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Telenor and the Royal Norwegian Embassy held a joint conference mottoed CSR: Contributing to growth and Sustainable Development on 12 October 2015. Partners of the event were Innovation Norway and the network for corporate social responsibility CSR Bulgaria. The conference was held for a second year in a row and was attended by state and business representatives, NGOs and media.
At the conference, Telenor Chief Executive Officer Stein-Erik Vellan presented the company’s Open Mind programme for professional development and social inclusion of people with disabilities. He recounted the history of the initiative and its implementation in Bulgaria.
“I am happy that we’ve launched the Open Mind programme in Bulgaria, as well as in other three countries – Norway, Sweden and Pakistan. I truly believe that it can change the attitude towards people with disabilities and show that they are a valuable part of our society. This creates Win-Win-Win opportunities for all the parties involved. Participants get into a position on the labour market and win actual work experience, the company gets access to valuable competencies and society receives value-add through active tax players and social inclusion of people with disabilities. I would like to appeal to other employers to support the initiative because only by joint efforts we can achieve visible results,” Mr. Vellan said.
“CSR is an integral part of the Norwegian society and business environment. It corresponds to core Norwegian values like equality, transparency and zero tolerance against corruption. For us CSR is related to long term engagement and responsible behaviour at government and corporate level. Companies with international experience like Telenor are among the best ambassadors of Norwegian values, as they contribute to the improvement of the social and business climate in the countries they operate in,” H.E. Guro Katharina Vikør commented.
The conference was also attended by H.E. Arne Sannes Bjørnstad, Ambassador of Norway to Serbia, and Eli Bleie Munkelien, Director for Special Projects Innovation Norway. Moderator of the event was the Executive Director of CSR Bulgaria Boris Kolev, who shared his professional practice and innovative approaches in the field of corporate social responsibility.
Telenor Bulgaria is a leading telecommunication company with 3.8 million active subscribers in Bulgaria. As of June 2015, the company’s services are available to 99.98% of Bulgaria’s population, covering over 99.50% of the country territory, and Telenor UMTS network covers 99.87% of the population. By November 4, 2014, the company operated under the GLOBUL brand. Since August 1, it has been a part of Telenor Group which operates in 13 countries in Europe and Asia and has over 189 million subscribers.