GRI indicators:


Air emissions are monitored through periodic or continuous measurements, so actual emissions of particular substances are controlled on an ongoing basis.

Substances accounting for the largest percentage of total air emissions from the ORLEN Group’s installations include: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and dioxide, as well as particulate matter. They are generated mainly from the combustion of fuels to produce electricity and heat, as well as in the refining and chemical processes. There are also volatile organic compound emissions and other process-specific emissions.

Total ORLEN Group’s air emissions, including of carbon dioxide, reached 15,971,785 Mg in 2019.

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Air emissions of all ORLEN  Group companies, by type of substance

Substance Emissions [Mg]
2019 2018 change %
Sulfur dioxide 17,250 18,290 (5.68)
NOx 9,824 10,664 (7.88)
Carbon monoxide 5,400 4,559 18.46
Particulate matter 888 1,088 (18.40)
Total 33,363 34,601 (3.58)
Carbon dioxide 15,919,204 15,010,150 6.06
Other substances 19,218 16,889 13.79
Total emissions 15,971,785 15,061,640 6.04

The increase in oxygen monoxide and dioxide emissions was partly due to emissions from ANWIL’s ammonia production unit that occurred under non-standard conditions, as well as the full-year operation of the CCGT unit in Płock. The higher emission levels of other substances were attributable to methane emissions from the shut-down and start-up of the ammonia production unit.

CO2 emissions of ORLEN Group companies by source – Scope 1 emissions

Emission source CO2 emissions [Mg] CO2 emissions [Mg]
2019 2018
Technological processes 10,632,781 10,574,540
Power generation 5,283,822 4,433,655
Other processes 2,601 1,955

Other emission sources include fugitive emissions other than from process units, including air emissions from combustion of fuel in combustion engines.

An example of solutions limiting the impact on the environment is the construction of flue gas waste heat recovery equipment at the DRW VI unit at the PKN ORLEN production plant in Płock. The purpose of the project is to recover 17 GJ of heat that was formerly irretrievably dissipated and to use it for heating up combustion air. The resulting reduction in fuel consumption will cut down annual CO2 emissions by nearly 8,000 tonnes. Another initiative was the construction of steam generators on the hydrocracking unit and the use of waste heat to produce low pressure steam.

The ORLEN Group commissioned two new gas-fired power generating units, replaced old burners with low-emission ones, and installed flue gas dedusting and desulphurisation equipment.

Management of greenhouse gas emissions

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Direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the ORLEN Group comprise CO2 emissions reported under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). No biogenic CO2 emissions were identified. There are also CO2 emissions not covered by the EU ETS, which totalled 23,692 Mg in 2019.

Greenhouse gas emissions were balanced monthly for the Group’s units which participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The utilisation of the CO2 emission allowance allocations was monitored on an ongoing basis for each unit.

Verified CO2 emissions from ORLEN Group’s EU ETS installations in 2018–2019 [Mg]

Company Actual emissions [Mg] Actual emissions [Mg]
2019 2018
PKN ORLEN S.A. 8,792,971 7,789,688
ANWIL S.A. 978,882 1,000,819
Basell Orlen Polyolefins Sp. z o.o. 41,308 46,283
ORLEN Południe S.A. 121,993 124,713
Public Company ORLEN Lietuva 1,599,384 1,680,865
UNIPETROL RPA s.r.o. 4,162,201 4,089,807
PARAMO a.s. 39,899 42,927
SPOLANA a.s. 158,874 203,618
TOTAL FOR THE GROUP 15,895,512 14,978,720

The results of independent carbon emissions verification were positive for all units of the ORLEN Group.

The Group monitors actual CO2 emissions against its allowances on an ongoing basis, seeking to ensure that it has the required allowance amounts.

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances

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In 2019, ORLEN Group companies emitted 40.92 Mg of the substances referred to in Regulation  No. 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of September 16th 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

Types and quantities of ozone-depleting substances

Substance Emissions [Mg]
2019 2018
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 0.00 2.20
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 5.36 0.42
Tetrachloromethane (carbon tetrachloride) 0.04 0.03
1,1,1-trichloroethane 32.45 33.87
Bromomethane (methyl bromide) 3.07 2.58
TOTAL 40.92 39.10

The substances are used in laboratory and analytical testing, in refrigerating and air conditioning equipment, and as process reagents in the production of chlorine and caustic soda. The CFC11 equivalent of the emissions was 5.44 Mg.

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