Green finance in Poland – 2022 edition

What path are Polish banks taking towards the implementation of ESG requirements?

Download the report (2022)

The concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) is becoming increasingly important for many businesses and institutions, but also for the economy as a whole. This is related to such issues as growing regulatory pressure in the EU, market pressure, and the “green transition in the EU,” which has been exposed to new and unexpected factors whose effects are difficult to predict.

Some of these factors, such as mounting geopolitical uncertainty in Central Europe, economic and social threats, sanctions against Russia, and a considerable increase in the price of fossil fuels (oil and gas), may slow down the energy transition and periodically drive up greenhouse gas emissions.

To what extent are environmental, social, and governance factors already factored into the internal organization of banks and their risk management system? What plans in this regard do banks have for the coming year? Will the energy crisis halt the green transition in the Polish banking sector? These are just some of the questions addressed in this report.

“This year’s survey offers several key findings. One of them is that banks continue to believe that they need to encourage ESG implementation efforts, as opposed to punishing their clients by raising the cost of loans if their planned investments or overall operations are still regarded as ‘dirty.’ Another key finding is the growing impact of ESG factors on the products offered by banks. The banks surveyed usually plan to offer clients additional services to support their transition – such plans are declared by 50% of these institutions. This course of action appears much-needed in the context of the challenges posed by the energy transition, both in individual households and in industry and agriculture in Poland.”


Przemysław Paprotny

Partner at PwC, financial services leader in Poland


Piotr Bednarski

Director of the financial services team at PwC


Dorota Hutny

Manager of the financial services team at PwC

Where has ESG been implemented?

Question: In what areas have banks already introduced elements of sustainable finance?

Compared to last year, there has been an improvement in declared sustainable finance activities in every area (more banks are planning their introduction).

As in the previous year, more than 80% of the banks surveyed have already embedded sustainable finance elements in their business strategies. In addition, all banks declare that they have introduced elements of sustainable finance in the products they offer. Similarly, more than 80% of the institutions surveyed declare the introduction of these elements in administration.

In addition to the areas mentioned in the survey, the institutions surveyed indicated that elements of sustainable finance have also been factored into:

  • Their program of issuing financial instruments (such as green bonds);
  • Raising finance;
  • Issuing green-covered bonds as a source of financing.
  1. In the business strategy/operating strategy
  2. In lending products
  3. In investment products (including exclusion policy for sectors, industries)
  4. In the organizational structure (a dedicated committee, unit or position such as Chief Sustainability Offices)
  5. In credit assessment processes
  6. In the processes of risk identification and assessment, stress testing, and ICAAP
  7. In product pricing
  8. In administration processes

Data and IT processes to support compliance with ESG requirements

Question: What data do you plan to use for the purposes of identifying and assessing counterparty risk in terms of ESG?

Only one of the 16 banks has yet to analyze its preferred data sources and providers, compared with three out of the 14 entities surveyed the previous year.

Among the banks that have performed this analysis, 94% indicated that they typically plan to use data obtained directly from counterparties, such as reports, certificates, and forms.

The use of publicly available counterparty data, such as disclosures, media information, data from websites, and information provided by specialized commercial entities in the form of ESG ratings, certificates, and databases, was named by banks a lot more frequently than previously – by 75% of the banks surveyed this time, compared with 57% the previous year.

Impact on processes

Question: In what processes does your institution plan to use the criteria for sustainable activities set out in the Taxonomy and the technical screening criteria in the coming year?

All of the processes mentioned in the survey that may use the criteria for sustainable activities defined in the Taxonomy and technical screening criteria were indicated by at least several banks.

The most frequently indicated responses were as follows:

  • defining a framework for sustainable lending products (63% of banks) and non-financial reporting and external communication processes;
  • achieving the goals set out in the adopted ESG strategy (this was declared by 56% of institutions);
  • the need to build an internal database of clients eligible for the Taxonomy and their level of compliance with the Taxonomy (this was indicated by around half of the banks).

Only one out of the 16 institutions reported having no plans to use the criteria for sustainable activities defined in the Taxonomy and the technical screening criteria in the coming year.

  1. In the voluntary process of non-financial reporting and external communication
  2. For the purpose of achieving the goals specified in adopted ESG strategy
  3. For the purpose of defining a framework for sustainable investment products
  4. For the purpose of defining a framework of suistanable lending products
  5. In the process of screening suppliers and clients
  6. In the process of climate risk identification and assessment
  7. In the process of distributing guarantees or subsidies under available suistanable development support program (national of EU programs)
  8. For the purpose of building an internal database of clients eligible for the Taxonomy and their level of compliance with the Taxonomy

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About the survey

This report outlines the results of a survey conducted by PwC among commercial and specialized banks operating in Poland. The survey was taken in May and June 2022. The questionnaire was filled out anonymously by 16 banks, whose assets account for over 70% of the total assets of the Polish banking sector.

This report presents the findings of the second edition of interviews and surveys first conducted in April 2021 among Polish banks, regarding the extent to which they currently include environmental, social, and governance factors in their internal organization and risk management systems, as well as their plans in this respect for the coming year.

Contact us

Przemysław Paprotny

Przemysław Paprotny

Partner, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 502 184 766

Piotr Bednarski

Piotr Bednarski

Director, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 519 507 049

Dorota Hutny

Dorota Hutny

Manager, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 519 508 215

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