The nature of the business activity means that the bank’s and its Group’s direct impact on the environment is limited.

Annual Report

Scale of impact on the environment

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  • [303-5]

Direct impact on the environment depends on the manner of consuming limited natural resources. All entities belonging to the bank’s Group monitor the consumption of such resources and engage in activities aimed at reducing their consumption. A number of entities performed energy audits in prior years (2017– the bank; 2018 – PKO Leasing, PKO Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń, PKO Życie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń), on the basis of which areas with the highest energy-saving potential were identified and action plans were drawn up, which are currently being implemented. None of the entities performed an energy audit in 2019.

[GRI 303-5] For the purposes of this report, the Group’s entities tried to estimate their water consumption. Selected entities (CENTRUM HAFFNERA sp. z o.o., Merkury – fizan, PKO Leasing and KREDOBANK) consumed 65 900 m3 of water (+17% y/y), while water consumption of other entities is accounted for based on service charges.

One of the strategic goals of the bank for the years 2016-2020 is to simplify and streamline its processes by limiting the number of paper documents. The SMARTOP project for digitization of sales and support processes was launched in 2017.

Since 2019, customers could make new types of orders through iPKO internet banking, which led to an increase of such orders to 40 at year-end. Our customers have used this opportunity approx. 340 thousand times. The possibility of placing instructions through a remote channel has a positive impact on customer satisfaction and results in reducing the number of documents printed at the branch.

At the same time, we conducted works on digitization of branch processes. In 2019, we introduced the possibility of mobile authorization of orders (using the application IKO) was implemented in the whole network of branches and agencies. As a result of this and SMS authorization, which was implemented in 2018 in place of traditional signatures on paper documents, in December 2019 more than 51% of major orders made at branches or agencies were executed in a paperless form.

As a result of all actions taken by the bank (including the SMARTOP project), in 2019 the consumption of paper decreased by approx. 24% compared with 2018, which is a continuation of the permanent downward trend in paper consumption by branches since 2016.

Decrease in A4 paper consumption over past 3 years
Decrease in A4 paper consumption y/y
Paperless orders at branches

In 2019, the bank also carried out other activities aimed at reducing its adverse impact on the environment:

  • installing bicycle stands and setting up changing rooms for employees who cycle to work to help employees use means of transport,
  • segregation of waste is gradually being implemented at the bank’s locations. 12 companies in the bank’s Group segregated their waste,
  • disposable plastic cups for drinking water from water dispensers installed in the bank’s facilities are being eliminated and replaced with BIO paper cups,
  • bottled spring water dispensers installed in the bank’s facilities are being replaced with point of use dispensers with filters connected to the water supply,
  • in 2019 the non-centralized correspondence sent from the bank was reduced by 19% compared with the year 2018.

Waste management

The bank and the other bank’s Group entities follow the environmental protection regulations in terms of fulfilling their obligations relating to waste management, maintaining the required documentation and reporting, including keeping records of waste, on the basis of which the bank monitors the types and quantities of waste produced on an ongoing basis.

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[GRI 306-2] Hazardous electrical and electronic waste is handed over to a specialist entity where it is processed and recycled (100%) in compliance with modern European standards, using the latest recycling technologies available. Paper bank documentation is collected and destroyed by a specialist entity. Moreover, in 2019 the bank’s Group entities conducted selective collection of municipal waste. In 2019, the bank produced 843 tonnes of non-municipal waste (9% more than in the previous year), and the whole Group produced 897 tonnes (15% more).

2016 2017 2018 2019 2016 2017 2018 2019 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total 783 850 773 843 824 894 782 897 41 44 9 54
hazardous 10 16
other 763 827
bulky waste 491 488
electronic and electric 106 136
magnetic and optical data carriers 0.5 2
paper and cardboard waste (binders) 4 4
iron and steel waste 133 152
equipment 29 44


Consumption of energy and fuels

The PKO Bank Polski Group regularly improves the records of energy and fuel consumption. For the purposes of preparing this report, a comprehensive estimate of energy and fuel consumption and calculation of the carbon footprint were made in 2019 for the first time. The calculations relate to energy and fuel consumption in 2019 for 100% of the areas used and transport, and:


  • for the actual data available for the period from January to October 2019, the consumption reported was measured based on invoiced fuel and energy purchases, whereas consumption in the period from October to December 2019 was estimated based on the actual data from the invoices from October-December 2018,
  • in the case of 85% of electricity consumption, data was collected based on actual consumption, whereas the remaining 15% of electricity consumption (in the areas for which the actual data was unavailable) was estimated based on the 85% of the actual data for different types of areas using the ratios prepared for this purpose,
  • in the case of 63% of heat consumption, data was collected based on the actual figures that were available and calculations based on a ratio derived from the actual data, whereas the remaining 37% of energy consumption (in the areas for which the bank had no information on the source of heat used) was estimated,
  • in the case of 67% of natural gas consumption, data was collected based on the actual figures and calculations based on a ratio derived from the actual data, whereas the remaining 33% of natural gas consumption (in the areas for which the bank had no information on the source of heat used) was estimated,
  • data concerning heating oil, diesel oil, LPG, petrol and coal is 100% actual, and in the case of fuels used in transport the accounting period is the period from November 2018 to October 2019.

Since it was the first time such a comprehensive estimate has been made, the year 2019 is the base year and comparison with the previous years is not possible. The consumption of all fuels was translated into an MWh equivalent. The bank’s Group entities purchased electricity and heat; no purchases of technological steam or cooling were recorded. The vast majority of the energy purchased was from non-renewable sources.

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Total energy consumption 208 862.13 30 149.74 239 011.87
Electricity and heating energy consumption 154 672.32 17 771.01 172 443.33
Electricity purchased 84 093.77 11 111.85 95 205.62
Heating energy purchased 70 578.55 6 659.16 77 237.71
Natural gas 21 836.39 2 320.66 24 157.05
Heating oil 3 367.59 132.43 3 500.02
diesel fuel 27 567.06 4 109.79 31 676.86
in building 81.47 16.76 98.23
in vehicles 27 485.59 4 093.03 31 578.63
LPG 0 5.72 5.72
Coal 207.67 0 207.67
Petrol 1 211.09 5 810.14 7 021.23


Electricity consumption has been monitored and reported since 2018 for the parent entity and 10 subsidiaries. Heat consumption has been monitored and reported since 2019. Changes in the consumption of various fuels (gas and fuels used in vehicles) and electricity between 2019 and 2018 were partly due to the changes (improvements) in data collection methodology implemented in 2019.

The changes in energy consumption were partly due to operational changes, such as:

  • changes in the area of the properties used in the operating activities of the bank and other entities,
  • changes in the size of the car fleet used in the operating activities of the bank and other entities.

Program for optimizing energy consumption at the bank

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[GRI 302-4] The bank is preparing a plan to implement the Energy Management System in accordance with ISO50001 in order to optimize energy consumption, introduce a single energy consumption control system and intensify the actions aimed at reducing the consumption of energy carriers. A decision in this respect is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2020.

In addition, the bank is working towards optimizing energy consumption with a simultaneous cost optimization policy. The bank regularly defines new areas in which it is possible to take actions related to limiting the consumption of energy.

The nature of the bank’s business activities (high degree of dispersion of small properties) and the accepted principle that cost-saving measures should also be economically sensible (taking into account the life cycle of the facility) means that the optimization of energy consumption is a process, which the bank is conducting in parallel with other processes, e.g. planned investment projects. The main results of the activities relating to energy consumption in 2019 include:

  • modernizing one of the largest cooling stations at the bank, generating annual savings in electricity consumption of approx. 1 350 MWh,
  • optimizing and modernizing one of the largest heating substations at the bank (the Head Office – Puławska 15). The estimated annual savings of heat consumption amount to approx. 810 MWh,
  • gradually replacing the lighting with LED lighting,
  • ongoing design optimization during modernizations and investments.

The Rotunda

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Rotunda Branch building in Warsaw was opened after modernization, in which the latest technological solutions were used. They make it possible to:

  • reduce electricity consumption through:
    • installing advanced LED lighting in the whole building,
    • installing a light intensity steering system, which makes it possible to adjust the light intensity in the individual fixtures, rooms and zones to the current needs,
    • using appropriate architectural and structural solutions, such as partitions, insulation, double façade, etc.,
    • installing photovoltaic cells that allow the generation of “green” electricity from sunlight.
  • reduce water consumption through:
    • using special water saving fittings, which also make it possible to monitor water consumption effectively,
    • using rainwater to water plants,
  • reduce heat consumption through centrally steering the HVAC installation,
  • improve the micro climate in the building by arranging a “green wall” of natural plants inside the building.

It should also be noted that the use of materials containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was minimized during all modernization and construction works. Moreover, materials with the shortest possible transport distance and partly recycled materials were used. The effect of modernization works will lead to obtaining LEED and BREEAM certificates (the certification process is under way).

The standard of branches

A standard of the New Format of Branches (NFB) was updated in 2019. The standard defines the solutions and technologies to help serve customers at the branch, develop self-service channels and digitize sales processes. The NFB is applicable to the Retail Market and Corporate Market Areas of the bank, the Brokerage Offices and the agencies of the bank. This format takes into account the recommendations of the Integration Foundation, which at the bank’s request audited the space available for customers. The conclusions from the audit, including those regarding persons with disabilities, are taken into account at new sites for branches, as well as at the branches that are being relocated and modernized.

Reducing the surface area of branches

Emissions of greenhouse gases

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[GRI 305-1, GRI 305-2] Emissions of greenhouse gases resulting from the company’s operations have been monitored in the PKO Bank Polski Group since 2019. The intensity of emissions is assessed using four greenhouse gas emission factors at the bank’s Group level, which are presented further.

The organizational boundaries of the reported emissions include:

  • In the case of data concerning PKO Bank Polski, this entity only (100% of the emissions),
  • In the case of data concerning the bank’s Group: the bank and all the subsidiaries of the bank in accordance with operational control (100% of the emissions of each entity). The consolidation covers all levels of the bank’s Group.

The scope of emissions reported (operational boundaries):

  • in the case of both the parent entity and the bank’s Group, the reported emissions cover scope 1 (direct emissions) and scope 2 (indirect emissions resulting from the generation of the purchased energy).
  • The year 2019 is the base year for reporting emissions in the case of both PKO Bank Polski and the bank’s Group.
  • This is the first report containing data on emissions in accordance with the “GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard”.

The emissions were calculated using the tools made available in the GHG Protocol. Detailed information on the emission calculation methodology adopted is presented in the full report of PKO Bank Polski on greenhouse gas emissions for 2019 (available in Polish).

See the Report

As a result of the calculations performed, the data confidence level obtained (understood as the percentage of data obtained from sources in the total data set used in the calculations, which includes data obtained from sources and estimated data) was “good” according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standard.

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Scope 1 – direct emissions 12 093.42 3 049.38 15 142.80
Emissions resulting from the use of fuels in buildings 5 462.25 512.94 5 975.19
Emissions resulting from the use of fuels in vehicles 6 631.17 2 536.44 9 167.61
Scope 2 – indirect emissions resulting from purchase of energy 89 562.16 9 346.80 98 908.96
Emissions resulting from purchase of electricity 64 331.73 7 008.42 71 340.15
Emissions resulting from purchase of heat 25 230.42 2 338.38 27 568.80
Scope 1 + Scope 2 – total emissions 101 655.58 12 396.18 114 051.76

Indicator Unit Value
GHG emissions Scope 1+2 per employee Mg CO2e / person 4.07
GHG emissions Scope 1+2 per Customer kg CO2e / person 10.94
GHG emissions Scope 1+2 per PLN 1 million of assets kg CO2e / PLN 1 million of assets 327.69
GHG emissions Scope 1+2 per PLN 1 million of net profit Mg CO2e / PLN 1 million of net profit 28.29

Extended environmental responsibility: products and services

The extended environmental responsibility of the bank’s Group, including the bank, is included, among other things, in the policy of financing the activities of business and public entities. The bank has been taking initiatives with the objective of caring for the environment for years. This applies to several areas of activity:

  1. The bank, together with the other entities from the bank’s Group, supports the development of the economy by financing investments in new technologies, the modernization of technological lines and energy-saving projects.
  2. The bank influences the attitudes of customers by participating in the financing of pro-ecological projects, including the construction of waste incineration plants, sewage treatment plants and power generation systems using modern, pro-ecological technologies.
  3. The bank has been actively involved for many years in cooperation with local authority units (LAUs), including through the financing of projects regarding environmental protection or the pro-environmental modernization of public service facilities.
  4. In the assessment of creditworthiness, the bank takes into account the impact of the particular business activities on the environment, compliance with the formal requirements regarding environmental permits, geographical and environmental conditions, etc. In the assessment of the business models of borrowers and identification of risks, the sustainable business development concept and the possible benefits for the local community and the natural environment are taken into account.
  5. In the process of analysing property valuations, the bank evaluates environmental risks that could arise in the event of using the property for the purposes of activities causing contamination/devastation of the environment, including in particular: emission of dust, pollution of water, disposal of sewage, storage or production of toxic, inflammable, or explosive materials.
  6. The bank is financing the transformation of the Polish power sector with the exception of transactions financing coal-based projects, unless they are aimed at increasing efficiency and adaptation to the growing environmental requirements. The transformation areas include not only zero emission or low emission energy sources, but also improving the energy efficiency of entities that consume large quantities of energy for the purposes of their production processes and modernizing the transmission network.
  7. The following policies were adopted in 2019: Financing of the Carbon Intensive Energy Sector, Financing of the Chemistry, Oil and Gas Sector, and Financing of the Local Government Units. The bank also has the policies in place addressed to the following industries: Trade, Construction and construction materials, Car dealers and CFM companies, Income-generating real estate, Public healthcare.

Policy for financing the carbon intensive energy sector

The main assumption of the Policy for Financing the Carbon Intensive Energy Sector is a gradual change in the loan portfolio structure towards reducing the exposure to coal-based customers and transactions and increasing the exposure to entities/transactions supporting zero emission or low carbon intensive energy sources. It is consistent with the European climate policy and the market trends, associated, among other things, with the need to comply with BAT standards, the Winter Package and Paris Agreement provisions, etc.

The policy covers e.g. the following industries: mining of coal and lignite, production of mining (and similar) machinery, generation of electricity (with the exception of renewable energy sources) and supplementary activities in the power sector (transmission, distribution, cogeneration) and it assumes:

Balance sheet involvement in high-carbon energy sectors
  • with respect to coal and lignite mining, production of boilers, fireplaces and burners (coal-fired) – reducing the exposure (with the exception of coke, which is on the EU list of critical raw materials),
  • with respect to energy production – not financing any new coal or lignite based sources and gradual reduction in the existing exposure,
  • reducing general purpose financing and transforming it into ESG financing, dedicated to energy efficiency improvement, changing the energy mix or modernization of transmission networks (coal based projects can be financed on the condition that funds are spent on modernization aimed at meeting the growing environmental requirements; in such cases, the purpose of financing must be precisely defined and the use of funds must be controlled),
  • with respect to coal-related industries (e.g. production of mining machines) – gradual reduction in exposure, precise definition of the purposes of financing and control of its use; financing of entities with diversified customer portfolios (i.e. generating significant revenues from other sources not related to mining) or those transforming their operations is acceptable.
Balance sheet involvement in green industries

Policy for financing the chemistry, oil and gas sector

The Policy for Financing the Chemistry, Oil and Gas Sector defines, among other things, the framework for financing entities operating in the sectors of oil and natural gas extraction, production and distribution of liquid and gaseous fuels, production and trading in chemicals/ chemical products, and production and sales of rubber and plastic products. The bank adopted a strategy of reducing exposure to operations that will be covered by the EU Single-Use Plastic Directive and a prudent approach to sectors of oil and gas extraction or production of chemicals, chemical products and rubber products. The prudent approach involves, among other things, assessing compliance with environmental standards and impact on the environment and evaluating the business model with regard to the concept of sustainable business development.

The following pro-environmental products were introduced in the offer and the following initiatives were taken in 2019:

  • PKO Leasing launched a lease or loan for entrepreneurs to finance photovoltaic cell devices in an amount of up to PLN 250 000.
  • The bank included in its offer Ekopożyczka, a loan for the purchase and installation of photovoltaic panels in an amount of up to PLN 50 000.
  • PKO Bank Polski together with PKO Bank Hipoteczny launched a “green mortgage” option for customers who can obtain a lower margin on the “Własny Kąt” mortgage loan based on the energy performance certificate for the property.
  • PKO Bank Polski and PKO Bank Hipoteczny were the first banks in Poland to join the pilot project Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM). The project is aimed at creating standardized pan-European solutions for mortgage loans granted to finance apartments and houses with energy-efficient solutions.
  • The bank launched new treasury products for corporate customers: transactions for CO2 emission rights – Commodity Swap and Commodity Forward.
  • The bank, jointly with a consortium of foreign banks, organized and placed an issue of Polish green T-bonds of EUR 2 billion on the Euro market.
  • PKO Bank Hipoteczny issued the first green mortgage covered bonds in Poland. Overall, in 2019 PKO Bank Hipoteczny carried out two issues of green mortgage covered bonds with a total nominal value of PLN 500 million.
  • The bank’s Group participated in a consortium of five banks which granted financing to the Energa SA Group in the form of an ESG-linked revolving loan of PLN 2 billion.
  • The bank launched the BIZNESMAX guarantees from BGK and now has a possibility of securing loans for pro-environmental projects.
  • PKO TFI launched a new investment fund “PKO Ekologii i Odpowiedzialności Społecznej Globalny” (PKO Environment and Social Responsibility Global). The fund’s assets are invested in entities whose operations are environment friendly and generate a positive impact on the society. The first valuation was performed on 23 October 2019.

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