Respecting human rights

Respect for human rights underpins both relations within the ORLEN Group and with our external stakeholders. The document that contains guidelines on appropriate attitudes and behaviors is the Code of Ethics. Our priority is to treat all employees and external partners fairly, regardless of age, gender, position, disability, religion, nationality or belief.


  • Goal 5
  • Goal 8
  • Goal 10


Activities related to the area of respect for human rights are carried out mainly in the area of Human Resources.

The Ethics Officer monitors compliance with the ORLEN Group’s Code of Ethics, guarantees that employees, guarantees that employees, employers and all stakeholders can freely report violations, and raises the employees’ awareness of business ethics and ethical standards, and of the importance of their own role in building the ethical corporate culture. The Ethics Officer is elected by PKN ORLEN employees and performs his or her duties without remuneration. The Ethics Officer takes steps to clarify and eliminate behaviours which conflict with the PKN ORLEN values and standards of conduct, and in particular:

  • Provides ongoing support to PKN ORLEN employees with respect to their enquiries and concerns regarding ethical issues, including with respect to employee relations;
  • Guarantees to all stakeholders, in particular the employees, an opportunity to freely report violations of the ORLEN Group’s Code of Ethics on an anonymous basis, using internal communication procedures and channels;
  • Receives, selects and evaluates complaints for legitimacy and materiality; in the case of minor complaints, the Ethics Officer undertakes remedial action on his or her own, while more complex and serious cases are referred to the Secretary of the Human Capital Committee;
  • Informs the parties concerned about the measures taken, with due regard to confidentiality requirements;
  • Prepares, based on the complaints and comments received, an annual report for the Human Capital Committee and suggests solutions to improve the corporate culture.
dfsd dfsd

Other responsibilities of the Ethics Officer include educational activities to foster knowledge of the Code of Ethics, which include lectures on ethics for the management staff and training for all PKN ORLEN employees to promote the ethical values and principles, training during the Onboarding Programme for new hires to familiarise them with the Code of Ethics and the objectives and operation of the corporate ethics system, and a training programme for interns and trainees. In line with global trends relating to compliance with ethical requirements, an Ethics Team has been appointed within the HR function.

Its key responsibilities include:

  • Coordination of all ethical issues based on the provisions of the Code of Ethics, in accordance with the assumptions of the ORLEN 2030 strategy and the vision of ORLEN Group growth;
  • Development, implementation and updates of policies, procedures and tools aligned with the ORLEN Group’s ethical standards;
  • Carrying out communication activities promoting a corporate culture based on ethics and the ORLEN values, and behaviours compliant with the adopted principles of conduct;
  • Cooperation with PKN ORLEN’s and other ORLEN Group companies’ organisational units in the field of ethics, in particular as regards implementation of the Code of Ethics and ethical standards.

The Ethics Officer now operates as part of the Ethics Team. However, the autonomous and social nature of the Ethics Officer’s role have remained unchanged. The Ethics Team and the Ethics Officer are tasked with increasing employee involvement in building corporate culture based on ethics and values, which is to be done by enhancing communication and training activities and implementing consistent ethical standards at PKN ORLEN and other ORLEN Group companies. Ethics Officers operate in ORLEN Group companies employing over 100 employees. In companies employing less than 100 employees, the employer is responsible for ethical issues.

As at the end of 2021, there were 18 Ethics Officers at PKN ORLEN and other ORLEN Group companies.

The policies and internal regulations

  • 103-1
  • 103-2
  • 103-3

The policies and internal regulations concerning the human rights area include:

Code od Ethics defines the values, principles of conduct and rules that set ethical standards for all ORLEN Group employees, based on a revised approach to understanding ORLEN values: Responsibility, Progress, People, Energy and Dependability, as well as the current scale or operations and operating strategy, the requirements of the Group’s environment, and best practices in the field of business ethics. It contains provisions concerning, inter alia, respect for diversity, including fair treatment of all employees regardless of their age, gender, position, religion, nationality or beliefs, equal opportunities for personal and professional development, as well as responsibility for building an ethical, safe and friendly workplace. It also includes provisions discussing ethical and responsible attitudes towards all stakeholders, including employees, consumers, business partners and local communities. Moreover, it is a document supporting the implementation of the ORLEN 2030 business strategy.

aims to promote values, policies, norms and behaviours consistent with the principle of equal treatment of employees, to raise awareness and understanding of how important diversity is, and to create conditions for an open and tolerant workplace. For PKN ORLEN, diversity is not merely counteracting discrimination but rather a deliberate effort to acknowledge different viewpoints or experiences and to appreciate diversity as a value in itself.

define the conditions which should be met by the substance of an employment relationship, and the rules of remunerating and granting other benefits to employees.

set out the rules to be followed when a case of bullying, discrimination and harassment is reported, and specifies the rights and obligations of employees in such situations.

ORLEN Group Anti-Corruption Policy designed to raise employee awareness, encourage positive attitudes and behaviour, and streamline procedures and business process oversight. The document underscores the importance of training and awareness-raising among employees and the responsibility of companies’ managements to create conditions that help to prevent and counteract corruption at the ORLEN Group. The person responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Policy objectives in effectively preventing and detecting irregularities and misconduct is the PKN ORLEN Anti-Corruption Compliance Officer.


the system provides a framework for identifying potential irregularities and instances of misconduct, which can be reported via different information channels.

Supplier Code of Conduct forms an integral element of cooperation with suppliers, including the supplier qualification and evaluation processes, governs business standards in health and safety at work, human rights, business ethics, employee matters and environmental protection. The document helps us to support our suppliers in building awareness and best practices in this area.


sets out the directions of social responsibility initiatives. Besides seeking to align business with social objectives, other priorities of the CSR Strategy are to build PKN ORLEN’s image as a leader in CSR and sustainability, generate CSR synergies across the Group, and support the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals and the ‘Accessibility Plus’ programme. The CSR strategy is implemented within five key areas of responsibility: Society, Environment, Employees, Customers, and Business Partners.

Integrated Management System Policy – a declaration to assure quality, minimise environmental impacts, ensure employee safety and information security.


ksztaltowanie ksztaltowanie

Fostering desirable attitudes and behaviours in line with the ORLEN Group’s Code of Ethics

  • 102-16
  • 412-2

PKN ORLEN is consistently engaged in building an ethical working environment, as its first code of conduct was adopted in 2006 and its Ethics Officer was first appointed at the same time. In May 2021, the ‘Core Values and Standards of Conduct of PKN ORLEN’ were replaced by a new ‘Code of Ethics of the ORLEN Capital Group’. The new document presents in simple terms the key considerations relating to ethics at the Company. It defines the values and standards of conduct which ORLEN Group employees undertake to respect: Responsibility, Progress, People, Energy and Dependability. These values have not changed. The ORLEN Group also adopted a new mission: ‘By nature, we power the future sustainably’ and an updated corporate motto: ‘ORLEN. Powering the future. Sustainably’.


Non-Financial-Statement-of-the-ORLEN-Group-and-PKN-ORLEN-S.A.-for-2021.pdf.coredownload-4 Non-Financial-Statement-of-the-ORLEN-Group-and-PKN-ORLEN-S.A.-for-2021.pdf.coredownload-4

As part of our efforts to promote the adopted values and standards of conduct at PKN ORLEN, as well as to foster the desired attitudes and behaviours, we carry out projects addressed to employees, which include the Distinguished PKN ORLEN Employee title awarded every year in recognition of outstanding professional and social contributions and ethical behaviour in line with the PKN ORLEN S.A. values and standards of conduct. It is the highest and most important distinction at the Company, awarded each year to 15 employees in three categories:

  • outstanding service;
  • special achievements;
  • socially responsible attitudes.

As part of the educational activities promoting the knowledge of the ORLEN Group Code of Ethics, the Ethics Officer conducted mandatory training sessions for management personnel. The special role and tasks of managers in building an ethical organisational culture was discussed during the training sessions. More than 800 managers received the training. A mandatory e-learning course was launched for the other employees, consisting of a lecture by the Ethics Officer, an interactive learning presentation and a knowledge test. The training covers topics related to the ethics system in place at PKN ORLEN and other ORLEN Group companies, discusses the Code of Ethics, presents the mechanism for reporting and handling enquiries, concerns and violations of the Code of Ethics at PKN ORLEN, and explains the role of the Ethics Officer. In addition, the Ethics Officer delivers lectures on ethics, including: ‘Building assertiveness. Assertive communication’, ‘Effective conflict management. Fair fighting’, ‘Management by values for managers’.

Human rights training at PKN ORLEN in 2021

Title Number of training units Share %
New ORLEN Group Code of Ethics 880 14.97%
Workplace bullying and discrimination prevention 87 1.48%
Disability meeting 32 0.54%
Core values and standards of conduct of the ORLEN Group 21 0.35%
Training courses available on PKN ORLEN S.A.’s e-learning platform
ORLEN Group Code of Ethics 1,941 33.02%
Workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment prevention 1,064 18.10%
Core values and standards of conduct of the ORLEN Group 78 1.32%
Total 4,103


In 2021, 67.37% of PKN ORLEN employees received human rights training. At other Group companies, training on the ORLEN Group Code of Ethics was delivered to 3,598 employees. The Code of Ethics was implemented at the Polska Press Group, RUCH and ORLEN Transport in 2021.

Overall, 18.51% of the ORLEN Group employees received human rights training (excluding the Polska Press Group companies and ORLEN Transport).

The employee volunteering programme is a project enhancing the ORLEN Group’s corporate culture. It offers a number of involvement opportunities for all employees, regardless of their job and position.

The ORLEN Group also joined the national Two Hours for the Family campaign. On May 15th, the International Day of Families, employees are free to leave two hours early to devote that time to family activities. The theme of the campaign in 2021 was ‘Sports across generations’. As May 15th was a Saturday, PKN ORLEN decided to shorten working hours on May 14th. In 2021, we held an art contest for children of employees of PKN ORLEN and other ORLEN Group companies, themed ‘My idea for winter holidays.’

In 2021, PKN ORLEN was for the eighth time listed in the elite group of the most ethical companies in the world. We are the only company from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the only European company operating in the ‘Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy Sources’ sector, which can boast the distinction of The World’s Most Ethical Company. The title highlights our commitment  to prioritising ethical business practices. For years, we have maintained the highest global standards in ethics, as we base all our operations and activities on our fundamental values: Responsibility, Progress, People, Energy and Dependability.

The distinction is granted by an international independent panel of experts of the US-based Ethisphere Institute, the world leader in defining and promoting ethical standards in business. The name of the award refers to ethics, but the candidate must also demonstrate a track record of effective and proven initiatives in such areas as:

  • Corporate governance;
  • Compliance, i.e. compliance and risk management;
  • OHS;
  • Sustainable development;
  • Corporate social responsibility;
  • Supplier verification;
  • Anti-bribery and corruption.

Ethisphere Institute pays special attention to activities designedto build value-based organisational culture and evaluates HR management practices, including:

  • Equality in employment;
  • Countering bullying, discrimination and harassment;
  • Training and communication programmes;
  • Employee programmes;
  • Activities to foster employee engagement;
  • Business ethics structures, processes and documents.

The World’s Most Ethical Company certificate is awarded by the US-based Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining, advancing and actively promulgating the standards of ethical  business practices. In the 2021 certification process, special emphasis was placed on demonstrating tangible CRS initiatives undertaken by companies. Total expenditure incurred by PKN ORLEN and other ORLEN Group companies on activities related to counteracting the pandemic exceeded PLN 120 million and included:

  • Production of sanitiser;
  • Co-financing of purchases of medical equipment for hospitals and rescue services;
  • Reduction of fuel prices;
  • Creation of temporary hospitals in Płock and Ostrołęka in cooperation with the Polish government.

Internal and external mechanisms to obtain advice on how to report actual or suspected misconduct

  • 102-17

The values, principles and standards defined in the Code of Ethics apply to each ORLEN Group employee from their first day of work, regardless of their position or form of contract. Even if some of the standards of conduct contained in the Code of Ethics do not apply to a given job, this does not relieve the employee of the obligation to respond to or report violations of the Code.

A variant path is defined for reporting and analysing information on actual or suspected cases of misconduct, depending on the severity and complexity of the problem and on the confidence of the parties involved. At PKN ORLEN, a suspected violation of the values, principles and standards of conduct or any ethical dilemmas may be reported to:

  • The line manager;
  • The Ethics Officer;
  • The Human Capital Committee Secretary.

Reports may also be made through the Anonymous Misconduct Reporting System (ASZN) to the Control and Safety Office.

A variant path is defined for reporting and analysing information on actual or suspected cases of misconduct, dependingon the severity and complexity of the problem and on the confidence of the parties involved. The reports received by the Ethics Officer in 2021 predominantly related to cooperation issues, inappropriate communication or poor interpersonal relations. No incidents involving theft of company assets, a conflict of interest or alcohol abuse were reported. The majority of the cases involved infringement of a specific provision of the document ‘Core Values and Standards of Conduct of PKN ORLEN S.A.’ (in May 2021 it was replaced by the ORLEN Group Code of Ethics). Most of the reported issues were investigated, with corrective measures implemented.

PKN ORLEN has in place effective functional control, risk management and compliance supervision systems, as well as an internal audit and control function. The simultaneous operation of all these elements allows the Group to exercise ongoing and effective anti-corruption supervision. The Group has an organised management control system comprising a set of comprehensive procedures.

The following are in force at PKN ORLEN: ORLEN Group Anti-Corruption Policy, Internal Order on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and Rules to Prevent Workplace Bullying, Discrimination, and any Forms of Harassment at PKN ORLEN. Every employee across the organisation is responsible for active promotion of the right behaviours, building healthy relationships between employees and upholding the team spirit. It is vital that efforts to foster conduct consistent with the core values and standards of conduct and to ensure that managers stay alert are made on an ongoing basis.

Description of significant risks in the area of ​​respect for human rights and methods of managing these risks can be found in the `Risk management` section.

See also

Search results