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Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
 

OTE
Group

Michael Tsamaz
OTE Group Chairman and CEO

2020 was a year unlike any other. The unprecedented crisis of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted economies, jobs, education, and wellbeing around the world. The OTE Group played a leading national role. We safeguarded our people, ensured the seamless operation of our networks and services, facilitated our customers and the work of government, and supported the Greek health system. Our total contribution exceeded EUR 12 million.

Now that hope is on the horizon, this is the time to seize the opportunity and turn the hard-won lessons of this pandemic into a more sustainable future for all.

Sustainability is closely intertwined with digital transformation, as evident from the “European Green Deal”. We need sustainable investments with proven ESG img commitments.

Sustainability is the underlying principle of the OTE Group’s growth. We want to make sure that our technology creates a better world for all: by connecting everyone to present and future digital opportunities and enhancing our environmental and social footprint.

We are forging ahead with our planned EUR 2 billion for investments in networks over the next four years, with the least possible impact on the environment.

We are pursuing ambitious environmental targets for Climate Change and the Circular Economy. 100 percent of the electricity we consume today is from renewable energy sources. We are committed to achieving a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 2030.

We are bridging the digital divide by helping to create an inclusive and resilient digital society. During 2020, our initiatives to enhance the digital skills of people in Greece benefited more than 62 000 people across the country.

We regard the creation of a sustainable digital world as our duty. A world where our children can live and prosper.

A better world for all.

 

Key facts at a glance

Markets, business areas and market share  

The OTE Group is the largest technology company in Greece. Under the unified COSMOTE commercial brand, it offers the full range of telecommunications services from fixed-line and mobile telephony, through broadband services, to pay television and integrated ICT img solutions. In addition to its core telecommunications activities, the Group in Greece is also involved in maritime communications and real estate. Outside Greece, it operates in the telecommunications market of Romania where it offers fixed-line and mobile communications, as well as television services.

Number of customers in Greece  
  • Retail access lines:588 956
  • COSMOTE TV subscribers: 573 797
  • Mobile subscribers:900 467
Number of employees in Greece   11 162
Shareholding of Deutsche Telekom AG since   2008
Certifications  

OTE Group Greece

The implemented Integrated Management System (IMS) is based on the Corporate Process Model and its systematic assessment, documentation, and improvement.

The OTE and COSMOTE IMS complies with the following certifications:

  • PAS99: 2012 | Integrated Management System – Requirements
  • ISO 9001:2015 | Quality Management Systems – Requirements
  • ISO 14001:2015 | Environmental Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use
  • ISO 45001:2018 | Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements
  • ISO 22301: 2012 | Societal Security – Business Continuity Management Systems – Requirements
  • ISO 50001: 2018 | Energy Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use
  • ISO 27001: 2013 | Information Technology – Security Techniques – Information Security Management System – Requirements
  • ISO/IEC 20000-1: 2018 | Information Technology – Service Management System
  • ISO 31000: 2018| Risk Management – Guidelines
  • Principles and Guidelines for Good Distribution Practice for Medical Devices acc. to Decision No. 1348/04 of the Greek Ministry for Health and Welfare
  • ISO 19600: 2014 | Compliance Management Systems - Guidelines
  • ISO 37001: 2016 | Anti-Bribery Management Systems Standard
  • Industrial Safety Certification (EKBA) | Greek Legislation “Government Gazette B 336 - 16.03.2005
  • ISO 17025:2005 | General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories (COSMOTE)

The OTE and COSMOTE Integrated Management System also includes ISAE 3402 Type 2 Report (‘Assurance reports on controls at a service organization’) and ISAE 3000 img Type 2 Report ‘Assurance Engagements other than Audits img or Reviews of Historical Financial Information’ that are issued by international auditing companies in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. These reports relate to the design and operational effectiveness of controls and the respective control environment delivered to ICT customers, in the context of Data Hosting, IT Service Desk, and Managed Security Services.

OTE and COSMOTE are also certified according to the IDW Assurance Standards (AssS 980) for Compliance Anti-Corruption and Compliance Anti-Trust.

Please refer to the internet for further information   https://www.cosmote.gr/cs/otegroup/en/enopoihmeno_systhma_diaxeirishs.html 
Local CR reports  

The OTE Group’s Sustainability Report 2019, including data from eight companies in the Group, presents its economic, social and environmental footprint, as well as its contribution to Achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals img. The content of the Report is defined according to the “Core” option of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, GRI Standards and is subject to external assurance, covering the Principles of Standard AA1000 img and specific performance indicators of companies in the OTE Group.

Awards and memberships

The OTE Group received a total of nine awards for its sustainability performance in 2020

  1. WINNER of Telecommunication, in the category of Companies & Organizations
  2. WINNER of Wellbeing Champion of the Year, in the category of Health & Safety
  3. GOLD award in Health & Safety Culture, in the category of Activities for Building Health & Safety Culture
  4. GOLD awards in Health & Wellness Initiatives, in Critical Incident Stress Response and in Psychosocial Risk Initiatives, in the category of Health & Wellbeing Activities
  5. GOLD award in Learning and Development, in the category “Best Change Management Strategy / Initiative, Category”, for the “Internal Customer Experience (ICE) project”.
  6. Corporate Affairs Excellent Awards 2020, organized by the Hellenic Management Association, Award for the “#ZEROPLASTIC” project, in the category “Corporate Social Responsibility Actions”.
  7. COSMOTE AWARDS 2019
    Award for the “#ZEROPLASTIC” project, in the category Culture
  8. Fortune Greece “List with 20 best initiatives: Change the World list”
    #ZEROPLASTIC PROJECT
  9. Top distinction for the Telecommunications Museum at the Mobile Excellence Awards 2020 for its Augmented Reality digital tour
    Award received in October 2020, Distinction received in October 2020

Innovative sustainable products and services

In 2020, 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:

COSMOTE Asset Tracker: the first solution for tracking your business’s equipment on an NB-IoT network
The COSMOTE Asset Tracker service was launched in July 2020. It enables businesses to remotely monitor their equipment using the Internet of Things img (IoT). This is another partnership between COSMOTE and international provider Fleet Complete, which specializes in corporate asset management services. The service is designed for enterprises that want to remotely monitor their high-value fixed assets 24/7, including machinery, generators, containers, trailers, and cranes. Customers also receive an online notification of the environmental conditions in greenhouses and storage spaces.

The COSMOTE Asset Tracker service enables businesses to:

  • check and monitor the location of their assets
  • receive notifications of environmental conditions, such as: temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and exposure to sunlight
  • more effectively protect their assets from possible damage or unauthorized use.

A significant major advantage of this service is that thanks to the COSMOTE NB IoT network it consumes very little energy. This means that the sensors placed in fixed assets have a long battery life (at least two years without recharging). This in turn enables businesses to reduce their operating costs while limiting their environmental footprint and contributing to the global initiative to protect the environment.

Expansion of the National Telemedicine Network
In July 2020, the OTE Group and Intracom Telecom expanded the National Telemedicine Network (EDIT) on 22 additional islands in the north and south Aegean. This is a project run by the Health Region of Piraeus and the Aegean (second Health Region), which uses technology to provide more islanders and visitors with equal access to ESY (National Healthcare System) health services to match those of Greece’s major hospitals. The scope of the project includes installation of 28 new telemedicine stations and the creation of 90 home monitoring systems for patients where transfer to the island Health Centers is difficult. Apart from telemedicine and telecounseling services, the National Telemedicine Network also offers real-time teletraining services for medical, nursing, and administrative staff.

After its expansion, EDIT will have a total of 71 telemedical units, which will connect 52 islands in the Aegean Sea with the central hospitals of Attica and the surrounding district. This will digitally simulate the physical presence of the doctor at the location of the patient. The facility will eliminate the distances between the most remote islands and major hospitals, cutting down unnecessary travel and medical evacuations by air, while relieving the burden on the clinics. To date, EDIT has held more than500 "telemeetings" and 290 training seminars, while more than 68 000 teleconferences have been held on various topics designed to stimulate the work of health professionals. EDIT makes an important contribution to improving health services for islanders and reducing unnecessary patient travel and medical evacuation flights to urban centers. The five most common categories of examination performed by telemedicine are pediatric psychiatric, endocrinological, diabetic, psychiatric and oncological examinations.

Coca-Cola 3E aVataR
Cosmote, on behalf of Coca-Cola HBC, created a complete 360° training platform where employees can be trained in new store activation scenarios using a mobile, desktop and VR application. The platform was rolled out between November 2019 and March 2020. Modern sales teams have various store activation tools and multiple placement options at their disposal. Specially designed scenarios based on gamification enable users to live the 360° store browsing experience and learn how they can create the "perfect store".

The basic Key Business Indicator (KBI) defined from the beginning of product creation was improving the skills of human resources while repeating the test. The questions were desgined to be of graded difficulty in order to demonstrate smarter and more innovative ways of activating a store. This approach also contributes significantly to upgrading training through the use of modern digital tools. It offers a separate digital education channel in the company’s expanded digital education system.

R&D projects focusing on sustainability issues

Over the course of 2020, the OTE Group participated in 44 R&D projects funded by the EU. The majority of these projects are in line with its sustainability objectives. Some of them focus on energy reduction and others offer a high level of community impact. These projects are directed toward technology superiority – one of the OTE Group’s strategic pillars. They also impact future products/services, technologies, and telecommunications networks, and facilitate the identification of new business opportunities to strengthen the Group’s competitiveness.

Flagship projects with key results for sustainability are presented here:

LIFE SAFE-CROSSING aims to implement actions geared to reducing the impact of roads on a number of priority species (brown bear, wolf, lynx) in four European countries (Italy, Spain, Romania, and Greece). Innovative technologies and best practices will be used to prevent collisions (“Animal-Vehicle Collisions” prevention system, virtual fence), increase driver attention (e.g. neuroscience applications) and facilitate the movements of animals and hence contribute to protecting biodiversity.

  • OTE Group R&D has developed a holistic solution for monitoring and automatic processing of a large volume of wildlife photos/videos collected from 45 underpasses along 55 kilometers of the Egnatia Motorway. The solution includes low-consumption wireless (4G) cameras (powered by solar panels), cloud infrastructure for data storage (photos, videos, statistics), and tools for automated:
    (a) species recognition and categorization using Artificial Intelligence techniques,
    (b) creation of animal-crossing statistics and
    (c) data visualization including underpass information, photos, videos, and statistics.
  • The solution exhibits great advantages such as low cost, ease of installation, drastic reduction of labor-intensive and time-consuming procedures, and significant reduction of on-site visits to monitoring locations. It therefore results in major environmental and cost savings.
  • It is estimated that the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING solutions will achieve a 30 percent reduction in vehicle speeds and a 50 percent reduction in fatalities for the protected animals in the four countries.

Since September 2018, the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project has been creating a protective shield for the brown bear and other wildlife species in north-western Greece and the project will continue until August 2023. 13 partners drawn from NGOs, private companies, and public bodies in four countries (Italy, Greece, Spain, and Romania) are involved.

LOCUS aims to develop an extended location management layered infrastructure capable of improving localization accuracy and security and expanding it with physical analytics, and extract value.

  • LOCUS will showcase its solutions in three scenarios:
    • 1) Smart network management based on 5G equipment localization
    • 2) Network-assisted self-driving objects
    • 3) People mobility and flow monitoring, including emergency services
  • The project started in November 2019 and will continue until April 2022. 13 partners from eight countries are participating in this project.

C-ROADS aims to demonstrate and subsequently operate Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) services in various European countries including Greece. Key elements are the joint development of technical specifications for all pilot deployments as well as common cross-site testing to achieve interoperability for the deployed C-ITS services. Indicative services to be deployed are roadworks warning, weather conditions, other hazardous location notification, in-vehicle signage, in-vehicle speed limits, probe vehicle data traffic information, and smart routing.

21 partners from Greece including the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, universities, research centers, and SMEs are participating in the project. It was launched in May 2019 and continues until December 2023.

INTERCONNECT aims to develop and demonstrate advanced solutions for connecting and converging digital homes and buildings with the electricity sector. The solutions developed within the scope of the project will permit digitalization for homes, buildings, and electric grids based on Internet of Things img (IoT) architecture. Adopting digital technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud, and Big Data) and open standards, such as the advanced SAREF protocol, guarantees interoperability among equipment, systems and user data privacy. The project with 50 partners from 11 countries started in October 2019 and will continue until September 2023.

Energy and climate change

Energy management system
The strategic aim of the OTE Group is rational and sustainable use of energy. Mitigation actions are planned and implemented in major company facilities (offices, call centers, data centers, and telecommunications network sites) in order to improve their energy performance. This is a response to global efforts directed toward climate-change mitigation.

In 2016, an energy management system was developed and certified in compliance with the ISO 50001 standard. Initially, the system was implemented in a limited number of critical installations and since then it has gradually been expanded. Up to now, the system has been rolled out in 21 building complexes (including technology and office buildings, data centers, call centers, shops, and the head office of the OTE Group), and in 36 mobile base stations. Several energy-saving action plans have been designed to improve efficiency at each facility. Measures include interventions in HVAC systems, lighting, setting optimum operation points, automation systems, equipment modernization, etc. The results are encouraging since annual energy savings have now exceeded 5 percent in buildings/shops, 7 percent in data centers, and 15 percent in mobile base stations.

New energy audits and further enrichment of the portfolio with a significant number of installations provided with ISO 50001 certification forms part of the OTE Group’s plans.

Green building with LEED Gold certification
The OTE Group respects the environment and invests in rational and sustainable use of energy throughout its operations. OTE Estate is a company in the Group responsible for management and exploitation of the real-estate portfolio. Design and implementation of major renovation in several critical buildings are performed with the objective of obtaining high-level environmental certification.

The Kerameikos Office and COSMOTE TV Services were the first buildings to attain Gold level LEED certification.

In 2020, an office building located in the center of Athens was renovated to support call center services. 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 only a few buildings in Greece with Gold level LEED certification. It is the second office building and the third building in the portfolio of OTE Estate to achieve this certification.

More environmental building certifications are included in plans drawn up by OTE Estate for the upcoming years.

Fostering education and digitalization

Educational robotics and STEM
COSMOTE contributes to a better world for everyone by developing the digital skills of children and young people from all over the country. Over the last seven years, COSMOTE has been a strategic partner of the not-for-profit organization for educational robotics and science “WRO Hellas”. The partnership has implemented a series of initiatives intended to disseminate educational robotics and STEM img (Science Technology Engineering Math) educational methodology throughout the Greek educational system. Until now, more than 24 000 students have participated in these initiatives.

The following initiatives took place in 2020:

Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics Competition
The Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics Competition for kindergarten, primary, junior high and high school students 2020 had close to000 participating students. More than 150 teachers were trained to enable the student teams to design and build a complete robotic model. Moreover, the digitized projects from the Educational Robotics Competition were uploaded on the WRO Hellas digital platform for educational documents so as to give unlimited access to knowledge for every teacher in the country. In a sign of the times, one of the categories in the competition was about climate change. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics Competition for elementary students was held in October 2020 as a hybrid competition for the first time. Children from the Koromikos region of Attica took part live and participants from other Greek regions took part online. Another launch in October 2020 related to the Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics Competition 2021. The competition will finish in May 2021.

Junior Engineer Academy in Greece
The Junior Engineer Academy (JEA) is a two-year educational program carried out by the Deutsche Telekom Foundation. The aim of the program is to implement the STEM educational method in junior high schools with an emphasis on engineering. 2019 was the first time that the JEA was established in the Greek educational system. 16 junior high schools in Greece were selected in collaboration with COSMOTE’s strategic partner STEM Education. Specific equipment was installed in the selected schools so that the program could run. JEA will run in Greece until 2021 and special training will be delivered to teachers at the selected schools for the remaining period. This will facilitate the commencement of students’ engineering lessons. By the end of the two-year program, over 1 500 junior high school students in Greece will have participated in the program to improve their skills in subjects such as engineering, physics, and math.

COSMOTE Scholarships Program
In 2020, COSMOTE ran its Scholarships Program for the 19th consecutive year. COSMOTE announced 29 scholarships worth EUR 15 000 and EUR 18 750 each for the academic year 20202021. The level of funding depends on the years of university department that each scholar has passed. One honorary scholarship (EUR 25 000) is available to first-year students who have gained entrance to specific higher education institutions such as the Polytechnic School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering and who also are faced with economic hardship and social difficulties. Alongside financial support, COSMOTE offered the scholars fixed and mobile products and services, free of charge to cover their telecommunications needs and cable TV services for the duration of their studies. Over a period of 19 years, the program has provided a total of 724 scholarships valued at more than EUR 6.5 million.

Educational programs online in the OTE Group Telecommunications Museum
In 2020, the OTE GROUP Telecommunications Museum celebrated 30 years of operation and ten years of consecutive educational programs with a strong focus on a strong digital image. During this special anniversary year, we highlighted the most popular educational and recreational programs chosen by visitors over the past ten years. We redesigned them and adapted them fully to the new digital era. All the programs are aimed at school groups, families and individual visitors. This year, they are delivered on three different channels so that everyone can participate: 1) digitally on online digital platforms, 2) through recorded videos on demand with activities that visitors can download and watch wherever they choose, and 3) through live activities and tours at the Museum’s permanent exhibition hall. The educational programs for school groups include digital live art workshops, online STEM programs, digital games, and recorded videos with information about safety on the Internet. Experiential activities for family groups are made truly special with the assistance of new digital applications on one Sunday every month. Visitors can quickly and easily make an online booking for all the programs on the Museum’s website www.otegroupmuseum.gr, or download the videos with various digital activities and watch the content wherever it suits them.

The Museum’s educational programs are held every year free of charge from October to May.

From January to October 2020, we increased the number of documents available on the Museum website from 588 to about 3 720, in order to enhance the Museum’s open nature and give general public instant and easy access to our wide range of collections that currently contain 37 000 artifacts.

From September to November 2020, twelve representative artefacts from the Museum’s collections were selected and digitized on the basis of their importance and uniqueness for 360o display on the Museum’s website. 

The Museum’s website now hosts a virtual tour covering the permanent exhibit on the first floor of the Museum and select points on the second floor in order to enrich the experience of our Museum’s online visitors. The tour includes the TV studio and the telephone exchanges. Some 50 spots will be included in the virtual tour accompanied by texts and AR and VR applications, audio, video, digital games, and much more.

COSMOTE Grow your Business
#GrowYourBusiness is the umbrella name used by COSMOTE to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in the digital era. COSMOTE’s vision is to be valued as a member of society by supporting Greek businesses. This is why we created #GrowYourBusiness – Meet the Experts workshops. This initiative brought Greek “businesspeople” in contact with experts from various sectors so that they could share their experience, best practices, and innovative ideas. The workshop speakers included people with a successful track record in the business world and outstanding experts on digital tools, technology, and customer experience. The workshops were held in major cities and more than 1 500 participants attended.

Since the initiative was launched, more than 4 000 businesses have been trained in the use of new digital tools and technologies. This has boosted their productivity and capabilities.

Social contribution

Supporting NGOs for children
Once again in 2020, the OTE Group supported 17 non-governmental organizations caring for children all over Greece by contributing nearly EUR 500 000 in financial aid. Over the past 20 years, more than 60 institutions have been supported with almost EUR 9 million, contributing to the improvement of children’s living conditions throughout Greece. Three NGOs were selected by the employees through internal voting. Two of the three NGOs’ missions relate respectively to fostering the personal development of children with mental disabilities, and early intervention and treatment of the whole autism spectrum for children. The other NGO provides special professional services to young people and their families with the objective of ensuring their social and professional integration.

Creating trauma centers for children
In May 2020, the OTE Group along with the not-for-profit organization "Pediatric Trauma Care", contributed to the renovation and purchase of equipment for the trauma centers of the General Hospital of Tripoli. The trauma centers in all 16 hospitals help approximately 110 000 children every year. Over the past eight years, the OTE Group has allocated more than EUR 540 000 to purchase equipment for children in 16 hospital facilities throughout the country.

Culture and innovation

Support for archaeological excavations and sponsorship for exhibitions
In 2020, archaeologists at Keros used a fully-digitized workflow system at the excavation site and in the workshops. The system operates with the innovative iDig application, and it has been applied on a prehistoric excavation for the first time.

In order to facilitate the work being carried out by the archaeologists and the excavation team, COSMOTE has reinforced its 4G and 4G+ telecommunications network in the region, so as to provide fast Internet speeds and connectivity through the largest 4G network in Greece. It also provided the necessary equipment for the archaeological team's daily logging and documentation needs.

In 2020, there were no excavation activities on the island of Keros. However, preservation activities were carried out to protect the excavation site and findings. The exhibition "Look over there, a settlement in Keros 4 500 years ago" had a very successful season at Koufonissi with over 2 000 visitors in 2020. It was scheduled to reopen in a larger space and with more artifacts at the Athens Municipal Art Gallery on 4 November 2020. Simultaneously, COSMOTE is also the main sponsor of the “Trails” exhibition already running on the island of Koufonissi. This exhibition showcases the findings from the Early Cycladic era discovered on the islands of Upper and Lower Koufonissi.

Athos Digital Heritage
The Athos Digital Heritage is a four-year flagship ICT img project of international scope and historical importance set up by the OTE Group. It is a digital ark of knowledge and culture, which includes all the heritage for the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos in digital form. The aim of the project was to rescue, preserve, and promote the cultural and heritage wealth of the Athonite State through the digitization and documentation of the historical archives and works of art. Another aspect of the project was their dissemination throughout the global community on the Internet in a way that respects absolutely the spiritual character of Mount Athos.

This project included specialized digitization, virtual reality apps, and historical documentation services for manuscripts and heritage artefacts, as well as the development of ICT infrastructure and the provision of relevant IT equipment and software for materials management.

In order to meet the specialized technical requirements of the project, the OTE Group

  • Collaborated with numerous teams of distinguished academics in various specialties. More than 200 specialized partners such as Byzantine scholars, theologians, historians, writers, architects, and the monks themselves worked on documentation of the materials, while representatives of the monasteries were appointed and the know-how was transferred to them for continuation of the project.
  • Made over 2 million digital shots to capture a huge number of objects from all fields of artistic creation and orthodox Christian art.
  • Proceeded to upgrade the telecommunications infrastructure at Mount Athos with high-speed networks to meet the needs for fixed and wireless communication at the holy monasteries.
  • Set up a data center in Karyes and a closed remote access VPN img network for the transfer of large volumes of digitized material and remote documentation by a team of male and female scientists.
  • Created the portal mountathos.org in five languages, Greek, English, Bulgarian, Russian, and Serbian.

The "Athos Digital Heritage" project has given the general public and scientists, women and men the opportunity to enter the sanctuaries of Mount Athos for the first time and discover the rare cultural wealth of the Athonite State through virtual browsing services and electronic catalogs with the digitized material.

More information and photos can be found at www.mountathos.org

Corporate volunteering

The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 shut down several of the volunteer programs operated by the OTE Group. However, some of the programs contributing to the wellbeing of society were postponed until after the lockdown.

Bone marrow donation
COSMOTE in collaboration with the NGO "Choose Life" and the University of Patra’s program "KEDMOP - Give life" created the program where employees can donate bone marrow and give hope to people who need a transplant. The program ran throughout 2020 and employees were able to come to the company's walk-in clinics in accordance with all health and safety protocols. Up to now, more than 560 COSMOTE employees have made a bone marrow donation. After the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees were able to go to the 12 walk-in clinics located in the buildings of the OTE Group and make their bone marrow donation.

Blood donation program
The blood donation program was scheduled to begin in March 2020. The pandemic postponed it until June 2020. The program took place through a different process to ensure that the voluntary blood donors feel absolutely safe and protected. The program takes place in two time periods. More than000 blood donors participated in the two phases.

Street magazine “Schedia”
Shedia street paper, which has been in circulation in Greece since 2013, is sold at several locations in Athens and Thessaloniki by accredited vendors who belong to vulnerable social groups. “Shedia” gives accredited vendors the opportunity to sell the magazines and receive part of the profits. Since March 2020 one of the magazine’s points of sale is actually the Administrative Headquarters of the OTE Group in Maroussi. Due to the lockdown in Greece and the temporary suspension of its operation, Shedia has withdrawn their team of vendors from the streets. During the days of the pandemic, we supported them by:

  • Buying 500 issues that were distributed to our employees
  • Offering telecommunication packages (talk, text and data) to more than 50 vendors of the magazine, worth more than EUR 9 000
  • Providing EUR 3 000 in supermarket vouchers for the vendors
  • Forming a team of volunteers to provide communication over the phone and companionship to the vendors behind the magazine.

We care for our planet

Recycling programs in the buildings and retail network
The OTE Group is integrating the principles of circular economy in its operations across the value chain. Waste management is a core element of this process and a variety of programs have been developed to enable effectiveness and to increase awareness.

Since 2013, we have been implementing an internal recycling program in our buildings for paper, packaging materials, ink cartridges, phones, other small electric and electronic appliances, and batteries. The program is based on the principle of “sorting-at-source” with centralized waste collection and management. The adoption of the recycling program empowers us to contribute to achieving national recycling targets for all the above materials in a quantifiable and well-documented manner, as well as to enhance environmental awareness among our employees and other stakeholders.

In 2020, the program was further expanded and today it covers 24 of our buildings nationwide, serving approximately 9 000 employees.

The recycling program was also placed in the COSMOTE TV Studios and office spaces with new visual, innovative LED neon signs, and a new work stream was introduced for glass bottles.

The following amounts were recycled in 2020:

  • Paper: approximately 66 metric tons
  • Packaging materials: approximately 11.57 metric tons

Since 2013, recycling at the COSMOTE and GERMANOS retail network has been promoted where customers can bring mobile devices with their accessories, tablets, household batteries and ink cartridges for recycling. The recycling program aims to raise public awareness about sustainable waste management and protection of natural resources.

Moreover, since the beginning of 2020, the recycling “take back” program in COSMOTE & GERMANOS’ retail network collected more than 38 metric tons of phone devices, tablets, batteries and ink cartridges and since its beginning, in 2007 more than 1.1 million mobile devices has been recycling.

#ZEROPLASTIC

The OTE Group takes a stand in favor of the global movement toward the phase-out of single use plastic waste by taking drastic measures for its reduction addressing the problem at its source: plastic waste generation.

New challenging goals were set for 2020:

  • Elimination of single-use plastic bottles
  • Elimination of single-use plastic cutlery and food containers
  • Reduction of single-use glass bottles

Until the end of 2020, the project was implemented in seven main office buildings and addressed about 8 000 employees in total (about 76 percent of total OTE Group employees in Greece).

In 2020, all the goals were achieved: 81 percent reduction in the use of glass bottles and zero use of plastic bottles.

In addition, the OTE Group replaced plastic straws, disposable utensils, and plastic dishes with paper or biodegradable ones. The goal on the elimination of use of plastic cups and plastic bags was already achieved during 2019.

Since the beginning of the project more than 4.5 million single-use plastic items were avoided, showing in a very tangible way OTE Groups’ commitment towards ZEROPLASTIC!

Further information can be found here.

Circular economy – COSMOTE provides refurbished equipment

The OTE Group was the first company in Greece to implement refurbishment processes for end devices (ADSL img, VDSL img, VoIP modems, routers, and TV decoders), and so far, it remains the only company to have adopted this approach. As a result, the OTE Group is facilitating the prolongation of lifetime and overall utilization of the equipment supplied to customers of the COSMOTE and GERMANOS retail network.

Proper end-of-life management of end devices is also being implemented. In 2020, about 340 466 end devices were collected, more than 284 500 of which were refurbished. More than 45 000 items were forwarded for recycling.