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Responsible Attitude

Responsible Attitude

CSR is not just about being charitable; it’s about having a responsible attitude, says Katerina Belorusskaya, Head of Corporate Development at Parimatch and Chairwoman of the Parimatch Foundation, as she unveils the company’s CSR strategy.                                                                     

How important is Corporate Social Responsibility to Parimatch?

Corporate Social Responsibility is very important and is part of our core strategy because it affects the business as a whole. CSR is not just about being charitable; it is about having a responsible attitude towards business and clients and caring for our employees. Having established the foundations of our CSR strategy, we now operate more responsibly and engage with our customers and employees more effectively. There are clear benefits to implementing a considered CSR strategy, from an improved public image to creating a more positive work environment and standing out from industry competitors.

What kind of actions does your CSR strategy include?

Initially, we chose five strategic directions for the Parimatch Foundation: sport, education, health, the environment and the wellbeing of children. In the process, however, it became clear that we were dispersing our attention and we needed to focus more precisely and since all the requests for support that we were receiving were connected to causes related to children in one way or another, it made sense to focus on the wellbeing of children, through the lens of sports, education, health and the environment. More specifically, we support the development of school and university sports and assist amateur sports organisations. We also promote sports as being integral to a healthy lifestyle. In particular, our projects are aimed at children from disadvantaged families and those with disabilities and learning difficulties. In terms of education, we plan to support innovative education programmes for children because we believe that, in today’s digital world, the education system should be fit for the new generation. It is also our mission to ensure that everyone has equal access to education, regardless of their circumstances. Medical assistance is needed most often and urgently, and we will provide targeted help to sick children and their families, prioritising those from low-income families. And finally, the environment is important for everyone on the planet and even small local initiatives can have an impact. We hope to draw public attention to the importance of sustainability by supporting environmental schemes.

You mentioned the Parimatch Foundation, which was launched in 2018. Tell us more about this initiative.

The Parimatch Foundation is a non-profit organisation established to implement the company’s social responsibility strategy. The Foundation gives a formal structure to the CSR activities that Parimatch has pursued throughout its 25-year history and it enables us to do more and be more effective in delivering social impact.

How successful would you say it has been?

It is too early to talk about success, as our new strategy has only recently been put in place. Most of our programmes will be implemented during the second half of the year, so we will be able to evaluate the results of our work at the beginning of 2020.

Do your employees also benefit from your CSR strategy? In what way?

Of course! Our employees actively participate in volunteer programmes but, most importantly, they themselves come to us with ideas and initiatives – which is extremely valuable. In order for employees to be fully engaged with social projects, it is necessary for them to ‘buy in’ to the concept or cause. When they come to us with initiatives and ideas, they are already invested in the project. In this way, philanthropy is a powerful HR tool that strengthens the team and inspires employees. We seek to organize initiatives that are meaningful to our employees, and so we strive to pursue local causes that directly impact them and their communities. For example, at the end of April we organized a clean-up of the beach near our office. This is a cause close to the heart of everyone who comes to this beach with the family at the weekend.

What are your future plans regarding CSR Strategy?

In July and August, we will award three scholarships in partnership with the Cyprus Institute of Marketing, including a Diploma in Marketing Studies and an MSc in Human Resource Management & Corporate Strategy.  In October we will again participate and fully support the KidIT Revo project, which works to promote technology education for children, and we plan to hold a Donor Day in collaboration with APOEL FC.

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