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The Polish Industry Can’t Ignore Sustainable Finance Trends

16 / 08 / 2022

A key obstacle we identified is that there is little to no awareness of external financing opportunities among Polish industrial companies. We identified five Polish applications for the Innovation Fund much lagging behind the number of submission by the more developed EU countries. Due to the under representation, only one Polish project from the hard-to-abate sectors was awarded. This large-scale carbon capture and storage project also dubbed as GO4ECOPLANET will be carried out by Holcim-Lafarge at the Kujawy cement plant. The connection to the offshore storage in the North Sea should be completed by 2027 which should help achieving a fully net zero cement production at this site.

Not only are the Polish industrial companies eligible to receive funds for decarbonisation within the European framework but also have a great potential to advance in new technologies . The chemical industry might lead the way: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided  180 million credit to PKN Orlen for advances in bio-refinery and bio-chemical production.

And the Polish cement, steel and chemical companies can’t afford to stay unfazed by their environmental footprint. As ESG indicators will factor more heavily in investment decisions the industrial companies’ reluctance to change might lock them out of fresh finance. Large companies (e.g. with more than 500 employees) face regulatory scrutiny  and need to submit non-financial reports under the NFRD Directive implemented to Polish law. And sustainable development reports are becoming something of a norm: The Polish cement sector is no exception and most of the big players such as Cemex, Heidelberg Cement and Arcelor Mittal just to name a few published plans. In these documents the strategy of decarbonisation is outlined – this is an important information for banks when deciding on reward of credit financing.

Still we are yet to see disclosures going mainstream and Polish steel, cement and chemical companies must improve in this aspect if they want to successfully compete for finance. Currently only about 14% of Polish companies are submitting non-financial reports mentioned emission reduction plans. Eight Polish enterprises also joined the Science Based Targets initiative which requires to derive Paris agreement-compliant pathway to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions via setting climate targets. And it is not only the manufacturing where there is plenty to do. We found only seven Polish financial institutions that officially support UN’s TCFD recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures. That is, there is going to be a steep learning curve for both industrial as well as financial sector actors near term.

You can read more insights in our upcoming publication detailing Barriers to Decarbonisation.


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The Industry Taskforce

The Taskforce will pool key decision makers and power brokers from the region to provide expert input, peer review for research and act as ambassadors of the project.

Project partners

  • Europeum
  • ISFC
  • Mesa10
  • Equilibrium Institute
  • WiseEuropa
  • Germany