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EBRD supports green investments in Poland

By Nigina Mirbabaeva

  • EBRD provides a €75 million (of which €67.5 million is in PLN equivalent) sustainability-linked loan to modern convenience ecosystem operator Żabka Group
  • Investment to finance adoption of sustainable solutions across Żabka Group’s operations
  • Loan includes a €7.5 million concessional tranche of the High-Impact Partnership on Climate Action (HIPCA)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is promoting more environment-friendly retail and value chains in Poland, with a sustainability-linked loan provided to Żabka Group, which operates a leading modern convenience ecosystem in Europe.

The sustainability-linked loan of €75 million (of which €67.5 million is in PLN equivalent) will support Żabka Group’s medium-term capex programme in Poland, which includes investments eligible under the Bank’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. The loan will finance the adoption of sustainable solutions in Żabka’s operations, such as a new automated distribution centre, more efficient and lower-emission stores and food waste minimisation operations.

The loan includes a €7.5 million concessional tranche by TaiwanICDF through the High-Impact Partnership on Climate Action, HIPCA (also supported by Austria, CanadaFinland, Koreathe Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and the United Kingdom). The concessional tranche is linked to the achievement of ESG-related targets such as greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, achievement of a BREEAM “excellent” rating for its new automated distribution centre, as well as the reduction of virgin plastic usage in own-brand products.

With the global food system responsible for approximately a third of all global manmade greenhouse gas emissions, implementing environment-friendly solutions, including at retailer level, is critical to meet the global 2015 Paris Agreement objectives and transition towards more sustainable and resilient food systems. Żabka Group’s efforts to implement more sustainability solutions into its operations contribute to these efforts.

“Our goal is to responsibly plan the development of the entire Żabka Group. Together with other market players, we set new standards for financing by developing innovative solutions that take into account sustainability goals. All signed agreements on sustainable finance instruments contain our commitments to specific measurable objectives in the ESG area, which are consistent with the Group's Responsibility Strategy. The loan granted to us by the EBRD is an additional motivation for us to implement our activities in the scope of increasing energy efficiency and minimizing food waste in our operations more effectively” said Marta Wrochna-Łastowska, Member of the Management Board of the Żabka Group, Chief Financial Officer.

EBRD Head of Agribusiness Natalia Zhukova added: “We are glad to continue supporting our long-standing partner Żabka Group on its path towards more sustainable operations through this green investment. They have been at the forefront of introducing innovation and sustainability-related goals, and we’re pleased to work together in promoting the sustainability agenda even further.”  

In 2022, Żabka Group adopted a comprehensive Responsibility Strategy (ESG), demonstrating the company's commitment to creating greener and more sustainable living for everyone, whilst simultaneously minimising its environmental impact across the whole value chain, for example being the first retail company in Central Europe region to commit to ESG targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). By integrating this with Żabka Group's business strategy, objectives are clearly defined, indicating the direction Żabka intends to be heading.

Over 9,400 modern convenience stores across the country under Żabka brand are operated by independent entrepreneurs under a franchise model. Żabka’s stated goal is to free up free time, that is, to develop a comprehensive “convenience ecosystem”, including private label food solutions such as Szamamm, Dobra Karma or Foodini, Żappka mobile app, Żabka Nano – the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe, ready meal producer Maczfit and meal marketplace Dietly as well as q-commerce app Żabka Jush and e-commerce platform Delio.

To date, the EBRD has invested nearly €12.5 billion in Poland. The current share of green economy transition projects in the country is 80 per cent.


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