Natural capital


The ORLEN Group uses renewable and non-renewable natural resources in its operations. All our business activities are carried out in a responsible manner, with due consideration to the effects of current and future environmental impacts.

Key facts about the capital

  • In production processes we use renewable resources (air, water, esters, bioethanol) and non-renewable ones (crude oil, natural gas and auxiliary chemicals)
  • In 2019, the ORLEN Group used:
m tonnes of crude oil
tonnes of esters
m3 of water
tonnes of bioethanol
  • The ORLEN Group is potentially the largest gas consumer in Poland and one of the largest in the Czech Republic and Lithuania; natural gas is used by the Group in the production of heat, electricity, fuels and fertilizers; in Poland, the ORLEN Group’s combined potential for natural gas consumption exceeds 3bn Nm3 per year, accounting for approximately 20% of total domestic consumption
  • The ORLEN Group has 2P crude oil and natural gas reserves in Poland and Canada, amounting to 197.3 mboe at the end of 2019
  • ORLEN Group’s upstream assets: at the end of 2019, the ORLEN Group was the sole owner or a joint owner (with PGNiG) of 20 exploration and appraisal licences with a total area of more than 13,500 square kilometres in Poland, spread over six provinces, and held exploration and production assets spanning 1,100 square kilometres in Alberta, Canada
  • ORLEN Group’s production plants and fuel terminals in Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania cover an area of over 3,900 hectares

The capital managment

  • We take care to ensure that our production processes are environmentally friendly: our environmental projects involved adaptation of plant and process units to new environmental requirements and standards defined in the EU regulations and BAT Conclusions. Those efforts include also administrative work to have the terms of the integrated permits for the Group’s plants amended, as well as capex projects related to the production plant and equipment.
  • We identify the environmental aspects of our technological processes, and we seek to minimise their impacts on the natural environment and human life and health.
  • We comply with the requirements stipulated under integrated permits secured for our installations.
  • We effectively manage carbon emission allowances.
  • We implement investment projects to adapt process units to new environmental requirements and standards.
  • We ensure effective water and wastewater management.
  • We effectively manage soil remediation.
  • We invest in low- and zero-emission technologies and RES.
  • We engage in initiatives that promote environmental awareness and social responsibility.
  • We provide access to information on the environmental impact of our operations and on efforts taken to improve workplace health and safety standards and implement best practices of the Responsible Care Programme.

For more information on natural capital management, see ‘Environment and climate’.


2019 2018
Total withdrawal of surface water, groundwater and mains water [million m3] 94.1 90.3
Surface water [million m3] 89.1 85.7
Groundwater [million m3] 1.6 1.5
Mains water [million m3] 3.4 3.0
Effluents discharged to the environment, including: [million m3] 50.9 50,7
Industrial wastewater [million m3] 44.4 44.0
Summary of selected substances: [tonnes] 15,971,785 15,061,640
Sulfur dioxide [tonnes] 17,250 18,290
NOx [tonnes] 9,824 10,664
Carbon monoxide [tonnes] 5,400 4,559
Particulate matter [tonnes] 888 1,088
Carbon dioxide (including EU ETS) [tonnes] 15,919,204 15,010,150
Other substances [tonnes] 19,218 16,889
Waste [‘000
220.5 169
  • The total spending on environmental projects by all ORLEN Group companies in 2019 amounted to EUR 40.5m, of which almost EUR 36.9m was spent on projects involving pollution control measures and environmental protection management, while the costs of reducing emissions into the air and in wastewater totalled EUR 3.6m.
  • Key projects in 2019:

In 2019, PKN ORLEN’s key projects included preparations for the utilisation of used lye from the Płock production plant in the context of environmental regulations, construction of Claus and SCOT units for gaseous hydrogen sulfide treatment, adaptation of fuel gas metering systems for monitoring of CO2 emissions, air-tight sealing and elimination of malodorous and hydrocarbon substances from the averaging device and wastewater inflow and outflow channels.

For more information on environmental projects implemented at PKN ORLEN’s distribution facilities and other ORLEN Group companies, ‘Capital expenditure on environmental protection’ .

How natural capital interacts with other capitals

Production activities, which entail the use of non-renewable energy sources, emissions, waste and wastewater generation, exert an impact on natural capital. Reducing its environmental footprint and climate impact is one of the ORLEN Group’s top priorities. Activities undertaken by the ORLEN Group in this domain contribute to the development of other capitals, including the intellectual and production capitals.

We install EV chargers at Motorway Service Areas, adapt Motorway Service Areas to new e-mobility needs, invest in bio-refineries, test innovative biofuel production technologies and prepare our organisation to become a strategic player in hydrogen production and use for transport and power generation. Because refining and petrochemical production are energy-intensive, decarbonisation of electricity and heat consumed is an important measure in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. PKN ORLEN already uses electricity and heat generated by two CCGT units (the CCGT plant in Włocławek was the first commercial power unit in Poland fuelled with natural gas), and cogeneration is among the most efficient forms of energy production. Additionally, the Company plans to build offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and further expand its presence in the green energy sector.

In 2019, the Warsaw Stock Exchange launched a new index – WIG-ESG, with environmental impact as a key criterion in company assessment.

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