Supporting Sustainable Development Goals

Business and its activities play an increasingly important role in how we achieve our sustainable development goals from a global perspective.

The importance of the participation of companies in this process is emphasized, among others, by The United Nations, which together with its member states in 2015 announced 17 key themes (SDG) necessary to be completed by 2030 so that we can recognize that our planet is developing in a sustainable way, i.e. safe for us and future generations. These goals focus on three elements: responsible economic growth, inclusive society and environmental protection. In the 2020 Ranking of Responsible Businesses, PGE Group was named, for the third time, as leader of responsible business in the fuel, energy and mining industries and placed fifth in the overall ranking. As PGE Group, we are taking action in each of the 17 SDG areas.

PGE Group’s new strategy names four of them that are of special importance to us. These are:

PGE-goals-ONZ-ENG-01 PGE-goals-ONZ-ENG-01

Examples of activities:

Goal 7. Affordable and clean energy

  1. Offshore Program
  2. PV Program
  3. Other RES investments

Goal 12. Responsible consumption and production

  1. Circular economy
  2. Water management
  3. Educational program

Goal 11. Sustainable cities and communities

  1. Air quality
  2. Just Transition for Bełchatów and Turów
  3. Support for high culture

Goal 13. Climate action

  1. Investments towards climate neutrality
  2. Modernisation of generation assets
  3. Land rehabilitation

Descriptions of activities:

Goal 7. Affordable and clean energy

PGE Group’s long-term aspiration is climate neutrality and transition to 100% green energy for customers by 2050. Renewable sources are a key element in the transition, driving carbon dioxide emission reductions and increasing the share of renewable energy in the National Power System.

The PGE Group is running a programme for the construction of offshore wind farms. By 2030, the PGE Group will have built 2.5 GW of offshore wind farms within the framework of the strategic partnership with the global leader of the sector, the Danish company Ørsted. The construction of the Baltica 2 and Baltica 3 farms will mark the beginning of the PGE Group’s development in the offshore wind energy sector. Another offshore wind farm, Baltica 1, with a capacity of 0.9 GW, is to be commissioned after 2030. Taking into account the scale of planned investments, the PGE Group plans to develop its potential to independently operate and maintain offshore wind farms.

We are running a programme for the development of the Group’s photovoltaic installations whose strategic goal is to achieve 3 GW of solar power capacity by 2030 and ensure that the PGE Group is the leader in the development of photovoltaic power plants in Poland. In 2020, PGE Energia Odnawialna commissioned four one-megawatt photovoltaic farms: PV Lesko, PV Bliskowice, PV Lutol 1 and PV Lutol 2.

As part of the PGE Group’s programme for the construction of photovoltaic installations, preparatory works are underway for the first stage of the construction of photovoltaic farms on the premises of the Bełchatów Power Plant. Eventually, by the end of 2025, PGE will have built installations with a total capacity of over 600 MW in the Bełchatów area.

In the second quarter of 2020, we completed the project of building two onshore wind farms (Karnice II and Rybice/Starza) with a total combined rated capacity of 97 MW. PGE’s victory in a RES auction ensured the stability of the installation’s revenue and its economic viability. The windmills included in the project are located in the Zachodniopomorskie province.

PGE acquired the already functioning Skoczykłody Wind Farm. The farm is located in the Łódzkie province and its capacity equals 36 MW. It consists of twelve three-megawatt turbines. The efficiency of the farm reaches nearly 32 percent and the annual generation is close to 100 GWh.

Another project supporting the development of renewable energy sources was the commissioning of Poland’s first electricity storage facility using Tesla Powerpack modules in Rzepedź, Podkarpackie province. The installation was designed to support the reliability of the local distribution network. The container-based energy storage facility was built under the Innovative Network Services project.

Goal 11. Sustainable cities and communities


The development of district heating is positively contributing to better air quality, which is why PGE is prioritising this segment. District heating networks are one of the most effective ways of combating smog, which is a problem in many Polish cities, particularly in the autumn-winter season. Research shows that, depending on the location, one of the main sources of smog is individual heating of buildings using low-quality fuels. In a district heating system, heat is generated in highly efficient heat-and-power plants equipped with effective denitrogenation, desulphurisation and dust filtration systems rather than in home furnaces. The cogeneration process also produces electricity, which means that the energy contained in the fuel is processed and used in a more efficient manner.

In our operations, we place great emphasis on working with local authorities to tackle the smog problem together and improve the quality of air for residents.

PGE is the largest producer and supplier of district heating. PGE Energia Ciepła produces and supplies network heat to approx. 2 million customers in large cities, including Kraków, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Wrocław, Rzeszów, Lublin, Bydgoszcz and Kielce. The company also has a presence in Toruń, Zielona Góra, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Zgierz and Siechnice near Wrocław, where it also distributes heat to end customers. In these cities, heat is supplied to customers over a 640-kilometre heating network.

PGE plans to manage the networks at two-thirds of our heat-and-power plants by 2023. In the district heating segment, we are transitioning heating sources toward low- and zero-emissions (by 2030, their share will exceed 70% of the heat output) and at the same time we will be encouraging people to connect individual heat sources to the grid or replace them with eco-friendly solutions. By 2030, we will have replaced more than 100 000 individual heating sources.

Read more


We are aware of the challenges that will come with the planned transition, which is why we are already preparing to fill in the gap that will be left over after conventional energy. Projects planned for the first phase of Bełchatów’s transition amount to nearly PLN 5 billion.

The most pressing challenge in the HR area currently is to prepare employees for the process of sustainable transition. This is the key objective of the new human resources management strategy, which PGE Group companies were invited to formulate. A working team was formed to develop solutions that correspond to the challenges faced by each of the Group’s operating segments on the basis of conclusions drawn from a detailed analysis of business strategy.

We are a partner to local communities, we listen to their needs and take them into account in our sustainable transition plans. We want businesses and employees in the energy industry as well as the residents of coal regions to constitute a part of the entire transition process and to actively participate in it.

We strive to make sure that just transition is carried out in line with good practices in change management, which emphasise coordination, long-term planning and multi-dimensional collaboration between social, business and local partners and the government. PGE has prepared a transition concept that comprehensively presents a plan for investment projects along with justification and time-frames. Accomplishing this ambitious plan depends on the engagement of numerous entities, also at the national level – as it exceeds PGE Group’s individual capabilities.

The plan includes projects such as:

  • a thermal waste transformation plant with energy recovery and a capacity of 180,000 tonnes of waste per year
  • three wind farm projects with a capacity of about 100 MW
  • photovoltaic farms with a capacity of about 600 MW
  • energy storage facilities with a capacity of up to 300 MW
  • a RES technology centre based on the assets of the current support companies, which are to transform themselves into entities specialising in renewable energy projects
  • a competencies development centre – a programme dedicated to employees of the power plant and the lignite mine who, due to their age, will not be able to acquire retirement entitlements before the complex is shut down

Just Transition – Bełchatów Region 2050

The just transition concept provides for the transformation of the Bełchatów region, whose local economy is based on conventional energy, into a region of energy production from zero- and low-carbon sources. In this way, the region will remain an important centre on the map of Poland’s power generation sector. In order to carry out a multifaceted transformation process in a fully responsible manner, aid will have to be obtained, as the scale of necessary projects exceeds the financial capabilities of Polish companies.

Currently, on the part of PGE, a working team for the Turów complex transformation programme is engaged in developing a coherent and complete concept of actions aimed at the transformation of the Turów lignite mine and power plant. Among various feasible undertakings, the following projects are being taken into consideration:

  • the construction of photovoltaic farms with a capacity of about 100 MW
  • the construction of wind farms with a capacity of up to 150 MW
  • the construction of energy storage facilities
  • the construction of a new CHP plant for the district heating network in Bogatynia
Read more


Support for Polish high culture is an important element of PGE’s involvement in the promotion of Polish music and the preservation of Polish traditions. Supporting 13 philharmonic orchestras across Poland, the PGE Group is one of the most recognisable patrons of high culture in the country. PGE has been supporting the National Philharmonic in Warsaw for a long time and since 2012 it has carried the honorary title of the Patron of the Year.

PGE Energia Ciepła, a company from the PGE Capital Group, has assumed patronage of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Cracow, the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, the Toruń Symphony Orchestra, the Tadeusz Baird Philharmonic in Zielona Góra, the A. Malawski Podkarpacka Philharmonic in Rzeszów, the Gorzów Philharmonic – the Centre for Artistic Education, the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce, Opera NOVA in Bydgoszcz and the Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic in Lublin. Meanwhile, PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna is the patron of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin, The Józefa Elsnera Philharmonic in Opole. Thanks to PGE’s patronage, the philharmonics are able to organise concerts of the highest quality and to host the most outstanding artists.

Goal 12. Responsible consumption and production


One of the factors influencing the achievement of climate neutrality by the PGE Group by 2050 is the implementation of the principles of a circular economy in all areas of activity.

PGE follows the principles of a circular economy, seeking the widest possible applications for the generated by-products of combustion. Closing the circulation of raw materials and increasing the degree of their utilisation is an important process in the PGE Group due to the growing importance of efficient use of resources, reduction of waste generation in favour of by-products and minimisation of environmental impact.

By-products of combustion are the result of electricity and heat production in power generation units fired with fossil fuels. The management of combustion by-products in the PGE Group, based on the circular economy principles, leads to the use of waste as valuable substances in other branches of the economy (the cement, construction, road building and mining industries), and in consequence to a reduction in the volume of final waste. In 2020 alone, a total of 4.33 million tonnes of valuable commercial materials, including ash, slag and gypsum from flue gas desulphurisation systems, were generated in power plants and combined heat and power plants belonging to the PGE Group during the production of electricity and heat.

In connection with the application of calcium-based flue gas desulphurisation methods in power plants and combined heat and power plants belonging to the PGE Group, synthetic gypsum is produced, which turns out to be a good substitute for natural gypsum, and the majority of the substance’s components (99 percent) are compounds identical to mineral substances of natural origin. In 2020 alone, 2.43 million tonnes of gypsum from flue gas desulphurisation systems were produced in the PGE power plants and combined heat and power plants.

By-products of combustion are also used in the rehabilitation and macro-levelling of post-industrial and degraded land, restoring many areas to their former landscape and natural conditions. They are also widely used in the mining industry to protect the structural integrity of pits.

Combustion by-products of the Circular Economy

Tasks in the field of circular economy are planned within the companies dedicated to support and conduct activities in the field of waste and combustion by-products management, i.e. PGE Ekoserwis sp. z o.o. and Epore sp. z.o.o.

Waste-to-energy incineration systems are also aligned with the circular economy concept. They are an essential element of sustainable economy as they reduce waste landfilling by thermally processing waste into electricity and heat.

Thermal Waste Processing with Energy Recovery (TWPER) plant in the city of Rzeszów is located on the premises of the existing combined heat and power plant, in the direct vicinity of the reloading base as well as the sorting and composting plant of the Municipal Utilities Enterprise. This allows a controlled and safe recovery of energy from municipal waste and the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat. The applied technology is environmentally safe, modern and proven in over 300 cities around the world. Thanks to the use of state-of-the-art filters, the TWPER plant meets the strictest EU requirements for environmental standards. It is also a major step towards the complete elimination of landfill in the region.

Two new investment projects will be realised by PGE Energia Ciepła as part of the circular economy initiative:

  • the second line in the TWPER plant in Rzeszów
  • a TWPER plant on the premises of the Bełchatów Power Plant.

Both projects are currently at the preparatory stage and are to be launched in the years 2023-2024.

Oil management is an example of using the principles of a circular economy in the PGE Group companies. Necessary for the correct functioning of hydro- and turbine-sets, oil is treated and purified for reuse on an ongoing basis. Systems are in place to minimise oil consumption and maximise oil reuse (e.g. systems for filtering and capturing oil vapour, leakproof oil sumps, separators and oil separators).

Read more


We are aware of limited water resources and spares no effort to use them in a sustainable manner. In our operations, it uses water responsibly for the benefit of the entire ecosystem.

For technological purposes, water from surface water intakes is used and subsequently undergoes purification and treatment processes, with the exception of the Szczecin CHP plant which uses internal sea water. In order to reduce raw water consumption, closed circuits are used and used process water and wastewater are introduced to other processes. Wastewater generated by production operations in power plants and cogeneration plants undergoes treatment, including multi-stage treatment, and is then discharged to surface waters or transferred to municipal enterprises.

Depending on environmental conditions, the branches utilise appropriate water treatment and wastewater treatment technologies to ensure compliance with all environmental requirements. Adaptation to the requirements of the BAT conclusions in PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna means also the reduction of emissions to water from flue gas purification systems utilised in the process of electricity generation. In this respect, wastewater treatment plants undergo modernisation and extension processes.

The planned industrial wastewater treatment plant will be based on modern, highly efficient membrane technologies such as microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The efficiency of reverse osmosis is approximately 96-98 percent, which means that over 96 percent of all pollutants will be retained in the process. This will be the first in Poland and one of few in the European Union such a wide application of the aforementioned technologies in the field of wastewater treatment.

In PGE Energia Ciepła, both surface and underground water is used to produce process water. Several plants also use water from municipal water supply systems. Depending on the size of the plant, the source and composition of raw water, different water preparation techniques are used, such as lime softening, filtration, ion exchange, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and electrodeionisation. In each case, the complete water preparation sequence consists of a combination of several of the above techniques.

Many wastewater streams generated in the course of water preparation are returned to the process. An example of this is reuse of filter washings, water recovered from post-softening sludge, concentrates from reverse osmosis or electrodialysis processes, or regenerated brine from the softening process. As far as its composition allows it, wastewater generated in other installations is also returned to the process. Examples of this include the following:

  • returning so-called hot wastewater as a source for the water preparation process,
  • using frequently rainwater or drainage water for water production,
  • returning treated wastewater coming from the desulphurisation process to the desulphurisation process if its composition meets the required criteria, which directly depends on the quality of combusted coal,
  • using part of domestic wastewater after treatment as a source of water to replenish losses in the closed cooling system (Kraków CHP Plant). Work is underway to use treated wastewater from the municipal treatment plant as a source of process water,
  • using wastewater as a source of water for process water systems or for replenishing water in ash and slag removal systems.

Diagram of the water cycle in the processes of electricity and heat production in the PGE Group.

The PGE Group companies that do not conduct production processes use water only for current administrative needs.

Read more


Building ecological awareness among the youngest, teaching them how heat is generated and where electricity comes from is very important for us.

In September 2020, PGE Energia Ciepła launched a new educational project for children from forms I-III of primary schools called “The Adventures of Ciepłosław the Cat”. The action enjoys the honorary patronage of the Minister of National Education. As part of the programme, 5 lesson scenarios, 3 educational games, 20 online workshop tasks and 5 animated films were prepared. All participating schools were invited to join a competition to create a comic strip about the adventures of Ciepłosław the Cat related to heat.

In the first two months of 2020, an educational campaign entitled “Safe Energy” was conducted among young children by employees of PGE Dystrybucja. This action has a long tradition and takes various forms in the company’s branches. However, its objective is one and the same: to teach children how to use electricity safely and economically. Children visit field units and learn about the work of power technicians and engineers in various areas, power dispatching or power emergency services. Sometimes power technicians and engineers visit schools and kindergartens and tell children where electricity comes from, what its sources are, how to use electricity safely and how to behave near power equipment. Through such meetings, children learn the emergency number for the electricity service and when to call it.

Power technicians and engineers from PGE Dystrybucja have been organising “Safe Lessons” for for over a dozen years. A special attraction for younger children is the opportunity to try on elements of an electrician’s uniform and to inspect a vehicle used by the power emergency service. “Lessons” are an opportunity to not only learn about the secrets of the work of electricians, but also provide a large dose of knowledge, and at the same time to have fun and participate in quizzes with prizes. Such meetings are often conducted in cooperation with the police, municipal police or firefighters, thus extending the scope of safety prevention to other areas.

Read more

Goal 13. Climate action


The PGE Group’s investments will focus on renewable energy generation, the transformation of heat generation and the network infrastructure. The Group will not make new investments in (either generation or extraction) coal and lignite assets, and investment decisions concerning the construction of gas sources will be taken no later than in 2025. The total planned capital expenditures in the years 2021-2030 will amount to approximately PLN 75bn, of which approximately 50 percent. will be allocated to the development of renewable energy sources (offshore and onshore wind farms, photovoltaics, zero-emission co-generation sources). Another important area of capital expenditures will be regulated activities, including the grid infrastructure and low-emission co-generation sources.

PGE Group investments until 2050

In 2020, the RES portfolio was expanded by nearly 140 MW, mainly in the form of wind assets, but also by four one-megawatt photovoltaic installations in the Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Lubuskie provinces. In total, the PGE Group already has over 1.1 GW of installed capacity in RES, of which nearly 700 MW comes from wind farms.

The implementation of RES projects will contribute to the diversification of the PGE Group’s fuel mix, an increase in installed capacity in renewable energy sources, and thus the implementation of the EU climate policy.

The majority of investments in the area of electricity distribution in 2020 was related to the modernisation and development of the medium- and low-voltage electricity network and the construction of transformer stations. These investments will allow an increase in the connection capacity of the distribution network, including for renewable energy sources, as well as an improvement in electricity outage rates and a further reduction of network losses. The energy efficiency of electricity equipment is increased by replacing transformers and purchasing metering equipment, including modern electricity meters. Renewable energy sources constitute an important element of sustainable development bringing about measurable economic and ecological effects. In 2020, 157,000 renewable energy micro-installations were connected to the PGE Dystrybucja network, which was over two and a half times more than in 2019 and over 8 times more than in 2018. The installed capacity is almost 950 MW, which is almost three times more than in 2019, and almost nine times more than in 2018. These actions are important from the point of view of the planned reduction of energy production from conventional sources and constitute an integral part of the implementation of positive actions in the context of climate change prevention.

In order to fully utilise the potential of distributed sources and ensure safe operation of the system, it is necessary to modernise the grid and build energy storage facilities (plans provide for at least 800 MW by 2030).

The heat generation sector is currently in a period of transition as well. The key directions of change are diversification of the fuel mix and investments in cogeneration. As the leader of the heat market in Poland, PGE Energia Ciepła also wants to be the leader of the transition in the heat generation sector.

The company is focused on increasing the share of renewable energy sources in heat generation. It analyses innovative solutions whose application aims at achieving climate policy objectives in a sustainable manner. In view of the growing expectations of customers and society as well as supporting the achievement of national and international climate policy targets, PGE Energia Ciepła is replacing coal-fired sources with new low-carbon sources fired with gas or oil. The company builds new generation units characterised by greater operational flexibility and reliability.

Read more


We are a leader in the transformation and modernization of the energy sector in Poland. We conduct systematic activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Specific emissions of carbon dioxide are being systematically reduced. This is the result of asset modernisation and development investments. Each year high capital expenditures are allocated for this purpose. Among other things, combustion processes are being optimised and solutions are being introduced to improve generation efficiency, increase effectiveness of fuel and raw material use and reduce energy intensity of generation processes and auxiliary purposes.

The Bełchatów Power Plant is a significant point source of greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the fact that it is the largest unit in Poland and in the world generating electricity based on the combustion of lignite, which causes the accumulation of emissions in one location and their significant absolute values. It should be emphasised that in 2020 the Bełchatów Power Plant reduced its CO2 emissions by 15 percent compared to those in 2012. In this period, CO2 emissions decreased by approximately 5 million tonnes.

Depending on the location, the modernisation programmes cover different scopes of adaptation works. Besides those concerning adaptation to the requirements of the BAT Conclusions, it is possible to distinguish modernisation projects that had a positive impact on the efficiency of generation and thus on energy efficiency. Lower consumption of electricity means lower CO2 emissions. In 2020, the modernisation of units 1-3 in the Turów Power Plant was completed. In addition to adaptation to the indicated emission parameters, an improvement in electricity generation efficiency of approximately 2 percent was achieved for each unit. This reduced the amount of lignite fired to generate the same volume of electricity. In the case of the Bełchatów and Turów lignite mines, the sources of CO2 emissions are related to operational activities and concern mainly transport and fugitive emissions. Both branches ensure that a rational transport policy is pursued on their premises and with regard to business trips and employee commuting. Reduction of fugitive emissions is mainly based on extensive fogging and sprinkling systems, as well as closures of sites generating large volumes of dust.

Read more


We restore the usefulness and natural character of post-mining areas in order to recreate their previous environmental features or shape new ones. The effects of the performed rehabilitation works contribute first of all to the improvement of the quality of basic environmental components, i.e. air, water and soil. Fugitive emissions of dust from the waste rock dump decrease in parallel to the growth of the afforested areas.

The types (forest, water, agricultural, municipal, industrial) and methods of rehabilitation must be in line with the local land development plan. Another important element is properly selected technical solutions and the quality of work to be performed. The deadline for completing rehabilitation works is also significant.

The post-mining areas of the Bełchatów Lignite Mine are being rehabilitated primarily as forest land. It can be provisionally estimated that about 5,500 ha (including protective strips of land around water reservoirs) will be eventually made available for afforestation purposes.

The total area of 2,296 ha was rehabilitated from the beginning of the project until the end of 2020. So far, the Bełchatów Lignite Mine has handed over more than 1,500 hectares of rehabilitated and afforested land to the State Forests.

Mount Kamieńsk is a flagship example of comprehensive land rehabilitation activities conducted by PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna. At 395 m above sea level, it is the highest hill in central Poland. It was formed from 1,354 billion m3 of overburden taken off in the process of stripping successive layers of lignite. At present, it is one of the main tourist attractions in central Poland. A ski lift, hiking and cycling routes and a 620-metre long sledge run make Mount Kamieńsk an important point on the map of summer and winter sports enthusiasts.

The company also completed the formation of a second dump, this time at the Szczerców Field. This process took 17 years and resulted in the creation of a “twin” Mount Kamieńsk. The dump was formed from almost 1 billion m3 of overburden covering lignite deposits. Currently, the mountain has a surface area of 1114 ha and a relative height of approximately 170 m. By the end of 2020, more than 4 million trees had been planted on the mountain as part of the rehabilitation process, thus ensuring the area’s biodiversity. The rehabilitation of the dump aims at its afforestation, taking into account the recreational function based on forests, cycle paths, a golf course, autodrome, hippodrome and a ski slope. A photovoltaic farm will also be built at the top of the mountain.

In the case of the Turów Lignite Mine, the rehabilitation of the external waste rock dump, which has been carried out since the 1960s, is aimed at the afforestation of the area. The rehabilitated external dump of the Turów Lignite Mine Branch is a forest complex with the surface area of over 21 km2, which, apart from possessing attractive landscape features, constitutes an invaluable oxygen generating area of the Bogatynia commune. It is also a diverse natural environment where habitats and ecological corridors are created.

Land rehabilitation activities are also carried out by the company PGE Energia Ciepła. After the termination of operations at a given landfill, the landfill is formally closed and subsequently undergoes the process of green rehabilitation. Vegetation is introduced, grass covers are made and trees are planted. Where possible, measures are planned to restore the economic functions of particular areas.

In the case of PGE Energia Odnawialna, the technological processes, operation of equipment and current investment projects do not cause interference with the biodiversity of protected areas. The green areas in the possession of the company are maintained by dedicated maintenance teams. There are also Special Areas of Conservation Nature 2000 in the vicinity of the company’s facilities. PGE Energia Odnawialna participates in the costs of restocking rivers and lakes with fish in accordance with the provisions of water permits, and constructed fish ladders enable unimpeded fish migration.

Read more

Search results