OTE, or Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, was incorporated in 1949 and is the largest technology company in Greece. The company offers fixed and mobile telephony, broadband services and subscription-based TV. The group also operates in the telecommunications market in Romania. The company served 11.8 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2021.
OTE has several initiatives supporting affordable access to digital technologies. Its programme Digital Care provides subsidies to students for purchasing a tablet or laptop. It also offers discounted telecommunication services to people with disabilities, the unemployed and pensioners.
OTE operates programmes for basic and intermediate digital skills development in Greece. It holds regular training sessions where it teaches schoolchildren programming and coding. Through its subsidiary COSMOTE, the company hosts free seminars for small- and medium-sized enterprises, educating them on how to use new digital technologies to grow their business. COSMOTE also refurbishes personal computers from its operations and donates them to schools and non-profit organisations.
OTE demonstrates high-level accountability for cybersecurity. The company discloses how it responds to information security incidents and reports data breaches. It also demonstrates leading practice by reporting government requests for personal information. In relation to child online safety, OTE describes how users can report content sensitive to children, and it offers a service through which parents can control the online content their children see. The company also works with international and national authorities as well as industry initiatives to fight child online abuse.
OTE supports open innovation by participating in several national and international projects. These projects cover topics such as creating interoperable solutions for smart energy management or developing open source software that extracts text for the purpose of delivering research results. The company also partners with universities and non-profit organisations to support research on topics ranging from 5G to fighting obesity.
OTE can disclose the amount of financial contribution it makes to offer discounted services to people with disabilities. The company also has an opportunity to address the gender digital divide through a dedicated programme for women and girls. Additionally, the company can demonstrate how it applies accessibility features in designing products and how it cooperates with people with disabilities to better understand their needs. OTE could also disclose how it distributes the economic value it generates among its stakeholders.
Besides operating programmes for advancing basic and intermediate digital skills, OTE has an opportunity to support the development of technical digital skills through a dedicated programme. Additionally, the company can disclose the resources it contributes to its existing programmes, the number of programme participants and the impacts achieved.
OTE has an opportunity to provide further evidence on how it manages information security in practice, including publishing a copy of its information security management system certification. The company reports government requests for personal information, but as a next step, it can disclose how many of the requests it complies with. OTE could also make a high-level policy commitment to child online safety.
OTE can strengthen its support for open innovation by participating in international standards setting associations, such as Linux, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) or World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The company can also support the tech innovation ecosystem through venture capital and start-up accelerators and incubators. Given that OTE is committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2040, it could disclose its scope 3 emissions. The company also has an opportunity to demonstrate support for inclusive and ethical innovation by reporting the number of women employees in its research and development (R&D) department, and by explaining how it applies ethics in its R&D activities.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
OTE commits to respecting human rights. It also has a publicly available policy statement that expects its business relationships to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights. For its own operations, the company does not commit to respecting all the labour fundamentals outlined in the ILO core labour rights, in particular the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The company has included human rights issues in its materiality assessment. However, it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and act on salient human rights risks associated with its own operations and with its business relationships. Moreover, the company describes the various stakeholders it engages with in general. However, it does not specify whether it engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be affected by its activities. OTE has a grievance mechanism accessible to all stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
OTE publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety. It also places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. Furthermore, the company discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements.
OTE does not disclose a policy commitment stating whether it requires workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. It also does not explicitly state that it requires its business relationships to do this. The company does not disclose a commitment towards paying its workers a living wage, nor a commitment towards promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender and age group.
OTE has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. The company does not disclose any relevant information in relation to tax, such as a global tax strategy or its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. OTE does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. In particular, the company has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, nor does it disclose its lobbying expenditures.