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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 Director, Dixons South-East Europe

02.02.2012 Share

EuroCharity: What does Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mean for your company and what are the key sectors your CSR centers on?
George Karabelas: For Kotsovolos, Corporate Social Responsibility and good practices are a very important part of the way that we are operating -- from our internal processes to the way we form relationships with our clients and suppliers. As a leader in the retail market sector, Corporate Social Responsibility is for Kotsovolos the opportunity to offer added value to the market, our employees, the environment and the society in which we are operating in. Our company is constantly active and gives back to the society, without being stagnant, a fact that is proven by the several initiatives we are undertaking and rewarded through the recognition we received by official Organizations. We provide support in various forms to NGOs and other Institutions that support the society and the environment both in a local and national level. Moreover, Kotsovolos was the first retail store chain that implemented in April 2008 an electrical appliance recycling programme, managing to recycle thousands of appliances to date. Finally, we act like a responsible citizen and we try to meet the expectations that consumers have from a large and trusted company like our company.

What do you think about the development of CSR within Greek enterprises and SMEs in particular?
I think that Greek enterprises have taken important steps in recent years regarding CSR actions. More and more companies, big and smaller, adapt and implement responsible practices, a fact that is very encouraging. It shows that companies are not only motivated by profit, but are trying to maintain their sustainable operation, as an integral part of a broader sustainable social network. However, we should not stop trying. We have to continue in the same direction by undertaking even more and more decisive initiatives.

How do you evaluate the progress of CSR in Greece?
As I mentioned before, I think that Greek enterprises have taken important steps in recent years with the aim of developing Corporate Social Responsibility in Greece. However, contrary to the CSR development in other countries, social responsibility in the Greek market has not taken place at such a great extent. Especially in such a difficult for our country era, where morals and values are constantly declining, Corporate Social Responsibility should take a leading role. A role that will protect not only the human factor but also the natural and working environment. I believe that Corporate Social Responsibility must help us "escape" from the major problems that Greece is facing at this moment, and offer real benefits.

Do you share the view that CSR could be more functional if it was developed through a regulatory framework at a national, European and/or international level?
Definitely such an action would be very positive. Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept which is quite complex for the global market, so I think that a regulatory framework at a national or international level would contribute to better CSR results. However, it would be even better if each company makes the effort to integrate as part of its internal processes a culture of responsibility without waiting for a regulatory framework to be voted.

What is your opinion on the two popular, daily updated CSR and Green Economy portals ( & that EuroCharity owns and operates?
The on-line portals and are very important tools for raising awareness and promoting good CSR practices implemented by companies in Greece. Through this important initiative, companies have the chance to be inspired, to draw ideas and share their own CSR programmes with other companies. I hope EuroCharity will keep up the good work and help more companies to further implement their Corporate Responsibility programmes.

Why did your company decide to participate in EuroCharity's growing network of members?
Kotsovolos needed to participate in a network that truly promotes Corporate Social Responsibility in Greece. This is why we decided to join EuroCharity. Kotsovolos, as the No1 electronic and electric goods chain in Greece, with an important activity in the Corporate Responsibility sector, couldn't be absent from such a network. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integrated part of the retail chain's philosophy and it's very useful that we can share good CSR examples with the rest of the members of the network.

What is your company's main CSR activity?
We undertake several important CSR activities. More specifically, the activities that our company has implemented to date are part of a wider policy to stand next to our consumers, by constantly meeting their expectations, to protect the environment by implementing "green" initiatives and to participate in the effort to solve major problems that our society is facing. I believe that one of our company's most important initiatives to date is the implementation of the "Green Initiative" programme. This scheme that entails the recycling of old and energy consuming appliances was first implemented by Kotsovolos in April 2008 and has been perceived as a very good CSR example even by our competition. This way, Kotsovolos has managed to contribute not only to the protection of the environment from pollution but also to the energy consumption reduction. After three and a half years of this successful programme, Kotsovolos has managed to recycle 318,514 electric and electronic appliances and has contributed in the attempt to change the mentality of Greek consumers towards recycling of electrical appliances.