Loan to Poland's Benefit Systems

Location:

Poland

Project number:

53273

Business sector:

Manufacturing and Services

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

08 Mar 2022

Status:

Disbursing

PSD disclosed:

08 Mar 2022

As per section 1.4.2 (iii) of the Directive on Access to Information: "For Projects approved by Bank management where the Board of Directors has delegated the approval authority, the PSD shall be disclosed at the start of the relevant no-objection notification period to a member country of the Bank in accordance with Article 13 (iii) of the Agreement Establishing the EBRD."

Project Description

Provision of a long term senior loan of up to PLN 115 million (EUR 25 million) in favour of Benefit Systems S.A. ("Benefit", "Company"), a joint-stock company domiciled in Poland, to finance (i) development of the new "MultiLife" platform and inclusion initiatives targeting increased physical activities; (ii) both organic and M&A driven expansion programme; and (iii) Green Economy Transition (GET) eligible investments. 

Project Objectives

The proposed facility will support Benefit's mission to promote active lifestyle among all groups of society, especially among elderly and disabled people, as well as increase society's awareness of physical activities, healthy nutrition and ways to support mental wellbeing at any point in life.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 61

The transition of the proposed project will be derived from broadening access to fitness and wellbeing services for elderly and people with disabilities, through development of new integrated physiotherapy services (Zdrofit Healthy Place) and digital fitness platform (Yes2Move). Club members with disabilities will benefit from improved physical access to mainstream fitness facilities. In addition, the Company will reduce overall carbon footprint by means of generating more energy from renewable sources.

Client Information

BENEFIT SYSTEMS SA

Benefit Systems S.A. is a leading provider of non-payroll employee benefits in CEE, mainly in Poland, but also in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. Benefit also runs one of the largest fitness chains in CEE with 194 fitness clubs. The Company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

EBRD Finance Summary

PLN 115,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

PLN 480,000,000.00

The project is financed together with Benefit Systems and another Polish bank.

Additionality

The Bank's additionality derives from provision of financing with longest tenor and introduction of best international practices in the area of inclusion practices and non-financial reporting. The Company will follow "ESG reporting guidelines" jointly developed by the EBRD and the Warsaw Stock Exchange for publicly listed entities.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (2019 ESP). Low- medium risk. The ESDD was undertaken by ESD based on company responses to E&S questionnaires and online meetings with Company management. The Company has implemented environmental, labour and corporate responsibility systems confirmed by B Corp certification. The Company has designated ESG, environmental, H&S, contractor management and supply chain and stakeholder engagement managers and has the capacity to implement the project in line with EBRD PRs. The Company focuses on reduction of their CO2 emissions through their strategies in regards to choices of leased buildings with sustainability certifications and implementation of other energy and water efficiency measures and waste reduction. The investment supported by the Bank will result in generation of 5,000 MWh/yr of renewable energy a year and fits into Company's strategy to minimise their Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions. The company has implemented H&S management focused on risk based approach and utilises external advisors to continuously assess risks for all workers and customers. Reported H&S performance has been good.


The Company maintains appropriate Human Resources policies and procedures for a workforce of almost 1,500 employees, 65% of whom are women. HR management includes an internal grievance mechanism and Code of Ethics that forbids all forms of discrimination and harassment. As the Project includes photovoltaic plant with 5MW capacity the Client has committed to use the Green Technology Selector (GTS) in line with Bank's Management approach to forced labour risk in supply chain. This commitment is covenanted in the ESAP.


In line with B Corp certification focus, the Company is active within communities where it operates through campaigns and various support activities promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle. The Company issues annual non-financial report addressing ESG issues. Investment plans aim to improve access to facilities with a commitment to have 80% of new clubs accessible to people with disabilities.


As the Company operations are deemed to be compliant with Bank's PRs, the ESAP is focused on use of GTS in regards to procurement of equipment for the solar plant. The project is consistent with the GET approach and the GET share is 13%. The project is considered aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The Bank will monitor the project through the review of the Annual E&S Reports.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

None.

Company Contact Information

Malgorzata Kloka
ir@benefitsystems.pl
+48 22 242 40 00
www.benefitsystems.pl
Plac Europejski 2 00-844 Warszawa Poland

PSD last updated

08 Mar 2022

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

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Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to compliance@ebrd.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

 

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