Increasing involvement in financing sustainable projects, supporting the energy transformation and transition to a low-carbon economy, climate neutrality, commitment to sustainable socio-economic development and careing for equal rights of employees – these are just some of the elements of Bank Pekao’s ESG strategy until 2024 announced recently.
The ESG Strategy is a comprehensive document defining the bank’s approach to sustainable development. It is in line with Pekao’s business strategy for 2021-2024 published in March this year.
It is based on three pillars: environment, commitment and order. In each of these areas, the bank has set itself specific goals for the coming years. Also initiatives are identified that will support the implementation of the strategy. The document was developed with the involvement of representatives of the bank’s units key to ESG issues, including the ESG Council.
Environment: green finance, low carbon economy and climate neutrality
Bank Pekao will become even more involved in the energy and ecological transformation of Poland and environmental protection in line with the principles of the European Green Deal. The bank assumes that in the years 2021-2024 it will organize financing for new sustainable projects in the amount of at least PLN 30 billion. This number will include at least PLN 8 billion of new financing for sustainable projects, including green and social projects, and support for the issuance of ESG bonds of the bank’s clients in the amount of at least PLN 22 billion .
The share of green financing – including, inter alia, such projects as wind farms, photovoltaic installations, low-emission transport or ecological construction – will increase to over 4 percent of Pekao’s balance sheet portfolio .
The share of high-carbon financing will be less than 1%. By supporting the transformation of the Polish energy sector, Pekao intends to become involved in supporting the coal regions most affected by the negative effects of the changes.
By 2030, Pekao plans to achieve its own climate neutrality (scope 1 and 2), but it is starting actions to achieve this goal now. The bank will successively implement the next stages of the plan, such as pro-ecological improvements in branches, monitoring the consumption of raw materials or reducing own emissions. It will start measuring own emissions (scope 1 and 2) this year. The Bank will also strive to reduce emissions in the supply chain by taking ESG into account in all relevant processes.
Commitment: supporting the environment, education, digitization and development
Another pillar of the strategy is commitment. The Bank will strengthen its activities to support the sustainable development of society and the economy.
In this area, Pekao aims to engage in social activities aimed at providing help, providing equal opportunities and preventing exclusion.
The strategy assumes that the amount allocated by the bank for social and environmental purposes will increase from year to year. The bank plans to increase employee involvement in activities for the benefit of society and the environment. The number of hours worked as part of employee volunteering in the timeframe of the strategy is to increase from 4.4 thousand to up to 5.5 thousand hours. Every year, the bank undertakes to undertake at least five new ESG initiatives.
Pekao will also focus on education and raising environmental awareness of the society through partnerships with social organizations, including UNEP – the United Nations Environment Program or “Together for the Environment” and providing digital tools to clients .
Pekao also understands commitment as ecological, convenient for customers and easy access to banking services. In this case, the goal is, as in the business strategy, a 100% digitization rate, and thus the possibility of settling all banking matters completely remotely.
This pillar in Pekao’s strategy also includes involvement in programs supporting the development and innovation of companies, which the bank plans to implement through guarantees, start-up accelerators and cooperation with fintechs and universities.
Governance: ethics, reputation and inclusive organization
Taking care of the highest standards of corporate governance, the bank focuses on an ethical approach to business, taking into account ESG issues in all key areas. It is also transparency in the field of sustainable reporting and promotion of development, diversity and equality of employees.
Pekao’s goals in this ESG aspect are to increase employee satisfaction and commitment, succession plans and an attractive payroll system linked to results. It is also about equal rights and a further reduction of the gender pay gap by 5% and maintaining a balanced level of the number of women and men in managerial positions (58% of women in managerial positions at the end of 2020). Finally, it is also strengthening the bank’s position in ESG rankings and indices, such as Bloomberg GEI, FTSE Russell ESG or MSCI ESG.
Cover picture: media.pekao.com