Environmental impact and climate actions
PSE makes every effort to reconcile reliable and efficient operation of the power system and its development with respect for the environment.

Each of our power investment projects meets the legal requirements for the environmental impact of extra-high voltage infrastructure.

Polish safety standards in the field of electric and magnetic fields for residential places are among the strictest in the world.

PSE's priorities in the area of environmental protection

Key figures (as of the end of 2020)

Environment and climate

19 %

reduction in PSE's carbon footprint in 2020 as compared to 2017 (the first year of calculating emissions) according to the location-based method.

26 %

reduction in PSE's carbon footprint in 2020 as compared to 2017 according to the market-based method.

8 %

reduction in PSE's carbon footprint in 2020 on a year-on-year basis according to the location-based method.

34 %

increase in emissions in 2020 on a year-on-year basis according to the market-based method. Considering the emission indices for electricity according to the indicated method, the increase in emissions was influenced by the change of energy supplier.

46 %

year-on-year decrease in the amount of SF6 gas emitted by PSE to the environment.

98,3 %

decrease in the mass of soil contaminated with electrical insulating oil following leakages of the same at EHV stations, as compared to 2019.

Environment and climate

72 %

reduction in glass bottle water consumption on a year-on-year basis.

38 %

reduction in plastic bottle water consumption on a year-on-year basis.

GRI 102-11
The priorities of our organization's actions for the environment are set out in the document Policy for an Integrated Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Management System. The successful implementation of the integrated system has been confirmed by a relevant certificate issued for the period from July 24, 2021 to July 23, 2024.
GRI 103-1
In line with the Board's strategic decision, PSE strives to reconcile reliable and efficient operation of the power system and its development, while respecting the environment and the public interest. In furtherance of the above objectives, we are committed to:
  • pollution prevention and continuous efforts to improve actions for environmental protection, including through hazard identification and risk management,
  • environmental monitoring of the work environment,
  • comply with legal and other requirements applicable to the Company,
  • improve the skills of employees, taking into account their role, and involving them in in the improvement of the environmental protection,
  • development and modernization of network infrastructure in a way that ensures respect for the landscape, protected areas and areas of special natural values.
GRI 103-3
A review of the company's areas of potential impact on environmental elements was performed in December 2020, which confirmed that the environmental aspects had been identified correctly.
Most relevant environmental aspects:
  • electromagnetic field emissions,
  • noise emissions,
  • waste generation,
  • leakage of a hazardous substance (in an emergency).
The main objectives carried out in the period under review in the environmental area included an audit of oil separation systems at substations, testing the protective properties of water-based anti-corrosion paint sets, and analyzing technical solutions enabling the abandonment of SF6 gas in PSE’s equipment. Activities in the environmental area were implemented in accordance with the adopted plans.
Environmental aspects
GRI 103-2
With regard to the most significant environmental aspects identified, our company has internally defined rules of conduct and supervision to ensure that all legal requirements are met and that natural resources are respected as much as possible.
Electromagnetic field emissions
We carry out a number of activities that are conducive to achieving our objectives:
  • meeting the legally required permissible levels of electromagnetic fields in the environment outside the right-of-way of the line,
  • selection of locations for new investment projects allowing to limit construction of power facilities in residential areas,
  • maintaining the efficiency of systems and equipment,
  • modern technological solutions of equipment and systems.
Noise emission
We perform tasks affecting the compliance with permissible levels of noise in the environment required by law, such as:
  • selection of network infrastructure locations to limit the construction of power facilities in residential areas,
  • quality inspections of the works performed,
  • maintaining efficient systems and equipment.
Waste generation
For many years, we have been conducting selective collection of waste generated as a result of activities carried out on the premises of network facilities as well as PSE's head office and its branch offices. For the purpose of standardizing the principles of waste management in our company, we have implemented the Waste Management Manual at PSE S.A., which applies to waste generated both by PSE and by external entities as part of the operation, removal of the effects of failures, and investment and repair tasks. One of the appendices to this manual is entirely devoted to the principles of correct segregation of municipal waste the generation of which results from human habitation.

PSE headquarters buildings and all substations have been equipped with containers for selective waste collection (including paper, plastic, glass, metals, used light sources, batteries and rechargeable batteries, and oil-contaminated sorbent). Waste is collected at the point of generation. Premises, locations, and containers where specific types of waste are collected are properly marked.

Proper waste segregation is the subject of inspections conducted at the facilities. Presentation of rules and responsibilities concerning waste segregation is one of the regular points of training for new employees of the company.

Typical waste generated at our electric facilities includes primarily iron and steel, mixed metals, used equipment, used mineral oils and used sorbents. Most waste is generated during works related to the construction and modernization of electric power facilities. Waste generators are the work contractors responsible for managing this waste. For waste that has value, the generator is PSE.

In order to ensure that contractors' waste management activities comply with the regulations, constant supervision is carried out on the premises of operated facilities and during execution of investment tasks.
GRI 306-2 *
Total weight of waste by type of waste and disposal method** (in Mg)
2020 2019 2018
Hazardous waste, including: 308,29 673,14 331,93
- stored on the plant premises  0,00 19,09 15,50
- transferred to authorized entities 308,29 654,05 316,43
Non-hazardous waste, including: 389,39 1 108,43 86,43
- stored on the plant premises 0,00 1,15 0,36
- transferred to authorized entities 389,39 1 107,28 86,07
* The index refers to substation facilities as well as PSE's headquarters and the headquarters of its branch units (ZKO).
** We do not have information on how the waste will be further managed due to the lack of definition of how the waste taken over by its recipient, the waste management company, will be handled.
Eighty percent of the waste generated was metal-containing waste, which is generally recycled. Data were prepared based on Waste Record Sheets.
Leakage of a hazardous substance
We conduct activities to:
  • reduce the likelihood of an emergency through preventive measures and proper operation of facilities,
  • maintain readiness to mitigate the environmental impacts of failures caused by company-owned infrastructure.
GRI 306-3
Total number and volume of major leakages*
Volume in 2020. Number of leakages Volume in 2019. Number of leakages Volume in 2018. Number of leakages
Number of leakages and mass of oily soil 0,336 ton 1 19,7 ton 3 99,20 ton 3
SF gas leakages 35,6 kg 24 50,1 kg 44 69,25 kg 15
Refrigerant leakages 77,40 kg 17 142,68 kg 37 80,40 kg 10
*"Major leakages" in our business means a leakage that results in environmental contamination.
In 2020, the amount of SF6 gas emitted by PSE into the environment was 46 percent less than the previous year. Electrical insulating oil spills saw a significant decrease in the mass of electrical insulating oil contaminated soil by as much as 98.3 percent compared to 2019..

Equipment with a considerable amount of insulating oil - i.e. transformers - are equipped with suitable protection devices, so-called oil pits, which are designed to take over the emergency oil discharge in case of an uncontrolled leak. In 2020, there was no significant electrical insulating oil spill with negative environmental impacts.

Number and volume of significant leakages* in 2020.
ZKO name Substation Number Calculation of SF6 emissions from electric power equipment
Quantity [kg] CO2 equivalent [t] GWP from IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014 (AR5)
ZKO Warsaw SE Ełk BIS 1 0,95 21,66 23500
SE Piotrków 1 6,75 153,9 23500
Total 2 7,7 175,56 -
ZKO Radom SE Chmielów 1 1 22,8 23500
SE Krosno Iskrzynia 3 5,65 128,82 23500
Total 4 6,65 151,62 -
ZKO Katowice SE Lubocza 4 5,6 127,68 23500
SE Joachimów 1 1,4 31,92 23500
SE Moszczenica 1 0,5 11,4 23500
SE Wielopole 3 2,05 46,74 23500
Total 9 9,55 217,74 -
ZKO Poznań SE Leszno 6 8,6 196,08 23500
SE Morzyczyn 1 0,8 18,24 23500
SE Pątnów 1 1,8 41,04 23500
SE Piła Krzewina 1 0,5 11,4 23500
Total 9 11,7 266,76 -
Total of all leakages 24 35,6 811,68 -
*"Major leakages" in our business means a leakage that results in environmental contamination.
Source: Own study based on company internal records and environmental reports.
GRI 306-3 Number and volume of leakages in 2020.
  Calculation of hydrofluorocarbon emissions
ZKO name Substation Substance name Number Quantity [kg] CO2 equivalent [t] GWP from IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014 (AR5)
ZKO Warszawa SE Mościska R419A 1 2 5,934 2688
SE Mościska R410A 2 3 6,264 1924
Registered office in Konstancin Jeziorna R134a 1 16 22,88 1300
TOTAL   4 21 35,078 -
ZKO Radom SE Chmielów R407C 1 6 10,644 1624
SE Kozienice R410A 4 20 41,76 1924
TOTAL   5 26 52,404 -
ZKO Katowice SE Katowice R407C 1 1,5 2,661 1624
SE Klikowa R407C 1 8 14,192 1624
SE Lubocza R410A 2 7,9 16,4952 1924
SE Wielopole R410A 1 1,2 2,5056 1924
TOTAL   5 18,6 35,8538 -
ZKO Bydgoszcz Registered office in Bydgoszcz R410A 1 1,7 3,5496 1924
TOTAL   1 1,7 3,5496 -
ZKO Poznań SE Piła Krzewina R410A 1 4,1 8,5608 1924
SE Wrocław R407C 1 6 10,644 1624
TOTAL   2 10,1 19,2048 -
TOTAL     17 77,4 146,0902 -
GRI-Blad Number of electrical insulating oil leakages and mass of oily soil in 2020.
Location and type of major leakages Number of events Amount of soil replaced
1 Pątnów Substation - failure 1 0,336
Preparedness and response to environmental failures (e.g., oil-derivative substance leakage)
The equipment operated at PSE substation facilities contains substances that, if released into the environment, can cause contamination. These mainly include:
  • electrical insulating oil (transformers, oil circuit breakers, measuring transformers, shunt reactors, circuit breakers, capacitors),
  • diesel fuel (power generator sets),
  • acids (electrolytes from battery banks).
Due to the possibility of equipment failure and the associated risk of leakage of the above substances, we make every effort to reduce the adverse impact on the environment as much as possible. Therefore, we prepared two documents:
  • Emergency management plan in case of an accident at the PSE S.A. substation that threatens to contaminate the environment with electrical insulating oil,
  • Emergency management plan in case of hazardous substance leakage (a separate document applies to each company location).
Each of our facilities is equipped with so-called ecological first-aid kits - portable spill kits for collecting small spills, allowing to protect the spill from spreading.
Other environmental aspects
Discharge of wastewater into waters or soil
Our operations generate domestic wastewater. They are discharged into the combined sewerage system, septic tanks, or, after treatment in a biological treatment plant, into water or soil. Biological wastewater treatment plants using various treatment methods, including activated sludge and spray bed, are in operation at our network facilities.

When treated, the wastewater meets the requirements of the law and water permits. Wastewater treatment facilities are designed in accordance with applicable standards and laws. They undergo periodic maintenance and inspection to ensure proper operation. The quality of wastewater discharged into the environment is also periodically monitored.
GRI 306-1
Total waste water volume* by treatment method and final destination
Volume (in m3)
2020** 2019**
Wastewater treated in own biological wastewater treatment plants Discharged to surface waters, including lakes and rivers 175,00 399,00
Discharged to soil 2 523,00 1 886,49
Discharged to utility companies 22 027,00 25 991,20
Total amount of wastewater 24 725,00 28 267,69
* The index refers to wastewater discharged from substation facilities and PSE headquarters and branch units. Not applicable to stormwater.

** In 2019-2020, the amount of wastewater discharged to the utility companies also includes liquid waste collected from septic tanks. Wastewater parameters are monitored by the recipient.
We strive to minimize water consumption
ZWater consumption at our corporate headquarters and substations is low, as we have no manufacturing operations. Nevertheless, as part of our Environmental Management System, we monitor water consumption. To supply water to the substation buildings we use our own deep water intakes and municipal or city water supply pipelines.

The wells are the source of supply for 13 of our extra high voltage substations. At the substation facilities, water is used for personal use, for substation service employees, and for fire protection.

At substations with transformer units equipped with fire extinguishing systems, a small amount of water from the tanks is used for the annual sprinkler system tests. The amount of water used is measured based on readings from the main water meter.

At our headquarters in Konstancin-Jeziorna we also use our own water intake. We have two deep wells at our disposal. The water supplied to the branch units comes from the municipal water supply pipelines.
GRI 303-1
Total water consumption by source
Volume (in m3)
2020 2019
Groundwater (own intakes) 12 032,00 14 744,45
Supply of mains water or from other external sources 18 372,50 19 047,20
Total volume of water taken from the above sources 30 404,50 33 791,65
Source: Own study based on readings from water meters in facilities equipped with their own water intakes and on invoices for water supply to facilities using the water supply system.
GRI 307-1
In 2020, as in previous years, PSE was not fined for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
GRI 307-1
Monetary value of fines and total number of non-financial sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
2020 2019
Total value of fines for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations 0 0
Number of non-financial, administrative and judicial sanctions imposed on the organization for non-compliance with environmental regulations, including: 0 0
– international declarations/conventions/treaties and national, regional and local laws 0 0
– voluntary environmental agreements with regulators that are considered binding and designed to replace the implementation of new regulations 0 0
Cases sued to the organization by dispute resolution bodies supervised by governmental authorities 0 0

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