Why does corporate responsibility matter to our company?
At OTE Group, we strive to create a better world for everyone, through technology and innovation. In 2017, the Group continued its sustainable performance throughout its footprint, in Greece, Romania and Albania by further enhancing its positive impact on the economy, society, and the environment.
We achieved a stable economic performance despite external pressures, and we provided advanced communication and entertainment services to our customers, while also offering businesses the necessary tools to grow.
We remained the biggest – by far – investor in telecommunications in Greece, building the networks of the future all across the country, with fiber optics as our flagship project, thus tackling the digital divide.
Digital transformation is our Number 1 priority. We focused on changing people’s experience and lifestyle by deploying new technologies, developing new products, and exploring new ways of communicating with our customers.
At the same time, we managed to sustain our social contribution geared toward supporting vulnerable social groups with a particular focus on children. Furthermore, we continued to reduce our energy footprint and incorporate the principles of the circular economy into our activities.
In 2018, we drive forward our sustainable development strategy towards the same goal: using technology and digital transformation to change the world around us.
Michael Tsamaz, OTE Group Chairman and CEO
Awards and Memberships
The OTE Group received a total of 19 awards and accolades for its Sustainability Performance in 2017.
7th Corporate Social Responsibility Conference organized by Capital Link
The Greek "2017 CAPITAL LINK CSR LEADERSHIP AWARD" was presented to Mr. Michael Tsamaz, Chairman & CEO, OTE Group as a recognition of OTE Group's outstanding contribution in areas of environment, society and corporate governance.
2017 Hrima Business Awards
OTE Group earned the 1st Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the “2017 Hrima Business Awards“
Hellenic Advertisers’ Association (SDE) Corporate Responsibility Awards
The OTE Group received five Excellence Awards in the following categories:
- Innovation: Sea Hero Quest
- Society, Culture & Sports: Wi-Fi for 20 of the largest archeological sites and museums in Greece
- Constant Commitment & Support: Creation of three emergency units and medical equipment
- Environment: Recycling Program
- Society and People: Educational robotics competitions
Bravo Sustainability Awards 2017
The OTE Group received:
- an award in the category Bravo Governance for the microsite www.okosmosmaskalyteros.gr featured in its Sustainability Report 2015
- an accolade in the Bravo Market category for its products & services geared to sustainable development
- an accolade in the Bravo Education category for COSMOTE’s educational robotics and STEM initiatives
Energy Mastering Awards 2017
The OTE Group received major awards for energy efficiency and sustainability practices:
- Two Gold Awards in the “Energy Efficiency Certification” category for implementation of ISO 50001 in buildings and mobile base stations, and LEED certification at Gold level in an office building located in the historic center of Athens (Kerameikos quarter). The complete renovation was carried out by the subsidiary company OTE Estate.
- Gold Award in the “Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings” category for implementation of COSMOTE Energy Management in the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios in Attica. COSMOTE Energy Management is the monitoring, recording and management service for electricity consumption.
- Silver Award in the “Energy Efficiency Management” category for efficient energy management through the Building Energy Management System (BEMS) in two building complexes in the Αttica region.
Waste and Recycling Awards 2017
The OTE Group received the following accolades for effective materials and waste management practices:
- “Winner” in the “Smart Cities Waste Management Applications” category for the “Smart Waste Management Solution in Chalkida Municipality”
- “Winner” in the “Closing the Loop Commitment” category for the “OTE Group Approach to the Circular Economy”
- “Winner” in the category “Sustainable Business” for the “OTE Group Approach to the Circular Economy”
- “Highly Commended” in the “Reuse” category for the ''Refurbishment & Reuse of Terminal Equipment'' program
Mobile Excellence Αwards 2017
Gold Award to COSMOTE for its contribution to enhancing competitiveness in the European telecommunications market through the project "COSMOTE's Powerful Participation in 11 of 40 European Research Subsidized Programs for 5G Networks".
The OTE Group is listed in the following ratings: FTSE 4Good, Vigeo Eiris Emerging Market Performance, Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register and Ethibel PIONEER, CDP and oekom research.
Innovative sustainable products and services launched in 2017
In 2017, the OTE Group launched and developed several products and services to help customers improve their sustainability performance. The Group also successfully implemented some significant projects with the same objective. A number of examples are listed below:
Smart City Applications: Smart city applications were enriched by the OTE Group in 2017 so as to offer local communities the benefits of smart technologies. The Smart City portfolio includes applications for Parking, Lighting, Air Quality Monitoring, Waste Management, and Building Energy Management. Over the next two years, the OTE Group is also expanding its Narrowband IoT network which will cover 95% of the population. This will enable it to reinforce the use of smart city applications.
Chalkida is the first city in Greece to have a complex of smart pilot systems installed: Smart Parking, Smart Lighting, Air Quality and Waste Management, together with an integrated smart city platform. These applications will facilitate the process of finding parking spaces and contribute to decongesting traffic and reducing the city's energy consumption. It will also provide useful information on air quality and optimize waste collection. The project was conducted in 2017.
In 2017, COSMOTE was one of the first providers in Europe to implement the technology for the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in the city of Patras. This was a first in Greece and the Smart Parking, Smart Lighting and Air Quality solutions were installed at a selected location in the city center of Patras.
GRNET: The OTE Group provided the Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) with ICT solutions (data center and cloud infrastructure) so that 31 interconnected hospitals were able to offer more efficient services to their patients and reduce operational costs . The project also helps the research community by allowing controlled and anonymous access to large volumes of imaging data to meet the needs of medical research.
Energy Management: The COSMOTE Energy Management service was implemented at several buildings in the Municipalities of Patras and Agios Dimitrios using remote intervention to monitor the energy consumption at these buildings in real time. The service is expected to contribute to protecting the environment, improving the quality of city life, and reducing operational costs.
After installing the service in five municipal buildings in the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios, the annual energy savings are estimated to be about 66 MWh, and CO2 emissions are projected to be reduced by some 55 metric tons.
e-Fuel Management Service: The e-Fuel Management service is an integrated solution, launched in 2017 by COSMOTE in order to offer monitoring of fuel consumption in corporate vehicles and hence reduce operating expenses.
R&D Projects focusing on Sustainability Issues
Over the course of 2017, the OTE Group participated in 28 R&D projects funded by the EU. The majority of these projects are in line with its sustainability values (e.g. SmarterEMC2, INPUT, SPIRIT, ESSENCE, 5G-PICTURE, 5G-PHOS, MATILDA, 5G-XHaul, CHARISMA, SESAME, COHERENT, VITAL, and SANSA focusing on energy reduction and i_HeERO, BigO, i-Prognosis, CREDENTIAL, Privacy Flag, with a high level of community impact). These projects are directed toward technology leadership – one of the OTE Group’s strategic pillars. They also impact on future products/services, technologies, and telecommunications networks, and facilitate identification of new business opportunities to strengthen the Group’s competitiveness.
The European Initiative H2020 5G Infrastructure PPP (5G-PPP) aims to enhance competiveness in the European telecommunications market on a global level. In 2017, the OTE Group was involved in seven (out of 21) Phase II 5G-PPP projects (in addition to the four Phase I 5G-PPP projects). This meant that the OTE Group participated in an impressive 11 out of 40 projects in total (approx. 28%). This achievement by the OTE Group was honored by the Gold Award with distinction at the “Mobile Excellence Awards 2017”. The OTE Group’s active contribution to 5G-PPP projects enables it to acquire 5G know-how in the early stages of developing the technology. Furthermore, the Group is actively involved in shaping and evaluating future technology solutions, commercial applications, and innovative business models in areas such as smart cities, eHealth, smart transportation, education, entertainment, and media. It also targets other solutions to provide services and applications at a lower cost for everybody, everywhere and implement more energy-efficient networks (up to 90% energy savings).
Indicative projects with notable results for sustainability are presented below:
CHARISMA was one of the first 5G-PPP projects to be completed in December of 2017. The project has developed an innovative cloud-based 5G network infrastructure with high end-to-end security and high performance that is capable of supporting e-health, wellness monitoring, IoT, and smart cities applications. This is achieved with low energy consumption by moving heavy-duty processing to less energy-hungry entities of the network (closer to the network edge).
INPUT was completed in December of 2017 and delivered an innovative software platform enabling the dynamic provisioning of highly demanding next-generation personal Cloud services with guaranteed quality of service/experience anywhere and anytime. It also ensured a significant increase in energy efficiency (up to 20% reduction). The INPUT technologies go beyond the conventional service models and even facilitate replacement of physical Smart Devices for home entertainment and automation (e.g., set-top boxes, DVD players/recorders, MP3 players, IoT devices) with Cloud applications. These can be provided to users “as a Service.”
i-HeERO is directed toward coordination of European countries for comprehensive and timely implementation of the pan-European eCall emergency system for cars (including heavy goods vehicles, long-distance coaches and powered two-wheeled vehicles). The system is based on the 112 call number and focuses on the evaluation and upgrade of the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) of member states across Europe. More than 2,500 field test eCalls were successfully carried out over two and a half months in three different regions in Greece with participation by two Greek mobile network operators (COSMOTE, WIND) and the Greek PSAP located in Athens. The outstanding results substantiate the robustness and the maturity of the pilot system.
i-Prognosis aims to detect symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) at an early stage and apply interventions to counter the risks identified. During the course of 2017, activities on raising public awareness continue (videos on Youtube, informative events, press releases, etc.). Furthermore, a mobile application for early PD detection became available for everyone, and activities on additional diagnostic methods are in progress (electronic games, smart belts and smartwatch app).
BigO aims to impact community-based policy strategies to address the major global and European problem of childhood and adolescent obesity. This is achieved by evaluating the obesity prevalence risk on the basis of objective evidence at local level. Over a period of four years (2017-2020), the project plans to collect anonymized data – using an Android app – from around 7,000 children (from the ages of 9 to 18) from four different countries. Data will also be collected from similarly aged obese clinical groups in three countries. The first release of the smartphone/watch app was launched in March 2018.
Energy and Climate Change Projects
Energy Management System according to ISO 50001
The OTE Group has prioritized improvement in all the functions of energy performance and major company installations (office facilities, call centers, data centers and telecommunication networks). This is a response to global efforts directed toward mitigating climate change.
In 2016, OTE and COSMOTE achieved certification of two important buildings in their portfolio and five base stations in the mobile network in conformity with the ISO 50001 standard. The first year for implementation of the Energy Management System saw energy savings of some 3.5% in each building and an average of about 16% in each base station. In 2017, the Energy Management System successfully expanded to seven important new facilities including technology and office buildings, call centers, data centers, and the head office of the OTE Group. The system has also been expanded to seven base stations in the mobile network.
The strategic aim of the OTE Group for 2018 is to further enrich its portfolio with a significant number of facilities certified according to ISO 50001.
“Green” building with LEED Gold Certification
The OTE Group respects the environment in practice and invests in the rational and sustainable use of energy throughout its operations. OTE Estate is a company of the OTE Group and it is responsible for the management and commercialization of the OTE Group’s real estate portfolio. The company organized and implemented renovation of a building (with total floor space of 10,850 m2) located in the historic center of Athens that houses part of the OTE Group’s Call Center services. The aim was to construct an environmentally sustainable building model capable of offering an ideal workplace for the Group’s employees.
The effectiveness of the building renovation was certified to gold level by the international LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification scheme for environmental and sustainable buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is one of just few buildings in Greece with Gold level LEED certification and it is the second building in the portfolio of the OTE Estate to achieve this certification.
The building’s GOLD level LEED certification constitutes a significant distinction that was achieved after a very demanding process. The objective is to improve performance for a series of indicators such as energy consumption, water use, CO2 emissions, the quality of the internal environment, and management of resources. Indicatively, the energy and environmental measures implemented in the building include the energy efficiency of the shell, installation of new electrical and mechanical equipment with optimum energy performance, an automation and control system for monitoring and optimizing the operation of electrical and mechanical building installations, and implementation of an extensive commissioning program during construction.
Please refer to this link for further information.
Fostering STEM Education and Digitalization
COSMOTE is a strategic partner of the non-profit organization for educational robotics, science and technology WRO Hellas and over the past three years the Group has been implementing a series of educational robotics initiatives with the aim of disseminating STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the Greek educational system. The following initiatives were launched in 2017:
- The Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics Competition for primary, junior high and high school students was rolled out. More than 3,500 children participated in the competition and over 1,000 teachers were trained to enable the students’ teams to design and build a complete robotic model.
- The National WRO Competition was organized with more than 700 students participating from all over Greece. The winning teams took part in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held in Costa Rica in November 2017. Greek students spent an intensive preparation period from the announcement of the WRO in March 2017 until the finals in Costa Rica developing critical skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, engineering, and programming.
- The Bronze Medal and significant awards were bestowed on Greek teams at the World Robot Olympiad 2017. The SMARTBIRDS NEXT team from Patras won a Bronze Medal and was ranked third worldwide (category: "Open Elementary"). This was the 2nd Olympic Award gained by Greece at the WRO. Other Greek teams ranked 7th and 15th in the “Regular Junior” category, 11th in the “Open Senior” category, and 16th in the WRO Football category worldwide.
Access to the Digital World Program
Once again, 2017 saw COSMOTE supporting the Access to the Digital World Program aimed at reducing PC illiteracy among the over fifties and enhancing their ability to access the digital “community”. In 2017, four educational centers were operated in municipalities in the Attica region and a total of 4,000 people with an average age of 64 years learned how to use a tablet, navigate the internet, enter the "world" of social media, and use applications to make their everyday life easier (notes, calendar, notifications, webcam, maps etc.). Over a period of five years, more than 7,000 senior citizens have participated in the program.
New Educational Programs & Online Booking at the OTE Group Telecommunications Museum
In 2017, the OTE Group Telecommunications Museum launched an innovative online booking platform. The museum became the first in Greece to offer online booking to all school and family programs. The museum is focusing on new technologies and it is offering the new “Virtual and Augmented Reality Museum Labs” educational program for families with children aged 9 to 13 years old. This program presents the museum’s exhibits digitally through virtual and augmented reality applications.
Fostering Culture and Digitization
Free WiFi20 Top Archaeological Sites and Museums in Greece
In cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport, COSMOTE has launched the provision of free WiFi at 20 archaeological sites and museums throughout Greece. By 2017, Wi-Fi access was already in place at the Acropolis, Delphi, Akrotiri on Santorini, the Knights’ Palace and Archeology Museum on Rhodes, the Athens Byzantine Museum, Eleftherna Museum on Crete, and at the Delos museum and archeological site. The archeological sites at Knossos and Sounio, the Royal Tombs (Vergina), the National Archeological Museum, Ancient Olympia, the Archeological Museums at Heraklion and Thessaloniki, the Acropolis on Lindos, Ancient Epidaurus, the Acropolis of Mycenae, Spinaloga, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, ancient Dodoni, and ancient Corinth will be the next sites to go online. COSMOTE is investing more than € 2 million to harness the power of technology and promote Greek cultural heritage. The project includes the study, design, and development of wireless network infrastructures at selected locations by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, provision of the necessary equipment, operation and maintenance of the networks, and free wireless Wi-Fi internet for three years. Free WiFi provision will be completed in the course of 2018.
Contemporary Artistic Creation at the Onassis Foundation
The OTE Group supports the Onassis Foundation with the aim of promoting more than 120 productions in the field of culture. The focus here is on contemporary art. In 2017, COSMOTE focused on supporting the exhibition "Science Fiction: Travel to the Unknown". This included creations by modern artists inspired by the opportunities of science fiction in design, cinema, and literature. The exhibition also included concerts, educational programs, workshops and film screenings. At the same time, COSMOTE is supporting the upgrade for the application entitled "Soundscapes – Landscapes 2". This enables visitors to take part in a poetic journey of sound and image around the streets of the city using tablets and smartphones.
COSMOTE Scholarships’ Program
COSMOTE ran its Scholarships’ Program for the 16th consecutive year. The program provides 41 scholarships for first-year students facing financial and social difficulties with a total value of € 620,000. Alongside financial support, COSMOTE offered the scholars fixed and mobile products and services free of charge to cover their telecommunication needs for the duration of their studies along with cable TV services. Over a period of 16 years, the program has provided a total of 622 scholarships valued at more than € 5 million.
Supporting NGOs for Children
Once again this year, the OTE Group supported 17 charitable organizations caring for children all over Greece by contributing financial aid that exceeds € 570,000. Over the past 18 years, the OTE Group has supported more than 55 institutions with more than € 7.5 million by contributing to the improvement of children’s living conditions all over Greece. Three of the NGOs were selected by a vote of internal employees and these NGOs mainly focus on support for children with autism, neoplastic diseases, and children who have experienced neglect or bereavement. The first two NGOs cover the basic needs of children for food, clothes, education, and health such as hospitalization and medical examinations. The other NGO supports autistic children by providing them with psychological support and speech therapy sessions aimed at improving their social inclusion.
Contributions toward Disaster Relief
Support for the Hellenic Coast Guard
The OTE Group continues to support the work and mission of the Hellenic Coast Guard by donating an amount exceeding € 100,000. The amount contributed to the maintenance of 65 Coast Guard vessels that are primarily used in the eastern region of the Aegean, where the largest refugee influx has occurred. Moreover, in 2017, the Group covered telecommunications needs worth € 60,000 for 125 locations, where the Coast Guard’s Harbor Authorities are located. During these three years of support, the vessels were successfully used to respond to 4,804 search and rescue incidents in the eastern Aegean rescuing more than 162,858 people in danger at sea.
Support for the Fire Department
The OTE Group covered the expenses for 2 video walls placed at its premises in order to facilitate efficient operation of the Unified Coordinating Center of the Fire Department. The video walls are used to prevent, monitor, and control fires.
Corporate Volunteering Activities
Participation by OTE Group Employees in the Athens Authentic Marathon
726 employees competed in the Athens Authentic Marathon 2017 in aid of a good cause. This resulted in a donation amounting to € 15,000 being given to ‘’Pisti’’, a non-governmental organization caring for children with neoplastic diseases.
Volunteering Work for NGOs
Once again in 2017, the OTE Group used the slogan “You can also become a volunteer” to invite its employees to proactively contribute to the work of NGOs supporting children and the environment. In 2017, more than 100 employees volunteered at two-day events such as bazaars organized by the NGOs.
Internal Charity Bazaars for Easter & Christmas
This is the 7th consecutive year that the OTE Group has organized charity bazaars at its premises during vacation seasons. Employees had the opportunity to buy gifts for their families and at the same time support the NGO’s contribution to the community. A total of 13 NGOs supporting children in need and vulnerable social groups sold their products to more than 1,500 employees. The amount raised in 2017, exceeded € 17,000
COSMOTE provides refurbished equipment
The OTE Group integrates the principles of the circular economy in its operations across its value chain.
Since September of 2013, contracts for fixed telephony, internet and TV have included lease provisions for the equipment provided (provided that the customer chooses to obtain the necessary equipment from COSMOTE) at no cost. This is intended to expand the lifetime and overall utilization of the equipment provided to customers of COSMOTE and the GERMANOS retail network, and ensure proper end-of-life management for end-devices. According to these conditions, operation of the equipment is covered by a guarantee while the client is under contract. The client is obliged to return the equipment after the contract comes to an end. Returned equipment undergoes detailed control checks and is repaired as necessary. It is then returned to the market in fully operational condition. COSMOTE cooperates with licensed disposal companies, and discarded equipment is forwarded to them for recycling.
As a result, consumption of resources and waste generation rates are reduced and the value of the embedded resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, while customers benefit from lower costs for high quality services.
Highlight figures for 2017:
- All new contracts (residential and business customers) included lease options at no cost for terminal equipment
- 147,897 items of equipment were checked and 115,239 items were refurbished and returned to the market.
- During the period from 2013 to 2017, around 259,092 items were recycled.
Entrepreneurship and innovation
#GrowYourBusiness digital training
COSMOTE offers free digital training seminars to entrepreneurs through the initiative #GrowYourBusiness – Digital Training. More than 1,200 professionals attended (live and using live streaming) seminars in four cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina) and learned about new trends in the digital era, familiarized themselves with the world of social media, explored new consumer trends using sophisticated tools, and upgraded their corporate website. Two more seminars are planned before the end of the year (in Heraklion and Larissa). #GrowYourBusiness is the umbrella for COSMOTE supporting the growth of micro, small and mid-sized enterprises in the digital era.
1st COSMOTE HACKATHON
The 1st COSMOTE HACKATHON was organized under the slogan “Run the code, create the future”. The 14 teams that reached the final phase had been working for more than 26 hours in a specially designed space at the OTE Academy. They had been working to “run the code for the future” and finalize their proposal. Specialized mentors from the business and academic communities supported the teams with practical counseling and mentoring. The highlight of the competition involved the teams presenting their proposals to the COSMOTE HACKATHON Committee made up of 10 members, including Mr. Michael Tsamaz, Chairman and CEO of the OTE Group. The committee then selected the three winning teams. During the two-day innovation celebration event, participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with impressive new technologies and utilize systems such as Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality in the specially designed GERMANOS experience room and the G-TECH Lounge. The COSMOTE HACKATHON was organized in cooperation with the Athens University of Economics and Business, and the Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin). The competition was supported by GERMANOS and sponsored by COSMOTE TV.
Key facts at a glance
|Markets, business Areas and market share|| |
The OTE Group is the largest telecommunications provider in the Greek market. Together with its subsidiaries, the Group forms one of the leading telecommunications groups in South-Eastern Europe. The Group offers the full range of telecommunications services from fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband services, to pay television, and ICTsolutions. In addition to its core telecommunications activities, the Group in Greece is also involved in maritime communications, real estate, and professional training. Outside Greece, the Group operates in the telecommunications markets of Romania where it offers fixed-line and mobile communications, and television services. In Albania, the Group supplies mobile telephony services.
|Number of customers|| |
|Number of employees|| |
Fixed line operations, Greece: 8,470
|Shareholding of Deutsche Telekom AG since||2008|
OTE Group Greece
OTE and COSMOTE
Also, OTE and COSMOTE are certified according to standard IDW AssS 980 for Compliance Anti-Corruption and Compliance Anti-Trust
|Please refer to the internet for further information||www.cosmote.gr/fixed/corporate/company/quality|
|Local CR reports|| |
The OTE Group’s Sustainability Report 2016 presents its contribution to the Greek economy, society and the environment, and to Greece's digital transformation. The vision of the OTE Group is to contribute to a better world for everyone through technology and innovation. The report is only available online at www.otegroupsustainability2016.gr. It presents the OTE Group's strategy for 2016 and performance on Sustainability – based on the five new pillars for action – in a concise way. The report has been drawn up in accordance with the Core option of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.