Financial and
ESG report 2020

Management of environmental impact and climate protection

[GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3]
Climate change is, in addition to protection of life and health, one of the defining challenges of this century and requires urgent and unprecedented action.

raport72 raport72

Bank Millennium is guided in its sustainability approach by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, among which protection of the climate is one of the major issues. Initiatives focused on the natural environment and climate protection are embedded in the business strategy of the Bank Millennium Group and are consistent with the approach adopted by the parent company, Bank Millennium bcp. 

Bank Millennium is carefully observing the measures taken by the European Union and it does understand the role that banking sector institutions are to play in the transition to a low-emission and climate-resilient economy. In recent months there were important decisions taken in this matter as in December 2020 the European Council adopted a new carbon reduction goal of 55 percent until 2030. This means that the EU accelerates on its path to climate neutrality, which it intends to achieve by 2050. All countries and all sectors of the economy will have to contribute to this goal.  

Environmental and climate policy as well as regulations applied by the Bank

During last years Bank’s environmental and climate actions focused on limiting own impact. The Bank implemented high ecological standards in its own activitiesrequiring the same commitment from suppliers and partners. Also for several years now, the Bank has been involved in special programs of financing energy sector transformation, offering various solutions for example leasing products to finance equipment upgrades increasing energy efficiency and financing large wind farm projects.  

In 2019, the Bank decided to formalize its approach to the environment and climate issue, and developed the “Environmental Policy of the Bank Millennium Group”, which defines the three main areas of activities:  

The Bank Millennium Group minimizes its environmental footprint through rational management of materials and waste, monitoring the use of water, energy and fuels, introducing environmentally-friendly solutions in its operations, by encouraging employees, customers and business partners to participate in environmental campaigns. 

The Group supports the pursuit of environmental goals by introducing specially profiled products to its offering. The Bank Millennium Group does not provide funding for new coal mines and new investments in coal-based energy sources, except for new investments aimed at reducing pollution levels. New financing in the energy sector is possible only if used to engage in non-carbon energy sources, energy transformation to non-carbon energy sources. 

For many years now, the Group has supported the funding of environmentally-friendly and energy efficient projects, including those aimed at replacing carbon-based energy generation with low-emission energy sources and modern energy infrastructure for renewable energy sources reducing emissions and supporting energy efficiency, especially in energy-intensive and high-emission industries, projects focused on low-emission cars. 

The Bank’s customers are obligated not to use proceeds from loans in any way that is related to the actions featured on the Environmental Exclusion List of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. They are also obligated to obtain and maintain all the necessary environmental permits in connection with their business activity and to conduct the activity in compliance with any relevant laws, standards and other regulatory requirements at the nation-wide and local level with respect to protecting the environment, health and safety as well as rules of social conduct. 

Employees, customers and business partners receive communications building their environmental awareness. Environmental clauses are used wherever reasonable in contracts with product suppliers. 

The Bank Millennium Group observes environmental protection regulations (Act on Waste) that impose an obligation of properly managing waste by collecting the requisite documentation (including the Waste Transfer Card), preparing and submitting reports to the pertinent Marshal’s Offices on the type and quantity of waste created.  

Key risks and new opportunities

[GRI 102-15]  Key risk is associated with the management of the Group’s environmental and climate impact through its own operating activity, banking products and services offered, including the funding of projects and management of climate, transformation and physical hazards for the Group.

[GRI 102-11] The Group mitigates this risk by submitting to legal regulations, monitoring its own environmental impact and implementing environmentally-friendly actions as well as observing the “Environmental Policy of the Bank Millennium Group” and the project financing rules. More information about risk is included in chapter I. Bank Millennium and the Bank Millennium Group, in section 4.2. Methods of Risk Management. 

It is worth noting that historically, the Group’s involvement in the financing of coal mining and coal-based energy sectors was significantly lower than the banking sector average. In 2020, the Bank Millennium Group’s exposure to the coal mining and carbon-based energy constituted 2.2% of the corporate portfolio (down from 2.5% in 2019) and 0.6% of the Group’s entire portfolio (down from 0.7% in 2019). A few years ago, the Bank made a decision to reduce significantly its exposures financing the coal industry. As a result, currently the portfolio exposures to the coal mining sector and industries directly related to coal mining are insignificant. Additionally, the Bank has exposures to the energy industry, in which it finances holding companies rather than individual producers; these funds may also be used for modernization and changing of the energy mix towards renewable energy.  

The Bank can see new climate-related opportunities in various sectors of the economy, in developing new financial products and services.

The financial sector will take an active part in the planned achievement of climate neutrality by 2050. Out of the reconstruction fund agreed in 2020, which is EUR 23 billion for Poland, one third will be used for “green transformation”. The funds are expected to be directed, among other things, to investments in clean and efficient generation and use of energy and sustainable transport. According to official statements full implementation of the EU recommendations will also require Poland to prepare a package of reforms: first and foremost, to develop a new energy strategy aligned with the EU’s more ambitious climate objective. It will also be necessary to remove regulatory barriers and enact missing legislation that is needed to unlock clean energy growth, effective energy saving and achieve other Green Deal objectives, such as reducing pollution, implementing a circular economy and protecting and regenerating wildlife. Investments and funds from private sources will be necessary to achieve the objectives. It is also important to note that opinion polls and market researches analyzed indicate increasing environmental awareness of Polish society. The growing attention to the issue among individual customers may translate in long term into changes of behavior and expectations towards products and services, which also might be seen in the banking sector.  

Reporting on performance and selected indicators

The Group has been reporting on its environmental impact and level of emissions already since 2011. As described below in the definition of methodology, data published includes greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1, Scope 2 and partially in Scope 3.

In respect to Scope 3, the Group is currently working on analyzing the existing methodologies that would allow it to report reliably on indirect emissions. It broadens its knowledge of this subject by participating in consultations, conferences and expert workshops (organized by WWF, the Polish Association of Listed Companies, or the Polish Confederation Lewiatan) and by participating in the work of the Polish Bank Association.  

Over the period of ten years from 2011 to 2020, Bank Millennium’s total greenhouse gas emissions decreased significantly from 39,659 to 25,419 tons. During this period, Bank Millennium merged with Euro Bank in 2019, as a result of which the figures for individual years are not comparable, in particular those important for this report, i.e. for the 2019/2020 period. However, it is worth noting that in 2020 the Bank undertook numerous initiatives to further reduce its emission levels by lowering energy and fuel consumption. The major environmental investment project implemented in the Bank’s headquarters was an upgrade of the lighting in the office space. As a result, nearly 12,000 conventional light fixtures were replaced by modern LED fixtures, which will consume 54% less energy and allow it to lower its CO2 emissions by 500 tons annually.  

The Bank also received “white certificates” based on the Energy Efficiency Act of 20 May 2016 (Journal of Laws 2016 Item 831), which confirm that a modernization project has been completed, which improved energy efficiency and achieved energy savings (confirmed by an energy efficiency audit and a positive assessment of the application by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office). 

Bank attention to the environment and climate protection were noticed by the public. For example in December 2020, Bank Millennium was ranked second among Polish companies in the Climate Leaders ranking published by Forbes in cooperation with Statista. It was the highest-rated bank among the contenders. The ranking was prepared by calculating the compound annual reduction rate (CARR) of greenhouse gas emissions adjusted by revenues.

Organization and responsibility for achieving the planned levels of indicators

The Bank believes that the environment and climate matters relate to many areas of the Bank’s operating activity and will be even more in future interwoven into the organization. Therefore, various aspects of these issues are within the responsibility of the Bank’s individual departments and are an integral part of the businessThe strategy and policy setting is under direct supervision of the President of the Bank’s Management Board. 

The Group’s environmental impact indicators are measured regularly. Environmental campaigns are conducted based on analyses of changes in these indicators. Environmental objectives relating to the consumption limits for materials, energy, fuels and water are included in the objectives imposed on managers of individual departments at the Bank. Fulfillment of these objectives is monitored on a regular basis and reported to the Management Board.  

Fulfillment of reporting requirements

Bank Millennium is preparing to comply with the new reporting requirements arising from the dynamic development of regulations aimed at achieving the climate objectives established by the Paris Agreement. The European Action Plan: financing sustainable growth and the European Green Deal envisage the implementation of a number of regulations introducing new disclosure requirements for financial institutions on ESG Environment Social Governance issues. The preparation of such disclosures will require banks, insurers and investment funds to obtain in some areas a range of information from their corporate clients and therefore will require the aggregation and preparation of appropriate data by companies, which use external financing or are participants in the capital market.  

That is why Bank Millennium has become part of a working group established by the Polish Association of Listed Companies, the Polish Bank Association, the Polish Chamber of Insurance and the Reporting Standards Foundation. The objective of the team is to develop solutions that would make it easier to apply the new regulations and to unify the format of the data. From the standpoint of Bank Millennium, the relevant issues include the European Commission’s Guidelines on non-financial reporting: Supplement on reporting climate-related information (2019/C 209/01); Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 and Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector. 

[GRI 307-1] In 2020 the Bank Millennium Group did not receive information on any case of it infringing the environmental protection regulations.  

Search results