Social sponsorship is a very important element of the ORLEN Group’s activities.
In 2014, our efforts focused on a number of selected areas. We provided support for arts and cultural projects, including classical music events. We were again the sponsor of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and thanks to the funds we provided the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played for the first time at the Warsaw National Philharmonic.
In the area of literature, we continued cooperation with the Zbigniew Herbert Foundation by funding the annual International Zbigniew Herbert Award, which is presented to world-class authors referring in their work to the legacy of the Polish poet. PKN ORLEN also continued engagement with the organisers of the ‘No Understatements” (‘Otwartym Tekstem’) literature contest promoting prose writing among young Poles.
Film and theatre remained within the area of our interest − by offering financial support, we contributed to the digital remastering and premiere of the digital version of Andrzej Wajda’s masterpiece ‘Ashes’. We were also one of the sponsors of the Gdynia Film Festival and supported the activities of IMKA Theatre, one of the leading private theatres in Poland.
In order to popularise the works of Polish contemporary artists, the Company continued its cooperation with the DESA Auction House, which included the organisation of several dozen vernissages. PKN ORLEN also sponsored the publication of an album dedicated to the artistic work of Julian Stańczak, a renowned artist of Polish origin and a pioneer of Op-Art, a global movement in visual arts.
Another area of PKN ORLEN’s activities is promoting knowledge and undertaking activities fostering social development. The most important project continued with the participation of PKN ORLEN is the ‘Road to Harvard’ contest, designed to encourage young Poles to study at the world’s best universities. PKN ORLEN also supported the organisation of another edition of the Chemistry Olympics, an educational initiative for broadening young people’s knowledge of and raising their interest in chemistry.
Putting its expertise into good use, PKN ORLEN has teamed with the Warsaw University of Technology in organising a number of sector conferences. We also financed the purchase of specialist equipment for research institutions and supported the activities of academic research societies. We also continued our partnership with the Polish Association of Oil and Gas Industry Engineers and Technicians as organisers of the Oil and Gas Industry Congress.
PKN ORLEN actively promoted European values and achievements of the 25 years of Poland's independence. Once again, we acted as a partner at Polish European Meetings – an event addressed to a wide target group and celebrated as the annual Europe's Day, bringing together both Varsovians and guests from all around Poland and from abroad. At a more local level, PKN ORLEN co-financed the European Picnic held in Płock.
In order to enhance the Company's image as a patron of sports, we worked together with the Foundation for Traditional Karate Development in the organisation of Polish Championship, European Cup, and many traditional karate tournaments. By engaging in such projects, PKN ORLEN promotes an active lifestyle and the value of self-development which comes with this sport discipline.
Another major CSR initiative is our 'ORLEN − Safe Roads' project, which has been running since 2006. The purpose of the project is improvement of safety on Polish roads. In 2014, we focused primarily on the reduction of speed in built-up areas and improvement of safety of pedestrians, especially near pedestrian crossings. An information campaign 'Everyone's in a hurry – including pedestrians! FOOT OFF THE PEDAL!' was run in the Province of Warsaw in partnership with the Road Traffic Department of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Radom. As part of the 'ORLEN Safe Roads' programme, the Company also financed the 'Road Academy with Auto Świat' project, which focused on the improvement of drivers' training at driving schools.
The ORLEN Group continued its involvement in joint initiatives with local communities, with the majority of our community projects implemented in the locations where we run our business operations.
In the city of Płock, home to the Company's registered office and largest production plant, our local activities are focusing on a number of key areas. To start with, as part of the Grant Fund for Płock we provide support to the most active and visible local NGOs.
We also work with Płock municipal authorities in developing the city's infrastructure. In 2014, we continued a joint project to build a sports and recreational area around the ORLEN Arena sports hall.
The third area in which we provide support to local communities is our involvement in the promotion of professional and amateur sports, culture and arts, as well as educational projects.
As part of our long-term activities related to the promotion of sports and active lifestyle, PKN ORLEN has been involved in a number of major projects such as the partnership with the ORLEN Wisła Płock handball team, as well as the sponsorship of and naming rights for the ORLEN Arena Sports and Performance Hall in Płock, the ORLEN CUP International Athletics Meeting, and the Płock ORLEN Polish Open tournament for tennis players on wheelchairs. We also sponsored the Płock Rowing Association and the Płock city running events.
PKN ORLEN regularly engages in the promotion of classical music in Płock through the sponsorship of the Płock Symphony Orchestra and the Pueri et Puellae Cantores Plocenses children's choir. The Company also continued to work with organisations whose activities focus on encouraging locals to engage in artistic projects, including the Per Se Theatre Association and the Król Maciuś Pierwszy Youth Community Centre.
In the area of education, PKN ORLEN supported yet another edition of the Scholarship Programme for children in junior high schools and secondary schools in the city of Płock and the County of Płock.