Photo: Commitment to people

Involvement in solidarity initiatives has always been fundamental for FS Italiane Group, which is tangibly committed to carrying out projects and initiatives to help disadvantaged people. In collaboration with non-profit associations and local bodies, FS Italiane Group has embraced a policy to support and plan social initiatives in railway areas. Indeed, beginning with the stations, a new welfare system is being created. Rather than the welfare state of the past 70 years it is a collaborative welfare system based on the circular solidarity of the public, private and non-profit sectors.

As the economic crisis continues and migration surges, all of Italy is experiencing the deterioration of social conditions, which can be especially seen at railway stations. Promoted and managed in collaboration with local bodies and non-profit associations, the Help Centers are the Group’s answer to the growing phenomenon of social crisis and the considerable rise in migration to Europe and Italy in particular, as it is an access point.

The Help Centers are “low threshold” information points - i.e. without any filtering of users - created to welcome and shelter those who are most in need and to help begin their rehabilitation with the city’s social services and institutions. Moreover, this transformation of the model for social welfare goes hand-in-hand with the new interpretation of corporate social responsibility (CSR), increasingly focused on the creation of shared value: creating value for the business that is also value for all stakeholders, the community and the local areas.

The European charter for solidarity is a document inspired by the Lisbon Treaty, involving the joint efforts of railway and urban transport companies, and signatory associations and institutions. The signatories of the European charter for solidarity are inspired by the European Green Paper on corporate social responsibility.

Together with important reference institutions and associations, the FS Italiane Group develops initiatives aimed at supporting current issues such as safeguarding child health, preventing the risk of abandonment and early school leaving, promotion of woman health and protection.

Results achieved in 2018 

  • 100 interventions for the improvement of accessibility in the station.
  • Participatory process with disabled peoples’ associations to make the Nugo app accessible.
  • Involvement of associations of people with reduced mobility during the new regional trains POP and Rock roadshow.
  • Completion of the Sala Blu+ app  for booking assistance services in the station for people with reduced mobility.
  • Over 350 thousand support and assistance interventions for people with reduced mobility dispensed in 2018.
  • Approximately 20,700 people in difficulty assisted.
  • 90,000 social orientation and support interventions focused on city services.
  • Opening of new reception centres to support the Help Centres set up inside abandoned railway facilities.
  • Nearly 14,000 m² granted on loan for free use for social activities.
  • European Solidarity Charter: inclusion of non-railway individuals, even non-Europeans, who have subscribed to Parallel Support Pacts.
  • 3 European projects: Hope in stations, Work in stations and Train in stations.
  • TopRail Project to promote railway tourism.
  • Signing of MoU between UIC, FS Foundation and European Commission for the Discovery EU project.
  • Participation in Do the right thing! During the trade fair on sustainable lifestyles, projects were presented for the recovery and enhancement of railway infrastructures and the Programme Agreement for the former railway stations of Milan.
  • Two fundraising campaigns in 2018: “You should share too” in collaboration with the Food Bank and “Their future in your hands” along with ActionAid.
  • "Solidarity train” project: donation of free railway tickets for people in conditions of serious social hardship, to allow them to reach their family members or health or reception facilities or participate in training courses and courses on work placement. 
  • Frecciarosa, an initiative dedicated to treatment and prevention of breast diseases and healthy lifestyle education.
  • Children's train: a Frecciarossa train took more than 400 children from the outskirts of Rome and Milan to the Vatican.
  • Festival of Paralympic Culture: three days of debates and accounts on the world of disability.

The goals for 2019 

  • Training courses for railway staff on social hardship in the station.
  • Opening of new Help Centres in Rovereto and Viareggio.
  • Expansion of Help Centre facilities in Pescara and Messina.
  • Assessment of Help Centre openings in Terni, Cagliari, Livorno, Montecatini, Grosseto.
  • The TopRail Forum at the Museum of Pietrarsa.
  • Fundraising campaign on the occasion of 10 years of High Speed in Italy.
  • Continuation of the Solidarity Train project.
  • Social re-use of unstaffed railway stations and abandoned railway lines.
  • Implementation of works of street art for the redevelopment of the Roma Termini railway station area.
  • Agreement with the Guarantor for Florence detainees for the implementation of a professional training pilot project.

Last update: Sustainability Report 2018