Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A. as the first Polish company operating in the media and technology area signed a financing agreement based on ESG goals. They are in line with the company's recently announced sustainable development strategy. The margin of the financing is dependent on attainment of contractually defined measures in the areas of: share of renewable energy, environmental education and increasing the diversity in managerial positions.
The bank syndicate providing the so-called Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL) includes: mBank, PKO Bank Polski, Bank Pekao S.A., BNP Paribas Bank Polska and ING Bank Śląski. Provisions pertaining to ESG goals have been added to the agreement with the banks. The proceeds will be used, among other things, to finance acquisitions and capital expenditures. The available total amount of the financing remains unchanged at nearly PLN 1 billion.
"Sustainability topics are increasingly important to business. We are proud to announce that we are one of the first companies in Poland, and the first company in the media and technology area, to raise funds based on ESG goals. We would like to thank the bank syndicate for the possibility of incorporating sustainable development into the foundations of our cooperation," says Elżbieta Bujniewicz-Belka, CFO of Wirtualna Polska.
In March, Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A. adopted a sustainable development strategy for 2022-2025, with long-term assumptions until 2030. The document describes three key areas of activity - environment, society and corporate governance - in which the company will carry out the defined tasks. The level of margin in the SLL financing is dependent on meeting the following goals consistent with the ESG strategy:
· Increasing the share of renewable energy sources in consumed electricity to 90%
· Increasing publication of articles on environmental and climate issues to over 800
· Increasing the percentage of women in managerial positions to 41%
The achievement of the goals laid down in the agreement with the bank syndicate will be subject to external verification on an annual basis.
"The ESG agenda is beginning to play an increasingly important role in the operation of financial institutions. As the banking industry, we want to change not only ourselves but also influence the transformation of the economy. We are happy that thanks to the financing obtained from the 5 banks Wirtualna Polska will implement an ambitious sustainable development strategy," says Adam Pers, Vice-President for Corporate and Investment Banking at mBank.
The ESG strategy adopted by Wirtualna Polska Holding S.A., apart from setting new development directions, systematizes its existing activities. In 2020, the company began a multi-step process to transition to the so-called green energy. Since then, it has purchased only energy with guarantees of origin confirming that it comes from renewable sources. The next completed stage is the purchase of a photovoltaic farm. Electricity generated from actual own production already covers almost half of WP’s power consumption needs for running its server-hosting facilities.
In 2021, the company joined the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest initiative bringing together sustainable business. This way, WP is joining the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda. In 2021, WP joined the 30% Club, undertaking to increase the representation of women in the management board and supervisory board.