Waste Management

OTE and COSMOTE recognize the scarcity of natural resources and consider a more efficient use of these resources a priority for sustainable development. In order to achieve this, the principle "Reduce – Reuse – Recycle" is followed, aiming to reduce the production of solid waste that inevitably emanate from any corporate activity. 

The proper management of waste generated addresses all major Stakeholder groups recognized by the Companies who are as follows:

  • Customers and potential customers
  • Companies
  • Science, research and education institutions
  • NGOs and interested groups
  • Media
  • State / Government Institutions
  • Employees, potential employees and their representatives
  • Suppliers
  • Shareholders, bondholders, investors and analysts

The actions and the results of the programs of Waste Management, cover the time period from January 1st till December 31st, 2015.

OTE and COSMOTE have developed a widespread network for the monitoring, collection, storage and management/recycling, which covers all their activities nationwide (including the recycling program for mobile phones, fixed line phones, phone accessories, home batteries and ink cartridges implemented in the retail network) and they work together with certified waste management companies to ensure (a) the proper management of generated waste and (b) the recovery of the materials contained (e.g. copper, iron and steel, etc.) that can be used as raw materials for the production of other goods resulting in conservation of natural resources. All activities related to waste management are managed through the Environmental Management System of OTE and COSMOTE, which is certified according to ISO 14001:2004 standards.

Solid waste generated by the activities of OTE and COSMOTE  in 2015 amounted to 7,360 t and are classified into:

  • Waste considered hazardous thus requiring specific treatment (e.g. lubricants, stationary engine batteries)
  • Technical waste associated with material and equipment used for the provision of telecommunication services and products (e.g. cables, metals, electronic and telecommunication equipment) and used products (e.g. phones and related accessories, portable batteries, etc.) collected through the COSMOTE retail network
  • Paper
  • Residual waste that include typical municipal solid waste from OTE and COSMOTE buildings but also packaging materials from warehouses and waste related to office operation (e.g. ink cartridges)
  • Other waste (waste streams not included in the above-mentioned categories, such as end of life vehicles)

Existing recycling programs cover the whole of hazardous and technical waste. Solid waste disposed accounts for less 10% of the total waste generated.

Certified waste management companies.

OTE and COSMOTE implement (since 2013) an internal recycling program in buildings. The program, which encourages the recycling of waste generated in offices, is based on the sorting–at–source principle, with centralized waste collection and management.

Through the implementation of the program, OTE and COSMOTE contribute to the achievement of the national targets for packaging materials recycling, in a documented way, while raising environmental awareness of their employees.

The scope of the program covers about 7,000 employees in 15 buildings and in 2016 it will be expanded in two buildings more, covering 600 additional employees. The equipment that has been installed up to now includes 178 recycling stations and 2,940 paper recycling bins.

When designing the expansion of the program (June 2015), a survey was conducted in the 6 buildings that were then participating in the program.

In 2015, 91.5 t were recycled, of which 77.7 t paper, 7.6 t plastic, 300 kg aluminum, 2.1 t ink cartridges and 3.8 t other packaging materials, as well as 388 kg home electric and electronic devices.

The programs of Waste Management cover the operations and activities of OTE and COSMOTE in Greece.

OTE and COSMOTE aim to enhance awareness and increase engagement of their employees in initiatives toward the common objective of environmental protection and sustainable development.

Examples of such initiatives in 2015 include:

On the occasion of the World Environment Day:

The results of the Environmental Programs in place were announced in OTE and COSMOTE Intranets. Emphasis was given on the programs concerning climate change and energy as well as on the recycling programs in buildings and stores.

On the occasion of the World Environment Day a promotional campaign took place in the COSMOTE and GERMANOS retail network. It lasted for 2 weeks and customers who visited our retail network in order to recycle their old mobile devices could buy their new smartphone / tablet with a discount of up to € 20. Additional support to the activities of “Philodassiki Enossi Athinon” and “Callisto-Environmental Organization for Wildlife and Nature” was provided through the recycling program in the COSMOTE and GERMANOS retail network, as OTE and COSMOTE donated to both NGOs €1.000 for every ton of mobile and fixed phone devices (including their accessories) collected during the first year of the program implementation (15 t for the period 01.06.2014 – 31.12.2015).

The implementation of informative, awareness and training actions with a view to enable the efficient operation of the recycling program in buildings:

With a view to identifying good practices as well as areas for improvement and corrective actions, a survey was conducted about the employees’ opinion on program implementation issues. According to the results of the survey, more than 96% of the participants consider the program significant in raising awareness regarding recycling and its benefits. In addition, 81% of the participants is well aware of the scope and the characteristics of the program, while 93% evaluates positively the functionality of the equipment installed.

The proper management of waste generated by adopting appropriate recycling practices, contribute to the efficient operation of OTE and COSMOTE and to the control of their operational cost. Furthermore, proper waste management minimizes the impact on the environment, health and ecosystems from uncontrolled solid waste disposal and ensures the companies' compliance with environmental legislation.