Grupa LOTOS S.A. - Integrated Annual Report 2012
Local community development programmes
In 2012, we took a number of preventive measures and activities contributing to the development of the local communities living in the vicinity of LOTOS Group facilities. Many of these are long-term programmes that have already been in place for several years. As they fit with the areas of our competence, determined in consultation with our stakeholders, they are indeed likely to improve aspects of life that are important to the communities' members.
The low level of traffic safety has been one of the major social problems in Poland for many years. In 2012, there were over 36,400 road accidents (3,600 fewer than in 2011), in which around 45,000 people were injured (down by 4,500 on 2011) and 3,500 people killed (down by over 600 on the previous year). Although the number of accidents decreased in 2012, Poland is still last among European countries in terms of road traffic mortality per million residents.
According to data furnished by the European Commission, in 2011 the number of people involved in road accidents in Poland was 109 per million residents, whereas in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands - at the other end of the road safety figures - it was 32-33 per million.
Given the scale of the risk, educational campaigns should be run among the very youngest pupils of primary schools, as it is at this stage that the right attitudes and behaviour are shaped most effectively.
Grupa LOTOS sees its involvement in the enhancement of road traffic safety as a priority. To this end, we established Akademia Bezpieczeństwa LOTOS (LOTOS Safety Academy) – a programme dedicated chiefly to educating children and teenagers. Events organised by the LOTOS Safety Academy in 2012 included another iteration of the LOTOS – Bezpieczna droga do szkoły (LOTOS – Safe Journey to School) programme, the Uwolnić odblaski art competition (Free Reflectors - to promote reflective clothing and accessories) and a new project, W drodze do prawa jazdy (On the Way to a Driving Licence).
1. LOTOS – Safe Journey to School
is a social education and accident prevention programme run jointly with Polish Police and road traffic safety experts, designed to educate and promote safe road behaviour, thus preventing traffic accidents involving young schoolchildren. The idea behind the programme is to make children conscious and safety-minded road traffic participants. The programme is addressed to primary-school first year pupils, and is designed to draw their attention to safe use of roads by both pedestrians and drivers, including their parents. At the beginning of every school year, the programme offers an opportunity to participate in classes with police officers and road safety instructors to learn about road traffic safety and safe places to play. Participants are presented with road safety reflectors and special road safety educational packages funded by our Company. Major partners in this programme include the Gdańsk Province Police Headquarters, the Bielsko-Biała City Police Headquarters and the Jasło Motor and Road Rescue Club. The programme is run in the areas of selected LOTOS Group subsidiaries, including in the Province of Gdańsk and the municipalities lying within the sphere of influence of LOTOS Czechowice and LOTOS Jasło. It was first implemented in Jasło, in 1998. In the Gdańsk Province, it has been run regularly since 2001, while in Czechowice since 2004.
In the 2012/2013 school year, we distributed a total of 14,000 road safety reflectors and the same number of educational packages to LOTOS – Safe Journey to School participants. In 2010-2012, the programme's activities were attended by a total of 41,000 students.
2. The Free Reflectors competition
was devised for first-grade pupils, particularly those participating in the LOTOS – Safe Journey to School programme. Its overall aim is to remind and warn children about road traffic risks and to help them get into the habit of wearing reflective accessories, which reduces the likelihood of accidents. The competition is open to schoolchildren of the Gdańsk Province and the Counties of Bielsko-Biała and Jasło. Its partners make joint efforts to encourage parents, carers and teachers to equip children with reflective accessories. The competition is held in the summer semester and the finale takes place in June, just before the end of the school year and the beginning of the holidays. Each participating school selects and submits up to ten pieces of art by their children. From among all the entries, the three best works are selected in each region. First-place winners are awarded bicycles with safety enhancing accessories. Additionally, the schools of the winners are awarded mini road-sign kits and bicycles with safety enhancing accessories. Second-place winners receive roller blade sets with accessories, while third-place winners receive educational game sets.
In 2012, a total of 570 pieces of art from 96 schools were submitted as part of the Free Reflectors competition. First prizes were awarded to the pupils of Primary School No. 61 in Gdańsk (Gdańsk Province), the Primary School in Porąbka (County of Bielsko-Biała) and the Primary School in Dębowiec (County of Jasło). Between 2010-2012, a total of 876 students took part in the contest.
3. The On the way to a Driving Licence project
was initiated in 2012, in cooperation with the Road Traffic Department of the Gdańsk Province Police Headquarters. It is aimed at promoting the rules of safe behaviour on the road among students of secondary schools, thus preventing accidents involving young drivers. The project focused on meetings with students of selected junior high schools. These meetings involved lectures on the rules of road safety, delivered by a police officer, as well as lectures on first aid and the medical consequences of road accidents, delivered by a medical rescue expert. The speeches were accompanied by a multimedia presentation. The main emphasis was placed on such risks as speeding, reckless driving, and not wearing seat belts.
The pilot edition of the On the Way to a Driving Licence project, held in May 2012, was attended by nearly 500 junior high school students in Gdańsk.
Equal opportunity initiatives
Equal opportunity initiatives and prevention of social exclusion, especially among children and youth, have been our focus for a number of years. Openness to the future is among the key social values of the LOTOS brand, which is why we place a special emphasis on projects promoting young people’s personal development. We also feel responsible for the future of the children and youth living in the immediate vicinity of our production facilities, particularly the Gdańsk refinery.
Dobry Sąsiad (Good Neighbour) Programme
We have developed a dedicated programme for the inhabitants of Grupa LOTOS’ neighbouring areas. Its strategic objective is to ensure equal opportunities, prevent social exclusion, raise environmental awareness and promote eco-friendly behaviour among the youngest children. The operational objectives we pursue as part of the programme are:
- Involvement in the life of local communities (by organising family events, sporting events etc.);
- Supporting of environmental projects and the active protection of nature surrounding the refinery;
- Supporting of selected local government projects improving the quality of life of people residing in the districts covered by the programme;
- Developing local inhabitants’ understanding of our operations and assuring them that the refinery has state-of-the-art environmental security controls;
- Tackling social inequalities by providing support to non-profit organizations and public benefit institutions;
- Involvement in long-standing initiatives aimed at the inhabitants of Grupa LOTOS’ neighbouring districts.
1. Family picnics and sports events
In 2012, we organised the Piłkarski Dzień Dziecka (Children’s Football Day) family event in the Stogi district, neighbouring our facility in Gdańsk. The festival attracted around a thousand participants, who were also asked to assess the event in a survey. Their opinions concerning the venue, the programme of the event and its organization, as well as the quality of the service, overall satisfaction and quality of the gifts distributed were all at the top of the scale (99% of respondents). 76% of the respondents said we were taking care of the immediate surroundings, and 88% of the people asked felt the event met their social needs and expectations.
As part of the initiatives we undertook in our immediate vicinity, we also participated in the construction of 16 football pitches under the Junior Gdańsk 2012 programme, commenced by the Mayor of Gdańsk in 2007. This programme granted thousands of Gdańsk school students access to the most advanced facilities of various sports disciplines. We were also the only participating company to finance construction of two multi-purpose pitches in districts of Gdańsk – in our immediate vicinity, at Primary School No. 61 in Przeróbka district and at Junior High School No. 20 in Przymorze district. At the end of the programme, just before the UEFA EURO 2012 Football Championship, we held a football tournament for all the primary and junior high schools which had had pitches built under the Junior Gdańsk 2012 programme.
2. Charity initiatives
As part of the Good Neighbour programme, we work together with non-governmental organizations, offering assistance to the neediest, particularly children and the youth, in our closest neighbourhood. We support the work of Fundacja Pomóż Sobie i Innym (Help Yourself and Others Foundation), Stowarzyszenie Pedagogów Praktyków (Association of Practising Educators) and Parafia p.w. Matki Boskiej Bolesnej w Gdańsku (Our Lady of Dolours Parish in Gdańsk). We co-financed summer and winter holidays for some 120 children under the care of these organizations. We also organised Santa Claus gift-giving events for children in family-type children’s homes.
3. Pro-environmental education
In the immediate vicinity of our facilities in Gdańsk is Sobieszewo Island, which includes two nature reserves: 'Ptasi Raj' and 'Mewia Łacha'. Together with the Ornithological Station at the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Kuling Waterbird Research Group and the Association of Sobieszewo Island Lovers, we pursue the Chronimy NATURĘ na Wyspie Sobieszewskiej (Protect the Wildlife of the Sobieszewo Island) programme. The programme provides for comprehensive initiatives undertaken on Sobieszewo Island to preserve its natural riches and provide for pro-environmental education. The work of the programme has resulted in construction of protective infrastructure, for instance the development of an educational eco-route within the Mewia Łacha nature reserve, support for construction of an observation deck and the pro-environmental education of residents and tourists. In 2012, we also implemented the Edukacja dla Natury na Wyspie Sobieszewskiej (Education for Nature on the Sobieszewo Island) educational project, which involved indoor workshops and field sessions, as well as training for teachers of biology and natural sciences and educators from the Pomerania region. In conjunction with the Ornithological Station, we also organise free-of-charge lectures for students of Gdańsk schools. The idea of these lectures is to develop the young generation’s interest in ecology and environmental protection, promote the Natura 2000 European Ecological Network, with particular emphasis on the significance of Sobieszewo Island's protected areas to preservation of the area's biodiversity.
In 2012, over 2,600 people benefited from the educational classes developed in the Mewia Łacha nature reserve as part of the Chronimy NATURĘ na Wyspie Sobieszewskiej programme. The educational classes accompanying the Edukacja dla Natury na Wyspie Sobieszewskiej project were attended by 2,100 children and young people with their parents and guardians. Between 2010 and 2012, a total of 6,700 people took part in similar activities.
The Skrzydła z Grupą LOTOS (Wings with Grupa LOTOS) Programme
We have adopted a strategic approach to equal opportunity initiatives addressed to talented children at risk of social exclusion, not only from Pomerania, but also from other regions where the LOTOS Group conducts its business. This was made possible when we joined the group of strategic partners of the Skrzydła (Wings) programme implemented by Caritas Polska, in 2010. Under the Skrzydła z Grupą LOTOS programme, we have assisted 70 pupils from low-income families in three regions of Poland. Skrzydła is a programme of long-term assistance for pupils of primary, junior high and high schools who, given the insufficient means of their families, need assistance in the form of school lunches, school kits, as well as co-financing of school trips and educational activities. Under the programme, a sponsor can choose the form of assistance and tailor it to the needs of a child and the sponsor’s financial resources. We have extended assistance to the most needy junior high and high school pupils from the Gdańsk Province, Jasło County and the Czechowice-Dziedzice Municipality. This assistance is rendered by the associated Skrzydła na przyszłość (Wings for the Future) programme, ensuring equal opportunities for all children to pursue their plans and ambitions.
Sports education programmes
We are also involved in community-oriented sports projects supporting the development of sports skills among children and youth, to train future generations of sportsmen who would like to join their local or national teams. We participate in all these initiatives because we believe in taking responsibility for the local communities in which we operate. Education through sports is also a good way to spend leisure time, educate young people in the spirit of healthy competition and fair play, and counteract social pathologies.
Since 2004, Grupa LOTOS, together with its partner the Polish Skiing Association, has run one of the widest-ranging projects in the area of sports education – the National Ski Jumping Development Programme, 'In Search of the Champion's Successors'. The programme's main objective is to support young athletes practising at ski-jumping clubs which run their own ski jumping and Nordic combined youth sections and to discover the finest Polish ski-jumping and ski-running talents. In the 2011/2012 season, the core of the national youth team was composed of scholarship holders and beneficiaries of the "In Search of the Champion’s Successors" programme, as 12 out of 15 ski jumpers appointed to National Team A, the national youth team and all Nordic combined skiers of the Polish Skiing Association were covered by the programme.
From 2010 to 2012, 85 pairs of skis complete with bindings, 55 suits and 55 ski-jumping boots were given to the most talented young ski jumpers from 19 clubs all over Poland as part of the In Search of the Champion's Successors programme. Over a period of eight years, we handed out a total of 756 sets of professional sports equipment, thus launching the largest CSR project in support of talented ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers from Polish clubs. In addition, our one-year sports scholarships were awarded to 96 ski jumpers from the 11–12 and 15–16 age groups who finished in the top six places in the general classification of the LOTOS Cup tournament's 2004–2012 seasons.
Another field of the Company's activities supporting young sportsmen is our work with youth groups practising with the Lechia Gdańsk Football Academy. In 2012, the Company and the Academy jointly launched the White and Green Future with LOTOS programme. From 2012 to 2015, we will gradually open more than ten new Academy outlets in other locations. The programme will be implemented at new locations across Pomerania and the neighbouring provinces. Ultimately, the programme will cover a total of 3,000 children, including some 400 from outside Gdańsk who will be able to participate in regular training sessions based on the Academy's training programme.
Also in 2012, we continued our support of the training of girls basketball teams at the Gdynia Basketball Society (GTK). A total of around 300 young basketballers practise with the GTK and the sports achievements and prizes it has won, including Polish National Championship medals in 2010–2011, prove that the club is a model of management in organizational and sports terms.
In 2012, we also continued our cooperation with the Wybrzeże Gdańsk Speedway Club Association, which trains children and youth. The aim of the Speedway Youth School is to develop young riders to join the first team of GKS Wybrzeże - the LOTOS Wybrzeże Gdańsk club. As in previous years, the team of young GKS riders participated in the 2012 Team Championship of Poland, finishing second.
Protection of the environment and ecology
As our refinery is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea, we place particular emphasis on working with partners specialising in areas related specifically to the region’s environmental conditions. These partners include: the Foundation for the Development of Gdańsk University (FRUG) and the Marine Station of the University’s Institute of Oceanography (IOUG) in Hel. Together with these institutions, we have implemented projects aimed at protecting the natural riches of the Baltic Sea. In 2012, we continued our involvement in initiatives focused on the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea.
The 'LOTOS Protects the Baltic Sea’s Wildlife' programme
Since 2009, we have been working jointly with the FRUG Foundation and the IOUG Marine Station on projects designed to prevent the extinction of endangered marine species, notably the harbour porpoise. One of the most mysterious mammals of the Baltic Sea, the protected harbour porpoise is in danger of extinction. They are the only cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Baltic Sea, mainly off the coast of Denmark, Germany, the south coast of Sweden, as well as the Pomeranian, Gdańsk and Puck Bays in Poland.
Apart from these efforts, the partnership has paved the way for further projects aimed at promoting knowledge of the Baltic Sea’s biodiversity and information on what can be done to protect its endangered species. Such joint projects include the 'Blue Schools' where children and teenagers can meet with educators teaching about the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea. Each year we are also involved in the organization of the International Baltic Harbour Porpoise Day, established on the initiative of the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS).
We support projects designed to protect the harbour porpoise by purchasing tools which facilitate scientific research and warn marine mammals against the presence of dangerous underwater objects. As a result of such projects, a special line of acoustic deterrent devices (pingers), designed to warn harbour porpoises away from bay fisheries, was built between Gdynia and Hel.
In 2012, as in previous years, we organised the ‘Wildlife in the water under the keel’ awareness campaign, promoting the protection of areas covered by the Natura 2000 network and encouraging the public to get involved in the conservation planning process. The campaign was conducted on-board vessels operated by Żegluga Gdańska. As part of the campaign, ten educational boards were displayed in the ships.
In 2012, we also engaged - for the fourth time - in the ‘Clean Up the World’ campaign, with our organization of the ‘Let’s clean up the Baltic Sea! Let’s clean up the world!’ event. Children from 70 Gdańsk primary schools were invited to join the initiative, which took place in Gdańsk on Brzeźno beach, with the number of participants doubling over 2011. During the collective cleaning event, 6,000 litres of waste was collected in compliance with the rules of waste segregation. Once the cleaning was over, participants of the event could take part in an educational programme, which included the pro-environmental 'Laws of Nature Park', the 'Śmieciowisko' (Rubbish Dump) theatrical show, and educational workshops. The purpose of the event was to develop a sense of responsibility for the world around us, particularly for protecting the Baltic Sea and keeping it clean.
The key measurement used to assess the project's impact was turnout.
The associated events of the 2012 ASCOBANS International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise attracted 6,000 visitors, while the Marine Station’s stand at the Baltic Science Festival was visited by over 3,000. Some 50,000 items of informational and educational materials and 200 copies of an educational documentary were handed out. The associated www.morswin.pl site was then visited 12,600 times over the year, and the banner campaign on the trójmiasto.pl website received 5,000 hits. An article on the harbour porpoise conservation plans was printed 30,000 times, and an exhibition entitled 'Okiem Mewy' (The Seagull’s View) had 20,000 visitors. Courses offered by the Blue School were attended by 4,500 students, while the Fokarium (Seal Centre) in Hel attracted nearly 399,000 visitors. The 'Let’s clean up the Baltic Sea!' event attracted 750 students from a dozen or so Gdańsk primary schools.
Maritime Education Programme
Another programme we support, implemented by the Gdańsk Foundation at the request of the Mayor of Gdańsk. The Maritime Education Programme was initiated by Mateusz Kusznierewicz, the Ambassador for Maritime Affairs of the City of Gdańsk. Its purpose is to expand young people's knowledge of the natural environment, sailing, the maritime heritage of Gdańsk and water safety rules, in a manner which is interesting to them and ensures that they can easily acquire the new knowledge and practical skills. Each year, all first class students of junior high schools from Gdańsk (totalling approximately 3,500) take educational cruises along the Gdańsk harbour channel and around the Gdańsk Bay, which last several hours at a time. Participation in the cruises is free of charge. As part of the Marine Education Programme, an environmental competition is also held. In 2012, a national competition was run under the slogan 'We all care for the Baltic Sea', which was addressed to students of every Polish junior high school. The competition was designed to make young people more sensitive to the local environment, in particular to issues affecting the Baltic Sea. It was organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, with the theoretical framework for the competition provided by our partners, the FRUG Foundation and the IOUG Marine Station, as well as the City Police Headquarters. The main task of the contestants was to write an essay on the subject “How I care for the Baltic Sea, while caring for water in my neighbourhood”. Almost 300 essays were submitted for the competition. The fourteen winners were awarded a week-long cruise around the Gdańsk Bay and Żuławy Loop. The highlights of the cruise included training at the IOUG Marine Station and a visit to the Seal Centre.
As part of the project, we conduct an evaluation survey each time among the teachers and test students for knowledge acquired during the cruises. In 2012, 197 teachers took part in evaluation of the programme, 99% of whom stated that it should definitely be continued. 97% of responders correctly named the sponsor of the programme, i.e. Grupa LOTOS, while 96% of respondents expressed the opinion that commercial companies should engage in activities supporting local communities and the environment.
From 2010 to 2012, in all editions of the Maritime Education Programme, over 10,500 people took part in the cruises along the Gdańsk Bay, during which they covered a total distance of over 22,000 nautical miles.