How we generate the power we need to keep our businesses – and our homes – running has a significant impact on our planet. Governments' policy decisions, businesses focus on sustainability and our own behaviour as citizens need regular scrutiny to ensure that we'll leave a habitable planet for our great-grandchildren.
We begin with an interview with the British Embassy's new head of energy in Warsaw, Janusz Bil, who has a deep and broad knowledge of the Polish energy sector. Mr Bil is on hand to support UK energy companies, from nuclear to small hydro, from clean coal to off-shore wind farms, export to and invest in the Polish market. Mr Bil realistically assesses the opportunities that Poland offers British business in this sector.
From the New Year, water in Poland will be subject to new regulations, as the EU's Water Directive comes into force in Polish legislation. A new regulatory body, Polskie Wody, has been established to oversee and licence the take up of water and the disposal of waste water. How it will function – and how it will affect your business – is discussed in two articles from Mott MacDonald and Wardyński & Partners. Broader legislative changes affecting the environment are described in an article from CMS Cameron McKenna.
Creating energy from municipal waste is a pressing issue for many local authorities, but the question is how to finance the investment. A good case, one would think, for public-private partnerships. Yet legal and cultural obstacles remain in the way. An article from Dentons looks at PPP in waste-to-energy.
The 'fifth fuel' is said to be energy saving. Energy audits have to be carried out in businesses employing over 250 people. Failure to do so may result in heavy fines. An alternative is to implement a certified Energy Management System; this is something that BSI Group Polska can help with. Saving energy in commercial real estate helps the environment. Industrial and warehouse space can be particularly energy-intensive, yet there are ways to cut energy consumption here too, as an article from Savills points out.
Manufacturing also has an impact on the environment. Articles from ERM Polska and CHWMEG look at environmental risks at manufacturing plants, while DBL Workwear looks at how clothing worn by factory workers can be managed more effectively so as to reduce its impact on the environment.
Protection of the urban environment – in particular its water and air – is something that Gliwice-based IT firm Future Processing does. Read how the firm saved half a billion litres of water in Wrocław in one year, by using smart technology to detect and locate water leaks.
Road transport is a major consumer of energy and it too has a significant environmental effect. BP, as one of Poland's largest road-fuel retailers, describes how its environmentally responsible approach has been paying off over its 25 years on the Polish market. And future transport solutions – in the shape of electric vehicles – are on the horizon as Polish legislation places new responsibilities on local authorities to provide charging points for electric vehicles – see article by DZP.
With the deadline for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations looming in the spring of next year, an interview with Maciej Kawecki from the Ministry of Digital Affairs may be slightly 'off-thread', but is an essential read for any business with customer databases – and that means everyone!