PGE Group’s carbon footprint

GRI indicators

Carbon footprint is a type of ecological footprint and one of the measures of a company's impact on the environment. Footprint calculations and data management show a strong climate awareness in the organisation.

Carbon footprint is the total sum of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon oxide (N2O, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6, caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organisation, event or product.

Simplified diagram of the carbon footprint scopes in an organisation

Fig. Simplified diagram of the carbon footprint scopes in an organisation

Sector cooperation for a unified approach to carbon footprinting

In April 2021, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna began active and deliberate efforts to implement a standard for calculating carbon footprint at PGE Group. Both internal activities were undertaken in PGE Group within the framework of the established team for carbon footprint calculations, as well as external activities – within the framework of cooperation with the Polish Association of Professional Heat and Power Plants (PTEZ), which resulted in the development of a joint manual for carbon footprint calculations for the energy industry, with the substantive support of Bureau Veritas.

The manual has been developed in accordance with ISO 14064 and GHG Protocol Standards and is designed to calculate the carbon footprint at different levels of the organisation. Apart from PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA, the co-authors of the manual include representatives of PGE Group companies operating in the segments of Conventional Generation and District Heating: PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna, PGE Energia Ciepła and Zespół Elektrociepłowni Wrocławskich KOGENERACJA. The work on the development of the manual also involved the team responsible for the carbon footprint calculations at PGE Group.

The developed „Guide to a Uniform Carbon Footprint for Electricity and Heat Sector Entities”, together with an integral IT tool, serve to uniformly capture the carbon footprint for electricity and heat sector entities, as follows:

Scope 1 – these are direct emissions to the atmosphere from installations (equipment, vehicles, machinery, boilers, plants) that are owned or controlled by the organisation.

Scope 2 – these are indirect emissions related to the use of energy consumed by the company to operate its facilities, both owned and leased (electricity, heat, cold, transport and distribution losses).

Scope 3 – these are other indirect emissions that occur throughout the business value chain, i.e. purchases of goods and services, business travel, commuting to and from work, capital goods, etc.).

Biogenic emissions – these are emissions related to the natural carbon cycle and result from the combustion, fermentation, decomposition or processing of materials of biological origin.

On the basis of previous work within the PTEZ and cooperation with key PGE Group companies, a general procedure for calculating the carbon footprint in PGE Group was adopted in 2022.

The aim of the procedure is to support business management by introducing a standard and providing uniform rules of conduct for the calculation of the carbon footprint in PGE Group companies for the reporting of climate and sustainability issues.

The procedure defines in particular:

  • ways of setting organisational boundaries for counting the carbon footprint and consolidating GHG emissions data,
  • identification and setting of operational boundaries for individual scopes (scope 1, scope 2, scope 3) and biogenic emissions within the carbon footprint calculation,
  • defining materiality limits for the calculation of the carbon footprint.

The key in this process was the preparation of the companies and their training, in particular in the identification of emission sources, their classification and their appropriate conversion to CO2 using the available and defined CO2 emission factor appropriate for the reporting year using a dedicated IT tool.

In subsequent years, it will be important to calculate the carbon footprint for a given reporting year based on updated CO2 emission factors appropriate for that calendar year.

As more data becomes available, in particular on the available emission factors for individual emission sources, and as maturity of the organisation continues to develop, this process is expected to be streamlined in subsequent years. At the same time, it will enable the development of specific emission reduction targets.

PGE Group's carbon footprint

PGE Group calculated its carbon footprint for the first time as part of the pilot for 2020. However, taking a responsible approach to counting the data and obtaining comparable results within the sector, it treats as a base year the data for 2021, in which the carbon footprint was counted on the basis of the manual developed in cooperation with PTEZ and PGE Group’s general procedure for calculating the carbon footprint. The method adopted therein is a consistent approach to counting the footprint in the electricity sector in the country.

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The volume of greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 was calculated for key PGE Group companies with significant operations and significant influence over the level of carbon footprint, especially in terms of direct emissions within scope 1 and taking into account the amount of charges for environmental use and water services.

  • PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna,
  • PGE Energia Ciepła,
  • Zespół Elektrociepłowni Wrocławskich KOGENERACJA,
  • PGE Toruń,
  • Elektrociepłownia Zielona Góra,
  • PGE Energia Odnawialna,
  • PGE Dystrybucja,
  • PGE Ekoserwis,
  • PGE Obrót,
  • PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA,
  • PGE Baltica,
  • PGE Systemy,
  • PGE Dom Maklerski.

Other PGE Group companies that are assessed as likely to have a significant impact on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions will be successively included in this process. Such an impact assessment is carried out annually.

Noteworthy are the actions taken by PGE Group in 2022 and 2023 to streamline and make more realistic the counting of the carbon footprint under scope 3 of category 7 „Employee commuting.”

During the 2022 Employee Opinion Survey (BOP) addressed to selected PGE Group companies, specific questions were introduced on issues related to employee commuting to and from work. The questions were designed to elicit responses at the level required for carbon footprint calculations using a dedicated IT tool. By capturing data for 2022, it was possible for the selected companies to use real data from employees in this area.

Importantly, a significant number of employees participate in the Employee Opinion Survey. The companies can boast a high participation rate – depending on the company, this ranges from 75% to even more than 90%. This ensures that the responses provided by the employees of a given company reflect the actual state of affairs.

PGE Group-level carbon footprint calculation data by emissions band and biogenic emissions (not included in the carbon footprint):

PGE Group’s carbon footprint (t CO2e) 2022 2021
Scope 1
Fuels, of which: 69 370 331 70 169 857

– lignite

45 581 652 42 692 766

– hard coal

22 018 088 25 083 918

– natural gas

1 331 587 1 954 130

– other fuels

439 363 439 043
Process emissions 807 646 764 718
Refrigerants and other gases 210 809 51 836
Total scope 1 70 389 145 70 986 410
of which EU-ETS emissions (%) 99,5 99,7
Scope 2 Market-based*, of which: 2 196 571 2 183 395
Electricity losses in transmission and distribution 1 322 593 1 379 892
Purchased electricity for own use 828 318 759 699
Purchased thermal energy for own use 45 660 43 804
Scope 2 Location-based** 2 196 976 2 183 836
Scope 3
Category 3. Energy- and fuel-related emissions 23 116 540 22 191 648
Category 1. Purchased goods and services 497 790 821 824
Category 10. Processing of sold products 756 132 755 065
Category 2. Capital goods 252 844 508 996
Category 4. Upstream – transport and distribution 329 133 259 805
Category 5. Waste resulting from operations 84 809 75 014
Category 11. Use of sold products 40 640 74 949
Category 7. Commuting of workers 39 041 34 965
Category 6. Business trips 635 158
Total scope 3 25 117 565 24 722 424
Total scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 Market-based 97 703 281 97 892 230
Total scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 Location-based 97 703 685 97 892 671
Biogenic emissions 390 463 687 876
*Scope 2 Market-based - emissions resulting from the consumption of purchased electricity, calculated on the basis of an index published by a specific energy vendor
**Scope 2 Location-based - Scope 2 emissions result from the consumption of purchased electricity. It is calculated on the basis of the average index for Poland, which represents the actual emissions generated in the country. This index is published on the KOBiZE website.

In 2022, there is a reduction in the carbon footprint relative to 2021 in scope 1 of less than 1%. No reduction is observed in the other scopes.

Conventional generation is responsible for 86.7% of PGE Group’s calculated carbon footprint. Scope 3 accounts for approx. 36% of the total carbon footprint, understood as the sum of Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.

Fig. Distribution of greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 by category of greenhouse gas emissions

Methodology and emission factors

Data on the organisation’s activities is monitored in accordance with the implemented process for calculating the carbon footprint at PGE Group. Emissions were calculated in accordance with the following standards: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard Revised Edition-GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance and Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard.

CO2 emissions of biogenic origin were identified and reported separately. Operational and/or financial control within the Group was adopted as the consolidation criterion, meaning that 100% of the companies’ emissions were attributed to PGE Group. The sources of emission factors were publications from the following databases: National Balancing and Emission Management Centre (KOBiZE), DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) database, European Environment Agency (EEA) and Ecoinvent 3.6.GWP (Global Warming Potential factor) coefficients for refrigerants were adopted according to the 5th IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report.

By using a uniform approach to counting the carbon footprint, the data will be comparable within the sector.

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