The partnership between VINCI and SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL was forged as part of emergency operations to deal with natural disasters. The Group’s employees have come together to raise funds for those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines in 2013 and the earthquake in Nepal in 2015. The company has boosted its employees’ contributions by also helping to finance SI’s missions, particularly those aimed at restoring sanitation networks and infrastructures in the areas hit by these disasters.
This collaboration was recently expanded to take the form of a research partnership, based on the concept of innovative projects. Harnessing the open innovation platform Schoolab, VINCI organized a student challenge at three educational establishments: Centrale Paris engineering school, ESSEC business school and Strate school of design. This competition aims to deliver technical solutions to key issues encountered by teams from SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL and other humanitarian organizations when rolling out emergency operations. Teams of students get together to devise, scale up and prototype various technical solutions to the following two problems:
- Thermal insulation of emergency shelters (for operations in Lebanon)
- Creating versatile, adaptable emergency shelters in a complex urban environment (for operations in Haiti)
Students receive support throughout their 6 month project from lecturers at all three schools, and employees from SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL and VINCI.
“As part of its sustainable development policy, VINCI encourages its employees to make a socially responsible commitment. In practice, this means not only financial contributions but also ensuring that our employees' skills are made available to share. With Solidarités International, we’ve opted to make all our resources work for their emergency operations, whether in the short term, as a response to natural disasters, or over the longer term, to help us anticipate how missions and intervention situations will pan out.``