, she/he will assess the implementation. The employee’s commitment at each step of the way helps guarantee the Foundation has a positive, tangible impact on the causes itsupports.
The idea behind skill-based sponsorship is to encourage expertise sharing and mutual support and to enable employees to spend a portion of their working hours helping an organization. The end result: a meaningful and rewarding interpersonal experience, that benefits both the employee and the people being helped.
Employees can put their professional skills to work for individuals or organizations to help with a specific project or the development of an organization, as a one-off or on a regular basis. This is a win-win approach where the supported organization is able to access expertise that is not available or is still in development, while the employee shares her/his expertise and expands her/his horizons. These experiences are often deeply moving, creating enriching encounters that provide a feeling of accomplishment.