Responsible business in Poland 2020. English Summary

Responsible business in Poland 2020. English Summary

Poland’s largest CSR and sustainable development review which has just been published by the Responsible Business Forum confirms the enormous mobilisation and commitment in the fight against the pandemic. Many businesses have launched totally new CSR activities to deliver assistance and support. The 19th edition of the “Responsible business in Poland. Good Practices” report has seen a more than 40 percent increase in activities reported for the first time. The total number of reported practices has hit an all-time high in the history of the publication at almost 2,000.

The English summary is available here >>

The launch of the report took place on 15 April as an online event. A video recording of the launch is available here >>

A PDF version of the report can be found at

The CSR activities from the 2020 edition can also be found using the good practices search tool at

The Responsible Business Forum publishes the “Responsible business in Poland. Good practices” report on an annual basis. The core of the report is a summary of CSR and sustainable development activities reported by businesses in late December and early January.

The latest edition includes 1,958 examples of good practices (vs. 1,696 in the previous edition) submitted by 225 companies (vs. 214 in the previous edition), including 57 SMEs (vs. 55 in the previous edition). This is a record-breaking publication in terms of good practices, while the number of participating businesses is the second best result in the history of the report. Almost 2,000 CSR activities belong to two groups of practices. The first group are new practices which have been reported for the first time. There are 1,013 of them in the latest edition (vs. 712 in the previous edition). The second group is made of well-established practices which had already been published in the previous editions of the report but were continued last year. This year, these were 945 corporate social responsibility initiatives (vs. 983 in the previous edition).

Experts from the Responsible Business Forum note that the lower number of long-standing practices proves that the pandemic has led to suspension or discontinuation of certain CSR activities. Sometimes they also had to be reinvented.

A whopping 40 percent increase in practices reported for the first time shows that businesses took their CSR initiatives in new fields, often forced by the challenges of the pandemic. The authors of the report point to certain trends such an 80 percent increase in the number of new CSR activities in the area of consumer matters, a 65 percent increase in fair operating practices and a 40 percent increase in labour practices. This growth could have been driven by the selection of key stakeholder groups for whom urgent measures had to be taken to ensure occupational safety and to enable them to do their daily shopping, receive services or cooperate with suppliers. The increase in new practices is also driven by budget reallocations to specific support during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, a company implementing a grant project reallocated the funds to initiatives supporting children, the elderly or doctors in lockdown because of the pandemic. The pandemic has also fuelled the development of partnerships, which is reflected in the activities reported. Businesses collaborated, for instance, in the production of sanitiser gel, provision and delivery of medicines and PPE to hospitals or social welfare centres.

– The pandemic not only did not put a stop to CSR activity, but it reinforced the commitment. We have observed a plethora of great initiatives that allow businesses to play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic. They are presented in the »Responsible Business in Poland 2020. Good practices« report, which already today bears testimony to the multifaceted business efforts made in the name of solidarity and empathy in this unprecedented situation. As well as internal and external measures including organisational transformations, strategic realignments, re-prioritising and job creation, which were suddenly deprived of face-to-face interactions. The year 2020 put us all to a test, checking how fast we can adjust to the new extraordinary reality in extreme uncertainty. Despite the new challenges, sustainable development stayed on the business agenda, which not only is voiced by the companies themselves, but is also confirmed by a broad range of various practices, with a 19 percent growth observed in environmental efforts”, says Marzena Strzelczak, CEO and General Manager of the Responsible Business Forum. “The 19th edition of the report is yet another record-breaking publication in so many ways. I would like to express my gratitude to the authors of the expert papers published in the report. And credit goes to the businesses that submit their good practices to our annual publication, thanks to which the Responsible Business Forum is able to prepare this thorough overview. I encourage you to read the report!”, added the CEO of the Responsible Business Forum.

ISO 26000 areas

Just like in the previous editions, the CSR activities in the 19th report “Responsible business in Poland. Good practices” are classified into the 7 areas defined in the ISO 26000 standard.

  • Community involvement and development (631 good practices) – despite being in different categories, the practices reflect a response to the greatest challenges of 2020: support for health care services; assistance for teachers and students in the transition to remote education; providing care to the elderly who have been at a particular risk of exclusion due to the restrictions and the fact that they belong to a risk group.
  • Labour practices (525 good practices) – the nature of the initiatives was most influenced by the pandemic. Businesses implemented solutions aimed at supporting their workforce and protecting them against the coronavirus infection. Employers were also concerned about the mental health of their employees during lockdown. They offered, for instance, consultations with psychologists and stress management or work-life balance training. Furthermore, companies gave their employees the opportunity to become engaged in aid campaigns addressed to local communities, groups at risk of exclusion and hospital staff.
  • Environment (382 good practices) – the Responsible Business Forum emphasises how important it is to continue the initiatives started in the previous years. As many as 178 long-term practices were reported (as compared to 136 long-term practices in 2019). What is also relevant is that more than a half of the new practices support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 13, which means that they involve various forms of climate action.
  • Human rights (110 good practices) – ‘women in business’-type practices are still commonplace in the human rights area. These activities are addressed to women who aspire to develop professionally, also in the area of new technologies, and some of them involve, for instance, balancing work with caregiving roles. Equal pay remains a critical issue.
  • Consumer issues (107 good practices) – the importance of a focus on customer safety during the pandemic is confirmed by the last category in this area (consumer health and safety), where the number of practices quadrupled (to 16) in relation to the previous year. The pandemic has also driven the use of new technologies, such as online shopping facilities.
  • Fair operating practices (106 good practices) – the initiatives reported largely reflect the peculiarity of the year 2020 for the business community, as companies had to adapt to the new reality in view of the pandemic. Many of them decided to support their suppliers and business partners, for instance by promoting their products and services as well as sharing expertise.
  • Organisational governance (97 good practices) – like in the previous editions, this area is dominated by ethics- and management-related practices. Moreover, in the face of the pandemic, many of the activities carried out by companies were workplace-related, as illustrated by the more frequent alignment of these initiatives with the eighth Sustainable Development Goal: decent work and economic growth.

Sustainable Development Goals. Health as a priority

The latest edition of the report is the fifth one stating which UN Sustainable Development Goal the good practices contribute to. In this year’s report, the two most popular goals switched places. Goal 3: good health and well-being (574 practices) has overtaken Goal 4: quality education (433 practices). This proves how important health protection was last year and that the business community had a major role to play in this context. Like in the previous edition, Goal 8: decent work and economic growth came third (415 good practices).

The least represented goals were Goal 14: life below water, Goal 2: zero hunger and goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions.

Launch of #Report2020

The launch event dedicated to the publication of the “Responsible Business in Poland 2020. Good practices” report took place online on 15 April, and it was available, among others, on the website and fanpage.

The launch was accompanied by side events as well. The following companies officially became the strategic partners of the Responsible Business Forum:, Auchan Retail Polska, LW Bogdanka SA, Rekopol Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań S.A., Walstead Central Europe (read more here >>). The event was also an opportunity to recognise some companies for their long-term cooperation with the Responsible Business Forum. The Responsible Business Forum thanked Adamed Pharma S.A., Amica S.A., Grupa Velux and Stena Recycling for being involved in the Partnership Programme for 5 years. Siemens Sp. z o.o. and Skanska celebrated 10 years of cooperation, while Provident Polska S.A. had its 20 anniversary in the programme.

The initial outcomes of the “Business obligations towards the community. Voice of executives from companies operating in Poland” survey were announced. This is a continuation of the “CSR 2020 Managers” survey, conducted among CEOs of companies operating in Poland (read more here >>). The results of the 11th Responsible Pen competition for journalists and CSR experts were also presented. Authors of the winning entries had their articles published by:, ICAN Management Review, Gazeta Nienieodpowiedzialni,, Personel Plus, Tygodnik POLITYKA (read more >>).

Furthermore, a new research project of the Responsible Business Forum on sustainable digital footprint was officially launched on 15 April. Sustainable digital footprint was also the topic of a discussion with the participation of Aleksandra Stanek-Kowalczyk, PhD and Wojciech Kurowski, PhD from the Warsaw School of Economics (read more >>).

The “Responsible business in Poland. Good Practices” report is the most important cyclical publication of the Responsible Business Forum, published since 2002. The report presents an overview of activities carried out by companies (starting from the 2019 edition, there has been a limit for the registration of new good practices) which reported on their CSR practices and a summary of key issues of responsible business in Poland for the year under review. The introductory section features expert articles and commentaries. Moreover, each publication contains an overview of selected press articles and a calendar of CSR events. Previous editions are available online >>

All practices from the successive Reports can be found using the good practices search tool, available at:

Download the English summary here >>