Financial and
ESG report 2020

ESG at Bank Millennium

The basis defining the Bank Millennium approach to the issue of ESG and sustainable development is the declaration of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as adopted by the United Nations (UN) signed by the Bank in 2017.

The Bank jointed coalition of business, state administration and non-governmental organisations for sustainable development in Poland, as initiated by the Ministry of Development. The Polish perspective was described in the Government Strategy based upon assumption of sustainable development of the entire country in economic, social, environmental and territorial terms.  

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The Bank has recognised all 17 goals adopted within the document as important and in particular the greatest weight is attached to implementation of the tasks, as follows: economic (8. Economic growth and decent work, 9. Innovation, industry and infrastructure, 4. Good quality of education), social (3. Good health and quality of life, 5. Gender equality), environmental, i.e. 13. Actions in the climate area and 17. Partnership for Goals.  

The main aspects of sustainable development management are stipulated in the Bank Millennium Group Strategy and have been implemented in individual areas of activity of the Bank and the Companies. 

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Bank Millennium is also a signatory of the Diversity Charter – an undertaking described by organisations, which strive to eliminate discrimination at work place and act to create and foster diversity.  

In the area of ecology and climate protection, the Bank is following environmental policy defining own environment oriented activities, approach to financing of environmental investments and education. 

Following principles of sustainable development by the Bank has been confirmed by external rankings. Since 2010, the Bank has been listed in the index of the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) including companies meeting the highest standards of the Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2010-2019 the Bank belonged to the Respect Index, and since 2019 has been included in WIG-ESG index, which is created by assigning companies with additional weight i.e. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) score published by global company Sustainalytics, and evaluation of corporate governance performed by the WSE. 

Bank Millennium, in 2020, was awarded, inter alia, CSR Golden Leaf in the ranking of ‘Polityka’ weekly and came in second in the ranking “Climate Leaders Poland 2021” of the Forbes Magazine for its activity in the area of sustainable development. 

The year 2020 was marked with pandemic and economic crises. The Bank undertook many actions designed to protect health of employees, clients and local community while taking proper care for maintaining operational capacity and smooth management of client finances. 

The Bank Millennium Foundation and Bank Millennium already in April joined the struggle against coronavirus by donating PLN 500,000 to the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which developed first Polish tests for SARS-CoV-2. Tests entered mass production and the Institute is continuing its R&D work on new generation tests. 

The Bank also set up a special Fund for subsidising costs of treatment and rehabilitation of Bank Millennium Group employees infected with coronavirus. 

Ensuring the highest possible quality of service remains one of the top values for Bank Millennium. Services meeting client expectations are designed on the basis of client opinions and analysis of their needs with use of modern methods such as behavioural economy, service design or UC surveys. 

Objective of the Bank, as a socially responsible company, is to eliminate barriers in access to financial and non-financial services for the elderly and persons with disabilities who are a significant and continuously growing part of the society. According to information disclosed by the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People, depending upon adopted criterion of the disability level, population of people with disabilities in Poland could reach from 4.9 million to 7.7 million persons. The demographic data indicate also the fact that Poland’s society is getting older. Therefore, the Bank is introducing many improvements and offering not only easy access to branches, ATMs, telephone service, service method but also digital channels today gaining importance in managing finance and organising day-to-day matters.  

The Bank Millennium web site, Millenet internet banking system and Bank Millennium mobile app are continuously adjusted to meet the needs of the blind and people with sight impairment. The services are written in a simple language easy to understand by users and may be read by text reading devices. Users with sight impairment may take advantage of the web site using only the keyboard (without need to use mouse to navigate the portal). In addition, the site features option to enlarge text and is adjusted to high contrast display. Users having phones with fingerprint scanners can log into the app with fingerprint. The same way users can approve card transactions in internet with 3D-Secure protection. In addition, iPhone X and newer version owners can log on with the FaceID service. The mobile app is also adjusted to meet the needs of the blind and people with sight impairment as it is compatible with access enhancement services such as Google TalkBack (Android), VoiceOver (iOS) and offering presentation of information by way of speech. Bank Millennium was one of the first companies in Poland to adjust its internet site to meet needs of persons with disabilities. In past years, for ensuring access to web site for persons with disabilities, Bank Millennium was awarded with the „Site without Barriers” prize given by the Foundation „Widzialni” (the Visible). On the other hand, for digitalisation of services and banking without barriers, the Bank, in April 2020, was awarded with prize in competition „Technologically Responsible Company”. 

It is an important goal for the Bank to combat digital exclusion also in the area of non-financial services. By increasing access to mobile solutions including, inter alia, e-administration, purchase of transport tickets, payment of parking and motorway tolls, the Bank offers access to banking and non-banking services in every location and at any time.  

In response to increasing demand for online services due to the pandemic, the Bank web site featured educational portal Eduportal (access at the address www.bankmillennium.pl/pierwszykrokonline and directly from the home page, tag „Wsparcie” /support/) and the “First step online” campaign encouraging use of digital channels, explaining how to start using Millenet and mobile app.  

All Bank’s own ATMs and more than 70% of Bank Millennium branches are adjusted to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. When reconstructing and modernising outlets the Bank takes proper care to ensure that architectural barriers are eliminated. Seated client service desks with wheelchair access are available in nearly 300 branches (more than 60%). Clients calling the Bank’s call centre, instead of using the numerical keypad of the handset, can use voice commands during telephone service.  

Bank Millennium is expanding the community without barriers concept also to initiatives, in which it takes part. In 2020, for the second consecutive year, during Millennium Docs Against Gravity – documentary film festival, with Bank Millennium as the main sponsor, selected films were available with audio description and voice over, making it easier for persons with sight impairments to access the world of culture. 

The Bank ensures attractive work, development conditions and social support. It offers programmes for working parents, opportunities to take part in charity campaigns and employee volunteering. Due to the pandemic, many of activities were limited in 2020. The Bank focused on ensuring safe work conditions for employees including remote performance of work. The Bank modernised its offices and lighting in the main head office to improve work comfort. Within the limitations supported development of employees’ hobbies  in sports, cultural and recreational projects. The Bank is also signatory if the Diversity Charter. Detailed information on the staff policy of the Bank Millennium Group can be found in chapter 8 of this report i.e. „Human Resource Management”. 

Bank Millennium collaborates with many business partners by purchasing goods and services from various market segments. Main counterparties render services involving lease and supporting branches and office space, IT services and hardware acquisition, providing protection and marketing services. Principles governing Bank Millennium cooperation with providers are described in the „Instruction on selection of suppliers and procurement”. It defines, inter alia, organisation of procurement process, roles of individual process participants and supplier selection criteria. Suppliers are selected through tenders thus allowing the use of objective selection criteria. To ensure procurement process transparency, substantive and commercial evaluation of bids are conducted by independent units of the Bank.  

Social programmes 

Social programmes are carried out by the Bank Millennium Foundation („the Foundation”) and in 2020 they concentrated on financial education of children at preschool age and on preparing guides for parents wanting to deliver the training themselves. 

The Bank Millennium Foundation has been running the proprietary “Financial ABCs” kids financial education programme since 2016. In 2020 despite the pandemic the Foundation continued the Financial ABCs programme with a new format. Due to the epidemic situation the classes held so far in kindergartens were suspended until recall; however the Foundation made sure the educational materials, which may be used by kindergarten staff as well as parents, are available online. The Foundation created a series of modern online educational materials.  

In 2020 Bank Millennium Foundation commissioned and analysed results of an opinion survey of parents of kids of preschool age about financial education (the survey was carried out by GfK institute for Bank Millennium Foundation in May 2020 on a national sample of 1 000 parents of children aged 3-7, with use of CAWI methodology). The survey results confirm that the Foundation’s focus on financial education of youngest children is a good decision. In the survey 65% parents of pre-schoolers said that the earlier financial education of children begins, the better they cope in adult life in crisis situations, such as the crisis caused by the coronavirus. With a view to the aforementioned survey results, Bank Millennium Foundation introduced a new guide series for parents about financial education of kindergarten kids called – Parents’ Guide “How to teach finances to children”. The programme objective is to teach good habits related to savings, respect for work and for money. The materials were prepared by the Bank’s experts in cooperation with an expert in psychology and pedagogics. 

 Cultural sponsorship 

Bank Millennium for more than 30 years has been supporting cultural projects on both national and local outreach. It is a 360° sponsor of culture, because it promotes art in almost all its forms, including: music, painting, sculpture, film, theatre, photography, literature and performance. Bank Millennium reaches for niche and popular culture. It is by design a long-term partner.  

The most important cultural project of 2020 sponsored by the Bank is the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival. This is Poland’s biggest world documentary film festival and an important festival worldwide. Bank Millennium has been a partner of the festival for 15 years now and in 2016 it became its naming rights sponsor. Due to the current pandemic, last year’s 17th edition of the festival was postponed to autumn of 2020, nevertheless still in May, during the lockdown, a special event was organised DOCS AGAINST ISOLATION, when viewers could see 50 films online from the previous editions, half of them with free access. In September 2020 the 17th edition of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival was held in hybrid format for the first time in history. Bank Millennium together with its organiser faced-up to the needs and expectations of the entire culture audience, offering them access to 150 documentary films from the entire world in cinemas in seven cities and in virtual space. There was also no shortage of accompanying events. The hybrid edition of the Festival attracted a record-high audience of 170 000 viewers. Director of the festival was awarded with a prestigious prize Paszport “Polityki” for hybrid form of the event. 

Another cultural project, which Bank Millennium has been supporting for many years, is the Sacrum Profanum contemporary music festival. The Bank has been working with its organiser – Kraków Festival Bureau (KBF) since 2012. In 2020 KBF and Bank Millennium paved new roads as regards the form and formula, taking the entire event online. The 18th edition of the festival for the first time in its history took place online – on the Play Kraków platform. 

Supporting innovation 

In its social activity Bank Millennium S.A. analyses trends concerning innovation in the market environment. Every year the Bank’s experts prepare the “Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential”, which describes disparities in development of innovation in Polish Voivodships. The “Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential” is the Bank’s contribution to the public debate concerning regional development drivers in Poland and reducing inequalities that exist between them. In 2020 the fifth edition of the report was published. The main theme of this edition of the survey, apart from statistical data, were the limitations but also opportunities resulting from the crisis involved with the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally experts and practitioners in business, science, government and non-governmental institutions were invited to comment on results in particular regions. They shared their experience about what helps and what obstructs development of innovative projects, in what way the pandemic changed the approach to innovation and how to support its development in the second half of 2020. Thus the Report is a valuable source of knowledge for local government authorities on how to level the playing field for regions in Poland. 

Supporting university education 

In 2020, the Bank continued cooperation with respectable universities including, inter alia, SGH Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Warsaw supporting the universities in improving their infrastructure and changing their operational models at times of the pandemic, as well as students and graduates in developing their competences. The co-working centre created by Bank Millennium and SGH provide an example of such cooperation. It is a place of real life and virtual meetings, networking, consultations with business theoreticians and practitioners from the university and the bank. The co-working centre supports students and graduates, who established or are planning to establish a start-up and want to clash their ideas with the business reality. Due to the pandemic most of the activities were carried out online.  

Another example of cooperation is provided by scholarship programme of the University of Warsaw, Camões Institute and Bank Millennium. The Bank sponsored a scholarship for the best BA student of Portuguese Studies at the University of Warsaw. The Bank has been sponsoring scholarships since 2013.  

Activities to support environment constitute integral part of the Bank Millennium’s Corporate Social Responsibility, covering many initiatives in mitigating or eliminating negative impacts upon natural environment. The Bank defined its approach towards these issues in the „Bank Millennium Group’s Environmental Policy”. The document underscores three main areas of environmental activity aiming at reduction of consumption of materials, energy, water and fuels and ecological education of the clients, counterparties and employees, as well as approach to finance investments; it is also necessary to stress that historically, the exposure of the Bank in financing of coal mining and coal based power generation was significantly lower than average for the banking sector. 

Since 2011 the Group has been reporting on its own impact upon environment including data on GHG emission, expanding knowledge on the matter by participating in consultations, conferences and expert workshops (organised by e.g. WWF, Polish Association of Listed Companies, or Polish Confederation Lewiatan) and taking part in the work conducted by the Polish Bank Association. In 2020 Bank Millennium was ranked second in the ranking “Climate Leaders Poland 2021” of the Forbes Magazine scoring 34% of annual reduction of GHG emission intensity. Thus, it was the first bank in this ranking with the best result. The ranking was created by calculating annual accumulated rate of GHG reduction (CARR), adjusted for revenues.  

In addition, the Bank carried out many activities aiming at reduction of consumption of energy, water and other materials and modernised office space and rooms in the main head office to meet pro-ecological requirements. One of the most important initiatives was an exchange of lighting into energy saving one thereby reducing energy consumption for this purpose by 54% relative to the previous year’s figures and reducing CO2 emission by another 500 tones p.a. The Bank is using offers of Polish companies to avoid unnecessary and environmentally harmful transport. Interior is provided with greater numbers of plants to improve air quality. In the main Bank head offices aerators are installed facilitating, by aerating water stream, to reduce water consumption by as much as 80%. The Bank is also applying systemic solutions facilitating operation of equipment in time programme systems to reduce equipment work time and, thereby, energy consumed. All Bank’s branches are equipped with LED external panels with time controlled shining to reduce energy consumption even by half relative to other types of lighting. Besides of-the-shelf and certified solutions, Bank Millennium designs and implements proprietary actions to improve environment quality and cleanliness. These include, inter alia, waste segregation and many activities aiming at increasing environment protection awareness among employees. The Bank encourages employees to segregate and recycle waste. In addition, the Bank systematically increases the number of bicycle parking places to encourage employees to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport. 

Information concerning implementation by the Bank of of activities related to ESG and principles of corporate social responsibility is available in the non-financial part of Bank Millennium’s 2020 Annual Report. The report is prepared in keeping with the guidelines of the amended Accounting Act, the international Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards, the European Union recommendations for reporting climate-related information and underwent independent, external assurance by Deloitte. The report will present the key aspects of the Bank’s impact on sustainable economic, social and environmental development with regard to the key Stakeholder groups: Clients, Employees, Shareholders, Business Partners, Society and the Natural Environment. 

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