NICOSIA, Cyprus -- The first Climate Neutral stores in Cyprus have come to life! The presentation of these stores took place on Monday 23/3/2011 at the Beauty Line central store in the city of Nicosia, one of two stores which have been made Climate Neutral. The second store is located in the city Limassol.
All cosmetic stores of Papaellinas Group of Companies will gradually be made Climate Neutral. The presentation was made by the Human Resources and Business Affairs Manager of Papaellinas Group of Companies, Ms. Melanie Michaelidou, who pointed out that this initiative is part of the Group's Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy. The CSR Strategy includes various innovative actions for the protection of the environment. She also explained that the philosophy of a climate neutral store is based on the calculation of its carbon footprint, namely the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted during operations such as, electricity consumption, transport of staff and goods and waste produced. Measures are being taken in order to reduce pollutants where possible. Remaining pollutants are offset towards financing climate protection projects.
Ms. Michaelidou stated, 'this compensation is achieved through myclimate, an international non-profit organisation based in Zurich that develops climate protection projects worldwide that are of global significance'. Furthermore, she said that the level of pollutants released by the first two climate neutral stores was calculated in collaboration with the Centre of Sustainability and Excellence, a global sustainability advisory and training organization with offices in Chicago, Brussels and Athens.
Ms Michaelidou also underlined the environmental awareness of the Papaellinas Group and referred to the certification of Nannys baby diapers as the first Climate Neutral product in Cyprus. The next product to become climate neutral is Kaloderma New Gen shaving cream. Last but not least, it has been announced that the new Consumer Goods Distribution Centre of Papaellinas Group of Companies, one of the largest and most modern in Cyprus, will also become Climate Neutral.
Socially Responsible Trade
Regarding the remaining pillars of the Group's Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, Ms. Michaelidou stated that as for the pillar of 'Society' the motto is 'Socially Responsible Trade'. The Group supports organisations aiming at combatting various problems and diseases troubling our society, such as drugs, poverty, cancer, nephropathies etc. Furthermore, one of the Group's main concerns is the reduction of road accidents by developing traffic awareness. 'We are one of the first corporations in Cyprus to have signed the European Road Safety Charter, an initiative of the European Commission aiming at reducing the number of road fatalities by 50%, and the first corporation in Cyprus to start organizing seminars on road safety for all members of its staff, even for their families', said Ms Michaelidou. In addition, the Group has partnered with the University of Cyprus to achieve a more efficient link between the business and the academic world. The group also encourages the involvement of its employees in various charity activities. For example, blood donation events are organized twice a year. The Group also offers a full time job to people with disabilities, thus contributing to their smooth integration into society.
Balance between Performance and Quality of Life
Activities in relation to the pillar of 'Human Resources' are of highest importance Ms. Melanie Michaelidou continued: 'Here we operate under the slogan 'balance between performance and quality of life'. We apply several practices such as offering our personnel the possibility to have a flexible work schedule. I would say that such benefits may be considered an enviable privilege compared to other companies.' In the field of education, the Group fully covers tuition fees for university studies and other training programmes. Members of the executive staff of companies belonging to the Group are sent abroad to increase their academic qualifications at well-known universities such as Columbia and Stanford in the United States. In 2009, the Group founded Beauty Line Cosmetic Academy with the purpose of providing constant training to address the market's high expectations and pick out future leading personnel. Additionally, the Group's programmes run continuously and cover every field and every aspect of its activities. Our personnel also has the privilege of other benefits for their children such as annual money awards for students of all classes of secondary education who achieve excellent grades. Moreover, the Group is considering the establishment of a preschool and child care centre within its future extended premises in Latsia, on the outskirts of Nicosia, to enable employees to be close to their children during work hours.
Our aim is to Build Trust
'We are currently working on the development of an integrated and specific strategy addressing our suppliers and other partners of our Group, as well as our customers. At the same time we are preparing a research programme to collect the opinions of our partners regarding Papaellinas Group of Companies and its approach in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. Our stores also promote the Organic Surge cosmetics, all profits of which are donated by the producer company to an orphanage in Kenya.
In addition to the above, we have organised a campaign through Nannys baby products, where consumers can participate in a draw to win an hybrid car by simply returning empty packaging for recycling. This action is to be repeated during the second half of 2011', as stated by Ms Melanie Michaelidou.
Reporting on Social Responsibility
The occasion also included the projection of a video showing the performance of the Group in relation to its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy, and it is important to mention that the Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Papaellinas Group of Companies was distributed to all people attending the event.