51 (146) 2021

CEO's note

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CEO’s note: ahead of the BPCC's 30th anniversary year

By Paweł Siwecki, CEO, BPCC

Dear Members and Readers,

It is with great pleasure to share this message with you ahead the chamber’s thirtieth anniversary in 2022.

Five years since 2017 have gone very quickly since we celebrated our 25th year of existence. The business world has changed much since then, but as an organisation we are keeping up with the developments and challenges that affect our professional lives.  Although we still face the hardships of the pandemic, we see that businesses have adapted and for many of our members, 2022 will be a growth year.

Editorial note

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Editorial Note

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor, and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director

For the second time this year, Contact Magazine Online focuses on green issues – climate change and the environment are still at the forefront of our attention. This is humanity’s biggest challenge – keeping the rise in global average temperature to no more than 1.5C. The responsibility falling on business to play its part – and therefore on individual business managers – is great. Following up from COP26 at Glasgow, we asked our members to write about how they are changing their business models to adapt to the demands of a zero-carbon future. This issue is about much more than firms blowing their own trumpet; it shows the breadth and depth of the changes that are facing business in the short, medium and long term.

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What does it mean to act responsibly?

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Poland, Anna Clunes, talks exclusively to Contact Magazine Online about the implications of COP26 on British-Polish relations as governments around the world seek to deliver on their pledges made at the climate-change summit


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Connecting tomorrow’s power-generators and power-users

Bartłomiej Zgryzek, vice-chairman and member of the board of directors at TELE-FONIKA Kable S.A., talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about the plans of Poland’s national champion in the power-cable sector and the firm’s strategic importance in energy transformation


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Greener approaches to corporate banking

The BPCC’s Michael Dembinski talks to Dariusz Kucharski, CEO, and Piotr Dmuchowski, treasurer and head of markets, HSBC in Poland, about the bank’s role in financing the green transformation


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Less carbon, less water, less waste – helping Polish homes go green

Sébastien Krysiak, Castorama Polska’s CEO, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about how Poland’s largest chain of home-improvement stores is working with its customers for a greener world


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Building environmentally and socially friendly spaces

Adam Targowski, environmental director at Skanska’s commercial development business unit in CEE, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about being an ethical developer pays off – and will pay off even more in the future

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

The BPCC Sustainability Interest Group

By Jan J. Kluk OBE, KCPR, FRSA

Because of the publicity around the COP26 conference hosted by the UK government, in Glasgow, the use of the word ‘sustainability’ has increased in frequency. But ‘Sustainability’ must surely be much more than a buzzword. More than just ‘greenwashing’.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Is commercial property the easiest real estate sector to green?

By Mat Oakley, head of European Commercial Research, Savills

Of the all the major real estate sectors, commercial property should be, in theory, the easiest to ‘green’. Historically held by institutional landlords who have access to the funds and firepower to implement large-scale change, and with pressure rising from their stakeholders to improve their ESG performance, commercial property – unlike the residential sector – has to ‘only’ implement change across tens of thousands of different assets, instead of tens of millions.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Tackling the climate emergency: SEGRO’s responsible strategy for a lower carbon future

By Waldemar Witczak, regional director, SEGRO

The real-estate sector is a significant contributor to carbon emissions through the construction and operation of buildings. So responsible development and decarbonisation could be a real game-changer to help address global climate change. In line with this idea, one of the largest players in the European warehousing industry, SEGRO, has included long-term sustainability targets in the latest review of its business strategy. The company also set itself the goal to become net-zero carbon by 2030. In addition to achieving and maintaining the lowest CO2 footprint possible, its Responsible SEGRO framework also outlines how the company will invest in local communities and nurture talent to ensure it can be a force for societal and environmental good.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Helping the region’s cities develop sustainably

Warsaw is the first city in Poland to have joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Green Cities programme. As such, Poland’s capital and largest city is currently finalising a tailor-made strategic action plan, which will help it in its journey towards becoming climate neutral by 2050.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Building a green school

By Tom McGrath, principal, British Primary School of Wilanow

From an ecological point of view there are many contradictions in the very nature of international schools. Their growth is linked to the globalisation of the economy; the movement of goods and services across our planet that contribute to carbon emissions. Schools themselves often have pupils who commute distances, many of whom are driven to school, and of course, school buildings consume electricity, gas and water, utilities that also add to the carbon footprint.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Decarbonisation – an opportunity for all

By Agnieszka Gajewska, partner at PwC, Global Government & Public Services leader, CEE ESG Leader, and Anna Kowalewska, vice director at PwC

Somewhere between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years – that was the cost that US secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen cited in her COP26 keynote speech for financing the global transition to net zero. This price tag presents a staggering challenge for mature markets, let alone for developing ones. While investing in sustainable transformation  can provide a much-needed stimulus to economies, countries around the world are already under unprecedented fiscal pressure after Covid-19.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

The European Green Deal and COP26

By Sandra Sekuła-Barańska, senior associate, Environmental Protection, Dentons

The European Green Deal and COP26 – what are they and why they are so important?

Between 31 October and 12 November in Glasgow, the 26th annual conference took place called within the UN’s series of Conference of the Parties. As such, COP26 was a global event about climate change with more than 200 countries taking part. World leaders of the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994 were in attendance. During the summit, participating countries discussed goals and actions they are willing to take to combat the adverse climate change.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

COP26 and the Polish energy predicament

By Félix Goodenough, political and public affairs consultant, development officer for Central and Northern Europe, FairValue Corporate & Public Affairs

Poland backtracks on coal phasing-out commitment

COP26 was regarded by many as a last-chance saloon for reinforcing global pledges to mitigate climate change and accelerate the transition towards greener and more sustainable energy sources. From global leaders, NGOs and businesses to journalists, lobbyists, negotiators and protesters, over 20,000 attendees were present to discuss the environmental emergency facing the world. In the words of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who inaugurated the open ceremony: “It’s one minute to midnight on that Doomsday clock and we need to act now”.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

EU poised to issue sweeping new due diligence Directive

By Randy Mott JD, director for EAME, CHWMEG Inc.

Earlier this year, the European Parliament approved a sweeping new Directive requiring due diligence on supply chains for every company operating in the EU with more than 250 employees1. The proposal is expected to be finalised this month and may be modified somewhat due to strong business opposition.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Green taxes

By Monika Marta Dziedzic, tax advisor, legal advisor, partner and leader of International Tax Law and Green Taxation teams at MDDP Michalik Dłuska Dziedzic & Partners

The EU wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. At the 2021 Green Taxation Event with Paolo Gentiloni, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, the EU indicated that it wants tax changes to support climate protection. What are green taxes? These form a whole system of public statutory obligations that burden activities which have a negative impact on the environment, and provide incentives to promote sustainable solutions. Together they form a group of tools  from different areas of tax law and other public obligations aimed at reaching climate and environmental goals. What areas and spheres of economic and civic life are they intended to address?

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

COP26 accelerates zero-emission vehicles

By Igor Hanas, adwokat, partner and Damian Brudzyński, adwokat trainee, Energy practice, Wardyński & Partners

As COP26 has come to an end, the Glasgow Climate Pact signatories agreed that mitigation remains one of the overarching tools necessary to keep the Paris Agreement goals in reach, especially the need to limit global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. The mitigation goal can be translated into a few crucial areas, where immediate, robust, and coordinated action between governments and business is needed if the adverse effects of climate change are to be stopped. Speeding up the switch to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) has been named one of those.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

DHL powers up its offering for electric-vehicle logistics


With increasing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads, new demand is growing for battery logistics – the transportation and storage of the batteries used to power EVs. This requires different processes and infrastructure to that used in the fossil-fuel powered automotive supply chain.

A new initiative – DHL EV TV – is intended to help DHL’s clients prepare for the change in automotive logistics, as DHL applies its expertise to EV supply chains. Deutsche Post DHL Group will invest €7 billion in climate-neutral logistics by 2030 as part of its Sustainability Roadmap.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

QR codes can boost organisational performance and help fight climate change

By Bartosz Wszeborowski, advocate, Michal Bodziony, junior associate and Kinga Ciosk, paralegal at PCS Paruch Chruściel Schiffter Stępień | Littler Global

New technologies are entering into the daily operations of companies at an ever-accelerating pace. Employers reach for new technological solutions not only by ubiquitous digitalisation, but also by concern for ecology. Many companies attach significant importance to raising environmental awareness of their employees. Through pro-environmental activities they strengthen the sense of responsibility for the environment among their staff.

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Polluters beware – climate lawyers are coming for you!

The COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow has kindled great hopes in the fight against the climate crisis, and the public were hoping for specific declarations and commitments supported by detailed dates. The decisions made at the conference represent the required good direction of change, but are far from the turning point that will make it possible to effectively halt global warming.

Green Blog

COP26 – after the party, the fallout

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor of the BPCC

The delegates have gone home, the headlines have been written, the media moves on to the next big story. But climate change isn’t going away; our chimneys and exhaust pipes are still belching greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Green Blog

Car fleets, driving to work and ESG

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor of the BPCC

Companies need cars to get their people around – or do they? Conventional wisdom is that the bigger the company, the bigger the fleet – and the higher the position of the employee within the organisation, the grander the car.

Green Blog

Communicating the Green Imperative within your firm

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor of the BPCC

Whose responsibility is it to curb greenhouse-gas emissions - governments’? Businesses’? Or billions of individual consumers through their daily actions?

Green Blog

How green is your office?

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor of the BPCC

If you can’t measure it – you can’t manage it. But where do you start?

Your heart sinks as you re-read that email from corporate HQ.

Green Blog

The Green Canteen

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor of the BPCC

Several years ago, well before the pandemic, I was in London at the UK headquarters of an international bank. After the meeting, I was invited for lunch at the staff canteen. Thinking back, it felt like stepping into the future.