Lublin is greenest city in Poland

Krakowskie Przedmieście street, Lublin. Photo courtesy of the city.
Krakowskie Przedmieście street, Lublin. Photo courtesy of the city.
The city of Lublin came top in the recent annual Europolis ‘Green’ survey which ranks Polish cities according to their ecological credentials. Katowice and Łódź came in second and third respectively.

The following news items appeared in PT Daily, Poland Today’s daily business newsletter, on Thursday 17 June – free to register here

Lublin the most ecological city in Poland with Katowice and Łódź close behind

The city of Lublin came top in the Europolis ranking of the most ecological Polish cities prepared by the Schuman Foundation and the Adenauer Foundation, followed by Katowice and Łódź. The city, Poland’s 9th largest and the capital of Lubelskie voivodeship, took 57 points out of 100. The authors of the ranking and accompanying report, which looked at the 66 cities with ‘powiat’ (district) status, noted Lublin’s impressive  development in electromobility, as well as their ambitious goals in this field. Katowice came only one point behind Lublin with the organizers particularly impressed with their high expenditure on improving air quality. Both Lublin and Katowice are also characterized by well-developed health services. Łódź came third with 54 points, with particularly high marks for air quality, public transport and individual electric transport. 

From the smaller towns, Siedlce, population c. 77,000 lying just under 100km east of Warsaw, deserves particular note, coming in 4th position. Poland’s capital city came in 7th place, its weakest result so far. The capital, however, came top in terms of range and quality of public transport.

The Europolis report, called “Green Cities – Polish cities for the climate, environment and health of their inhabitants” (“Zielone Miasta – Polskie miasta na rzecz klimatu, środowiska i zdrowia mieszkańców”), is based on the analysis of five areas: individual electric transport, public transport, measures for air quality, local community and public health. “Commitment to electromobility and energy efficiency will allow the capital of the Lublin region to further improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and, in combination with new investments, increase the economic attractiveness of the region,” said Rafał Dymek, director of the Schuman Foundation. Compared to other Polish cities, Lublin has a more efficient health care system consisting of one of the largest databases of doctors and hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, said the statement accompanying the ranking.

Concerning Katowice, Iga Kamocka, coordinator of Europolis, highlighted that Śląskie Voivodeship is regularly included in the lists of the most polluted regions, not only in Poland, but also throughout Europe. “However,” she said, “thanks to the local government’s activity in terms of activities and expenses for the improvement of air quality, the city managed to score as high as 82 points – two points more than the next city in this category, Łódź.”

Katowice is distinguished by one of the highest expenditures on improving air quality (4th place), including for the replacement of stoves – for which the authorities allocated nearly PLN 35 per inhabitant. Only Sopot and Wrocław spent more. Like the rest of the leaders, Katowice was involved in several activities indirectly reducing the level of pollution, developing a programme for the development of renewable energy sources, subsidizing the purchase and installation of renewable energy micro-installations and implementing social campaigns for clean air.

Europolis is an annual event focused on urban development in Poland, initiated in 2013 by the Schuman Foundation, the City of Warsaw and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Since 2015, the conference has been accompanied by the publication of a report on Polish cities by the Schuman Foundation and partners Polityka Insight and Orange Polska. This year’s event was held earlier in June and was titled “Cities for a European Green Deal”.


Warsaw mid-ranking for speed of transition to hybrid working

Poland’s capital is roughly in the middle of a global ranking of cities positioned according to their potential for transitioning faster to hybrid working post COVID-19, according to a report by Savills, the global real estate services provider. The company examined both employee-driven and occupier/employer-driven factors to carry out the assessment. From an office occupier perspective, New York, Paris, London, Berlin and Frankfurt may be primed for a faster transition to hybrid working, given comparatively high office costs, already flexible working practices and extended lockdowns, while less flexible working cultures in Mumbai, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City mean that any transition to hybrid working may be slower.

As part of its 2021 global Impacts research programme, the international real estate advisors looked at metrics such as the size of people’s homes, broadband speeds and commute times, alongside employer/occupier-focused factors such as the cost and efficiency of offices, workplace culture, and lease lengths to grade cities on their possible speed of migration to hybrid working. 

Large homes and long commutes make Los Angeles, for instance, ripe for hybrid working from an employee perspective, says Savills, though comparatively low office costs, long leases and a diversified economic base mean employer incentives to cut space may be lower than in some other cities. Smaller cities such as Lyon and Amsterdam, meanwhile, are likely to see a slower shift to hybrid working, given shorter commutes for employees and lower costs to office occupiers.

“Transition to a hybrid workforce is the biggest challenge businesses are going to face in the next five years,” said Jeremy Bates, Head of EMEA Occupier Services at Savills. “Even if you’re in a city set to switch more slowly it’s likely going to be something you’ll have to manage, and given low office availability in many locations, it’s better to start looking sooner rather than later to find space that will work for you in a hybrid model. With more collaborative space and increased room per employee likely, even if you have fewer people in the office you’re likely to still need a similar quantum. But this space will need to deliver efficient hybrid working, which involves designing a balanced physical-digital ecosystem that effectively bridges the gap between remote and office-based workers in terms of experience, accessibility and reliability.”

According to the report, Warsaw, the largest office market in Poland, positions roughly in the middle of the ranking. Factors that are slowing the transition process are internet speed in some locations and rental level, which is still competitive with Western Europe and creates conditions for all employees to be provided with a physical/traditional workplace in the office.  “The introduction of a hybrid work model is a process whose pace will vary depending on the country and the specificity of the industry in which a given company operates,” commented Jarosław Pilch, Head of Tenant Representation, office Agency, at Savills Poland. “Many employers in Poland have not yet decided what they want their work model to look like after the pandemic. The reasons for that, among others, are the ongoing analysis of the expectations and experiences of employees, waiting for the changes in the labour law, or the time needed for observations of the real estate market and exploring new opportunities that the market currently creates for tenants.”


Orlen buys liquid products loading terminal on Lithuania-Poland border

AB Orlen Lietuva, a company owned by the Polish oil concern PKN Orlen, has acquired 100% of shares in UAB Mockavos Terminalas, the only liquid products loading terminal operating at the Lithuania-Poland border, according to a written statement by AB Orlen Lietuva. The terminal is used for loading of petroleum products produced in Mažeikiai and intended for the Polish and Ukrainian markets.

‘Our priority based on the business directions anticipated in the Orlen 2030 Strategy is dynamic expansion of Orlen assets in Lithuania, also enhancing AB Orlen Lietuva’s position on the market,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN Orlen. “AB Orlen Lietuva is a company of strategic importance; it operates the only crude oil refinery in the Baltic States, and has extreme significance on the region’s energy security. Acquisition of the loading terminal in Mockava is not only to enhance security, but also ensures the stable supply of the products to Poland. This will be beneficial not only to the concern, but also to the economics of both countries.”

“Up till now,” stated AB Orlen Lietuva’s General Director Michał Rudnicki, “we have been using the services of Mockava Terminal under a cooperation agreement. Taking over control of the terminal will allow us to save considerable funds and increase business flexibility as well as independence. Eventually, we will have the possibility to implement ambitious terminal development plans.”

PKN Orlen, listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, is a Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer with operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and the Baltic states as well as an operation in Canada.


Shell Polska to open LNG stations

Shell Polska plans to launch five liquid natural gas (LNG) stations in 2021, including in Świecko and Poznań in the near future, Piotr Dziwok, CEO of Shell Polska, told ISBnews. Last October, the company launched its first commercial Shell LNG station for trucks in Poland, in Bielany Wrocławskie. The Polish market is still dominated by two types of fuel: diesel and gasoline, and this dominance may continue until around 2040, Shell Polska said. “The number of diesel cars has been declining in recent years, so in our opinion, the immediate future for petrol stations are stations offering both conventional and alternative fuel dispensers and electric chargers,” the company added.


Comarch aims to create rival to Allegro online sales platform

Software vendor Comarch plans to develop its own sales platform, The launch is planned for early 2022, Vice President Zbigniew Rymarczyk said. The website will have a new graphic layout, with more extensive and improved navigation. “We want to create an alternative to Allegro and other platforms of this type,” Rymarczyk said. He added that the company plans to hire new employees for the project.


Photon detection company plans major investment in R&D

Vigo System, a manufacturer of uncooled infrared photon detectors based in Ożarów Mazowiecki which distributes globally, aims to maintain revenue growth rate at the level of 20-30% per year, a gross margin above 60% and EBITDA profitability above 40%, the company said in a statement concerning its strategy for 2021-26. It expects annual revenue to increase to PLN 100 million, and EBITDA to amount to PLN 40 million, in 2023. “In order to achieve strategic goals, the company plans, in the period 2021-2023, investments in research and development and technical infrastructure to the amount of PLN 30-40 million annually, financed from own funds and public funding for research and development” – the company said in a statement.


Panattoni launches its largest warehouse in Lower Silesia

European industrial market leader Panattoni is launching Wrocław Campus 39, its largest project in Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie). The Poland-based developer, which regularly tops rankings for largest warehouse developer in Europe, has already leased almost 85,000 sqm of the park to two tenants, 78,000 sqm of which will be used for e-commerce. Currently, 160,000 sqm is under construction, half of which will be ready in September this year. Campus Wrocław 39 will eventually offer 200,000 sqm and is to be BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certified. 

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Written by: Richard Stephens