Natural capital

We define natural capital as natural resources which are used by the Group or on which the Group exerts an impact.

Interaction between the PGNiG Group companies and the environment is inherent in the nature of their business. Considering the contemporary challenges to environmental protection, related to the depletion of natural resources and potential contamination of individual environmental components, we are taking measures to minimise the adverse environmental impact. The PGNiG Group recognises its impact on climate change and supports the fight against air pollution.

PGNiG also takes steps to enhance its energy efficiency, one example of these efforts being the implementation and maintenance of an energy management system.

Key metrics


million Mt eCO2 PGNiG Group’s direct GHG emissions (scope 1) in 2021 (7.0 million Mt eCO₂ in 2020; 7.18 Mt eCO₂ in 2019; 7.15 Mt eCO₂ in 2018)


GWh PGNiG Group’s electricity consumption in 2021 (1,099.7 GWh in 2020; 1,122.1 GWh in 2019; 1,161.6 GWh in 2018)


mcm PGNiG Group’s water consumption in 2021 (154.8 mcm in 2020; 144.6 mcm in 2019; 160.6 mcm in 2018)


mcm total volume of wastewater generated by the PGNiG Group in 2021 (156.0 mcm in 2020; 145.1 mcm in 2019; 160.7 mcm in 2018)



increase in direct GHG emissions (scope 1) in 2021 compared with 2019, reflecting consistent expansion of the Group’s operations


reduction in the PGNiG Group’s total electricity consumption in 2021 compared with the 2019 level


increase in renewable electricity production at the PGNiG Group in 2021 relative to 2019


increase in the Group’s total water consumption in 2021 compared with 2018


increase in the total volume of wastewater generated by the PGNiG Group in 2021 relative to 2018

Our approach to performance management

  • We implement environmental and climate protection measures by supporting the transition from coal to natural gas in the heat generation sector with the future goal of reducing harmful dust and GHG emissions in Poland
  • Environmental matters at the PGNiG Group are governed by two key documents. The first one is the QHSE Policy, demonstrating the Group’s responsibility for conducting business activities with due consideration given to the global challenges of sustainable development. The second one is the PGNiG Group Sustainable Development Strategy for 2017−2022, which underlines the importance of the environmental dimension in the Group as a sustainable business
  • Key climate action initiatives in 2021:
    • April 2021 – Decision to invest in the construction of a 1 MWe solar farm at the Kawęczyn CHP plant (TERMIKA).
    • June 2021 – Preparation of an application by TERMIKA in the area of hydrogen technologies and systems; submitted for further processing as part of IPCEIs. The main objective of the project is to develop an innovative and efficient green hydrogen production system (a large-scale unit of up to 50 MW) based on electricity generated by a cogeneration unit, and subsequently use the hydrogen in transport so as to significantly cut greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in the fuel supply chain. There are also plans to use the hydrogen on a large scale in urban transport, especially buses.
    • December 2021 – Launch of a CCGT unit at the Żerań CHP plant (TERMIKA), which replaced five coal-fired units, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Since 2016, nine out of the eleven coal-fired units have been thus shut down at the Żerań CHP plant. The investment is part of the project to upgrade the CHP plant supplying heat and power to Poland’s capital city. The unit, intended to facilitate a “smooth transition towards achieving climate neutrality”, is also to be fuelled with green hydrogen and biogas in the future.
  • Wells intended for decommissioning are plugged and abandoned in accordance with the provisions of the Geological and Mining Law and the related secondary legislation
  • Wastewater generated by the PGNiG Group companies is discharged into the sewage system, surface water or soil, based on the water permits obtained
  • Energy efficiency initiatives implemented by the Group:
    • consistent deployment across the Group of energy-related products developed under the ESCO project, including the Stop SMOG project;
    • continued implementation of the Energy Efficiency Improvement Programme, with preliminary estimates putting the average annual energy savings to be achieved through 17 identified projects at approximately 44 GWh;
    • maintaining the certified Energy Management System compliant with the PN-EN ISO 50001:2018 standard.

How does natural capital affect other types of capital?

Green technologies and products are one of the key drivers of innovation across the Group.

In 2021, PGNiG continued work on projects looking to use hydrogen for power generation and automotive applications. The company is exploring the possibilities of storing and transmitting hydrogen through the gas network. A number of development projects are under way:

  • InGrid – Power to Gas project– RES-based hydrogen production. Research into technical viability of hydrogen transport via the natural gas distribution network,
  • New Fuel Lab – hydrogen purity analysis and research into alternative fuels,
  • Hydrogen storage – use of underground gas storage facilities for hydrogen storage,
  • Energy generation – use of hydrogen in industrial energy generation.

Human capital and natural capital interact on several levels:

  • through education and training, the Group minimises the risk of events which could have an adverse effect on the natural environment due to human error.
  • through development and innovation projects, the Group develops and rolls out solutions designed to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations. A large number of such solutions are developed internally by Group companies.
  • from the perspective of extraction of natural resources, competent staff are key to efficient exploration for and production from new deposits, also outside of Poland.

As part of its production operations in Poland and abroad, the Company engages in social dialogue with local communities, experts and environmental organisations, as access to hydrocarbon deposits often depends on their acceptance. The PGNiG Group is firmly committed to building strong partnership-based relations with local communities, public authorities, suppliers and contractors in the pursuit of common goals.

PGNiG Group is an industrial and commodity holding company. PGNiG’s business comprises exploration for and production of natural gas and crude oil. Through its key companies, PGNiG is also active in the area of import, storage, sale and distribution of gas and liquid fuels, as well as heat and electricity generation and distribution. As a result, all areas of our business rely heavily on access to natural capital which determines the Group’s financial performance.

The core business of the Group is hydrocarbon exploration and production. To ensure uninterrupted supply of hydrocarbons to its retail and business clients, the Group invests in:

  • exploration for new deposits and acquisition of production licences,
  • field development projects.

The Group acquires and sells commodities from its own sources, but also purchases commodities on the market:

  • natural gas (including LNG) purchased from third parties,
  • hard coal purchased for the Generation segment.

Natural gas and crude oil prices determine the performance of individual segments to a large extent. To secure favourable gas prices in international transactions, the Group enters into short-, mid- and long-term contracts as a guarantee of uninterrupted and market priced supply of natural gas.

Environmental costs are an inherent part of the Group’s operations. Seeking to minimise its adverse environmental impacts, in 2021 the Group purchased emission allowances for 5,905 thousand Mg CO2 (representing the additional volume of allowances the PGNiG Group had to purchase given its 2021 allocation of 1,358.3 thousand Mg).

The Group also pays costs of certification, environmental software and mandatory environmental measurements.

Interactions between natural capital and manufacturing capital may be analysed on several levels.

  • in the Exploration and Production segment, the Group must have access to the necessary facilities and technologies to extract hydrocarbons from various deposits, including small-scale and unconventional deposits. In 2021, PGNiG continued to implement the Digital Field Programme, tools enabling PGNiG to efficiently exploit oil and gas resources. The PGNiG Group has run a hydrogen competence programme since 2020.
  • the Generation segment relies largely on coal assets. The Group is currently upgrading its existing generation capacities to bring them in line with the requirements of BAT. New investments rely primarily on natural gas – a fuel which has significantly smaller environmental impacts.

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