· PKO Bank Polski adopted indicators in the ESG area and included them for non-financial purposes of the Bank’s Capital Group for the following years.
· The bank has committed to eliminate exposure to the coal mining sector by 2030 and increase green financing by at least 5% in the y/y basis.
· The indicators also include the commitment to reduce the bank’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40,000 tonnes in 2025, i.e. by 60 percent compared to 2019.
· The bank wants to maintain a high percentage of women in key managerial positions and has committed itself that in 2025 it will not be lower than 35%.
PKO Bank Polski adopted indicators in the ESG area and included them for non-financial purposes of the Bank’s Capital Group for the following years. The achievement of purposes will be verified on the basis of reliable and fully measurable data. Bank, among other things, committed to eliminate exposure to the coal mining sector by 2030 and increase green financing to a level of at least 5% on the y/y basis. The indicators also include the commitment to reduce the bank’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40,000 tonnes in 2025, i.e. by 60 percent compared to 2019. The Bank wants to maintain a high percentage of women in key managerial positions and has committed itself that in 2025 it will not be lower than 35 percent.
For over 100 years, PKO Bank Polski has been operating in accordance with the principles of responsibility for the environment in which it operates. We have always adapted our commitment to the current needs of Polish society. The situation was the same at the beginning of the 20th century, when we supported the implementation of the most important infrastructure projects for Poland, as well as in the following decades, or recently, when we became involved in the fight against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2019, we have been taking steps with increasing determination to address one of the greatest contemporary challenges – climate change counteracting. Today we have taken the next step on this path and made specific, measurable commitments in the ESG area. As before, we want to generate the best results for our shareholders, but additionally – look for opportunities to grow in a more sustainable way at the same time. We will also consider ESG issues more broadly in our next strategy. – said Jan Emeryk Rościszewski, Vice President of the Management Board of PKO Bank Polski, managing the work of the Management Board.
PKO Bank Polski is aware of the challenges arising from climate changes and is gradually eliminating activities that may harm the natural environment, supports environmental education and follows the principle of social responsibility in its daily activities. The company takes into account the impact of its activities on the society, customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders, and constantly monitors and improves corporate governance and ensures transparency of the company’s management principles. In its strategy, PKO Bank Polski takes into account ESG issues related to the environment, society and corporate governance. Since 2019, it has been publishing detailed and auditable data on ESG aspects in the non-financial part of the company’s annual reports.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2025
PKO Bank Polski will continue to reduce the negative impact of its operating activities on the environment. In 2020, the bank reduced greenhouse gas emissions in Scope 1 and 2 from 100.7 thousand tons up to 65.7 thousand tons, almost 35 percent on the y/y basis. This was due to the acceleration of digitization, obtaining guarantees of electricity origin from low-emission sources and modernization projects aimed at improving energy efficiency. The bank is committed to continuing to intensively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which in 2025 will not exceed 40,000 tons, i.e. by more than 60 percent less than in 2019.
Elimination of the exposure to the coal mining sector by 2030
The bank’s activities in the environmental area also consist in limiting financing for high-carbon sectors of the economy. The bank implemented an ESG risk assessment element in the credit process for corporate clients, and the bank’s credit policy for the high-carbon energy sector, updated in 2020, tightened the funding criteria and covered a wider range of enterprises, including those operating in coal-related industries. The current policy also clearly assumes no new involvement in the coal and lignite mining sector. The bank is committed to eliminating exposure to these sectors by 2030.
Increase in green financing by 5% on the y/y basis
PKO Bank Polski will continue supporting Poland’s energy transformation. Increased involvement in green financing will help in this goal. The bank is committed to increase its volume by at least 5% on the y/y basis, starting from 2021. In addition, the bank undertakes that its commitment to green financing in relation to the bank’s assets will remain at a level at least three times higher than the financing of high-carbon sectors.
Purchasing process taking into account the key aspects of ESG
PKO Bank Polski is aware that responsible management of the supply chain may increase the commitment of suppliers to the implementation of the idea of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Therefore, at the stage of sending inquiries to potential suppliers of products or services, the bank requires from them declarations regarding key aspects related to social responsibility. The Bank also undertakes to update the Purchasing Policy, taking into account the ESG rules, by the end of the third quarter of 2021. By the end of 2021, the bank will conduct ESG surveys among its key suppliers, and by the end of the first quarter of 2022, it will prepare a Supplier Code of Ethics.
Diversity and reducing of the staff turnover
PKO Bank Polski is socially responsible and carries out activities for the benefit of society. For years, it has been initiating and implementing projects integrating business goals with activities for all stakeholder groups. It supports educational, civic, cultural and sports events and projects. It will use this approach also in the coming years.
The company applies and will continue to apply the principle of equality regarding bank employees. In accordance with the applicable internal policies, all employees are equal regardless of their sex, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, trade union membership, ethnic origin, health condition, sexual orientation, marital status or full or part-time employment.
The bank will also continue to pay great attention to the satisfaction of its employees with employment in the company. This is helped by a fair and transparent remuneration system, a package of non-salary benefits, taking into account the development needs of employees, and building an atmosphere of friendly cooperation.
The bank wants to maintain a high percentage of women in key managerial positions and has committed itself that in 2025 it will not be lower than 35%. The company also wants the employee turnover ratio in the capital group to be at a level not higher than 14%, and the voluntary departure rate should not be higher than 7%. It also undertakes to consistently implement systemic projects supporting the employment of disabled people.
Work on the implementation of ESG objectives will be continued
PKO Bank Polski will continue to work on new indicators and non-financial targets related to the ESG area, and will consider the challenges related to sustainable development more broadly in its next strategy. Subsequent non-financial goals, in particular, may be related to reducing the consumption of energy, water, paper, or increasing the level of segregation and recycling of waste generated by the company. The Bank will continue to work on the implementation of ESG objectives related to the reduction of financing for high-carbon energy sectors and an increase in financing of ESG sector projects. The company will also work on solutions in the field of ESG compliant products, development of technological competences among employees, ensuring diversity in the capital group and embedding ESG issues in organizational structures and in the strategy.
PKO Bank Polski is the undisputed leader of the Polish banking sector, with total assets of PLN 384 bn. In the first quarter of 2021, the bank earned a net profit of PLN 1.2bn. It is they key supplier of financial services for all the customer segments, with the biggest share in the savings market (18.3 per cent), loans (17.6 per cent), mortgages (19.7%) and retail investment funds (19.2 per cent). Owing to the development of digital tools, including the IKO app, which now has 5.5 million active users, PKO Bank Polski is the most mobile bank in Poland. The strong position of the bank is further reinforced by its subsidiaries. The PKO Bank Polski Brokerage House is the leader in terms of the number and value of IPO and SPO transactions on the capital market.
Cover picture: pkobp.pl