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. The ORLEN Group is consistently implementing the objectives of its ORLEN 2030 business strategy and sustainable development strategy in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.


  • Goal 6
  • Goal 7
  • Goal 11
  • Goal 12
  • Goal 13
  • Goal 14
  • Goal 15


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).

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  • Generation of electricity in hydropower plants and wind farms owned by the Energa Group and ORLEN Wind 3. Green energy is also generated in biomass combustion installations (at Energa Elektrownie Ostrołęka and Energa Kogeneracja) and three solar photovoltaic farms.
  • Renewables account for more than 0.6 GWe of installed electrical capacity and close to 0.1 GWeof installed thermal capacity at the ORLEN Group.
  • 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 3 bcm per year.
  • The ORLEN Group has 2P crude oil and natural gas reserves in Poland and Canada, amounting to 171.4 mboe at the end of 2021..
  • ORLEN Group’s upstream assets:
    • At the end of 2021, the ORLEN Group held, on its own or with a partner (PGNiG), 14 exploration and appraisal licences in 6 provinces in Poland, covering a total area of almost 9,400 sq. km;
    • In Alberta, Canada, the ORLEN Group is a recognised operator and holds exploration and production assets covering a total area of approximately 341,400 acres (approximately 1,400 sq. km) gross, and approximately 266.8 acres (approximately 1,100 sq. km) net, i.e. calculated based on the size of interest.
  • ORLEN Group’s production plants and fuel terminals in Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania cover an area of over 4,300 hectares.
  • Energa Group’s distribution network consists of power lines with a total length of 193,000 km, covering approximately one quarter of the Poland’s territory.

Capital management

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The ORLEN Group intends to invest more than PLN 30 billion in sustainability projects in 2020–2030, including over PLN 25 billion to be spent on CO2 emission reduction initiatives. Over the next ten years, the Group plans to spend up to 3% of its growth capex (some PLN 3 billion in total) on innovation, research and development, with a particular focus on green technologies.

  • We take care to ensure that our production processes are environmentally friendly: our 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 ensure effective water and wastewater management.
  • We effectively manage soil remediation.
  • We invest in low- and zero-emission technologies and renewables.
  • We engage in initiatives that promote environmental awareness and social responsibility.
  • We seek to foster sustainable development and we report our environmental performance to both administrative authorities (marshal’s offices, municipal offices, county offices, environmental inspections) and the stakeholders.

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


Description UoM 2021 2020
Water withdrawn by the ORLEN Group, including: m3 519,339,899 331,770,145
Surface water m3 512,998,351 327,031,321
Groundwater m3 1,611,673 1,581,749
Mains water m3 4,729,875 3,157,075
Effluents discharged to the environment, including: m3 502,590,394 304,057,021
Industrial wastewater m3 494,392,004 298,448,352
Other wastewater m3 8,198,390 5,608,669
Emissions at the ORLEN Group, including: Mg 17 704 204 17 073 431
Sulfur dioxide Mg 17,615 20,013
NOx Mg 11,096 12,609
Carbon monoxide Mg 6,880 8,310
Particulate matter Mg 1,017 1,019
Carbon dioxide (including EU ETS) Mg 17,652,018 17,010,022
Other substances Mg 15,578 21,457
ODS emissions at the ORLEN Group Mg 39,72/5,95 36,57/5,64
Waste generated by the ORLEN Group*, including: Mg 295,710 291,636
Hazardous waste Mg 74,957 81,295
Non-hazardous waste Mg 220,753 210,341
* Does not include municipal waste.
Number of spills number 5 8
Volume of spills Mg 104 31
Expenditure on environmental investments at the ORLEN Group EURm 88.1 49
Volumes of biofuels used by the ORLEN Group – biofuels meeting the sustainability criteria on the Polish, Czech and Lithuanian markets
Esters tonne 807,792 765,320
Bioethanol tonne 252,951 243,093


For information on the environmental projects and activities carried out at the ORLEN Group in 2020, see ‘Environment and climate’.

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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 in this domain contribute to the development of other capitals, including the intellectual and manufactured capitals.

In 2020, the ORLEN Group was joined by the Energa Group, with its more than 50 renewable generation assets, mainly across the hydro, onshore wind and solar PV segments.  

PKN ORLEN has declared its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In furtherance of this goal, the Group aims to reduce carbon emissions from its existing refinery and petrochemical assets by 20% and cut down carbon emissions per megawatt-hour of electricity by 33% by 2030.

The net zero emissions strategy is based on four pillars: energy efficiency in production, zero-carbon power generation, fuels of the future, and green finance.

Projects implemented under the carbon neutrality strategy are expected to be partly financed with green and sustainability bonds issued by PKN ORLEN on the European market.

See also

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