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Dixons South-East Europe S.A.

Dixons South-East Europe S.A.

Member: Silver
Since: 30.07.2009
Member of Dixons Retail plc Group

14th km. Athens - Lamia National Road & 2, Spilias Street, GR-144 52 Metamorphosi, Athens, Greece

EuroCharity interviews Mr. George Karabelas, Marketing Manager, DSGi South-East Europe

15.09.2009 Share

1. What does Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mean for your company?
Kotsovolos sees CSR as a means to give back to the community it operates in, its employees, its customers and partners (marketplace) and the environment, namely the four pillars which make an enterprise sustainable and competitive. In our company CSR and good practices is part of our philosophy, and is integrated all across our business, from our internal processes to our relations with our suppliers and customers.

2. How is CSR integrated amongst the various functions of your company?
Over the last years our successful initiatives have been assisted by the guiding norms and mechanisms provided by our parent company. A significant role for planning our CSR actions and policy is played by our broad partners’ network that helps and guides us throughout all the stages of the procedure, in order for us to transform our energy and devotion to visible and feasible CSR projects.

3. What is the most important impact from your business operations on the environment, workplace and the society in general, and how do you manage/address this?
Kotsovolos has built appropriate structures and uses relevant mechanisms to address any impact deriving from its operations on the aforementioned areas. We believe that the greatest asset of our company is our employees; we believe in them and we will continue to invest in their development throughout their career at Kotsovolos. Thanks to a series of educational and training seminars organised by well known external partners and our respective internal departments, we are continuously developing the skills and the value of our workforce through a process we call «Kotsovolos Academy.» Moreover, working closely with civil society and local authorities in areas in which we operate, we have built strong relations with such parties and we are now designing our next steps moving towards this direction. Finally, over the course of time we have established a green approach that allows us to distinguish from those who see the environmental protection as an occasional trend. The old and energy consuming appliances recycling program, that we initiated in April 2008, not only benefits the environment by avoiding pollution caused by the disposal of the appliances, but as well as by reducing energy consumption. In addition to that, Kotsovolos has also active partnerships with other companies and NGOs, and regularly organizes tree planting activities and makes several moves to protect our natural environment.

4. What do you think about the advent of CSR within Greek enterprises and SMEs in particular?
There is still a long way in order to reach the CSR levels of other markets in Europe and the world. In recent years it seems that it’s gradually being understood that CSR is fundamental for a company in order to be accepted by society and consumers and therefore be sustainable. This is an element that makes CSR necessary for SMEs that are the first to be threatened by a possible economic or general market crisis.

5. For what reasons should a company integrate CSR concepts and practises into its business operations?
Briefly we could say that companies that have integrated CSR across the business are more likely to continue to exist for many years. It is necessary for companies, within current market conditions, to meet the expectations of consumers as well as to be respected for their contribution to the sensitive issues which concern the public today and in the future. Besides the long-term benefits such as consumers trust, there’s also a noticeable quality change to the internal processes when a respective mindset is grown.

6. What do you think are the most important problems CSR is facing in Greece?
Designing and implementing isolated, short-term CSR activities as a means to temporarily increase the enterprise rates won’t give back the desired results. Most often the obstacle is the mentality of companies that aren’t ready to support coexistence with the society, the environment and the market as well as to give the words «added value» a new upgraded meaning.

7. Do you share the view that CSR could be developed and operated better through a regulatory framework at a national, European and/or international level?
Such a decision would certainly be a step forward for business and for the progress of markets in all countries. We must add however that what matters is the development of consciousness inspired by the principles of CSR, which is not mandated by any legislation and regulatory framework.

8. What is your opinion on our on-line EuroCharity Directory (

EuroCharity's initiative to create an on-line guide on Corporate Social Responsibility in Greece is truly remarkable. Visitors have the opportunity to see what leading companies are doing in terms of corporate social responsibility and receive ongoing updates about the latest trends and good campaigns all over Greece.

9. Why did your company decide to participate in EuroCharity's on-line Directory (
Kotsovolos, through its actions as well as through the market’s and the public's acceptance, proved that it is always consistent in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility, thus it should be a member of the leading online guide for CSR. Through our participation in EuroCharity we look forward to informing the public about our activities and we hope that our own and other members’ example will serve as a guide for others.

10. What is the greatest achievement of your company in the field of CSR?
The Recycling Program of Kotsovolos actually exceeded our initial expectations. Both our customers and responsible - sensitive citizens embraced through our stores, from the first moment, our "green" initiative which subsequently found important allies in the face of leading Greek companies that responded to our call and took part in recycling. Also in collaboration with major municipalities of Attica, the "green" van of Kotsovolos informed citizens and received their old appliances. We are planning to continue this programme to other regions of the country. We have already collected more than 120,000 old appliances and we expect to find more allies along the way.