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Pandemic and the economy in Poland. Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Olga Semeniuk on sustainable development

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Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Olga Semeniuk said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of sustainable development. She added that the coronavirus has led to various types of industry bottlenecks – including in the furniture sector.

On Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Olga Semeniuk participated in the panel “Poland towards ESG – how sustainable development standards will affect the state’s policy in the field of development, education, social policy and environmental protection” organized as part of the 1st ESG Congress.

ESG concerns activities related to, inter alia, with corporate social responsibility, activities for the protection of the climate and low-emission economy, issues related to corporate governance, transparency and fairness of business, and ensuring respect for diversity and minority rights.


Pandemic and the economy – commentary by the deputy minister of development

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Semeniuk pointed out that we already shape the economy in primary schools in vocational and industry education. She indicated that MRiT is responsible for carrying out, preparing and implementing a strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises using the potential of industry and vocational schools.

– An ideal economy is one in which every person who decides to change their profession or a change of industry has a chance to do so, and the Polish state is preparing such opportunities – she pointed out. She explained that for this purpose the ministry is developing a new law on vocational training.

The deputy head of the Ministry of Regional Development emphasized that “the pandemic increased the importance of sustainable development”. – Today, we divide the economy between the time to March 2020 and the time from March 2020. We see all kinds of industry bottlenecks. Some branches of the economy are so exposed and exploited by the demand that it is difficult, for example, in the furniture industry, to lead to a situation where there will be no blockages within the time frame of the furniture industry, she stated. She pointed to the problem with regulating the pace and nature of the supply policy in the housing policy.

According to Semeniuk, apprenticeship “is an integral part of political and economic strength”. – Activities related to entrepreneurship with preparing the society to start their own companies is an important element here – she assessed.

Education, the wage gap

Also, the Plenipotentiary of the Prime Minister for GovTech – head of the GovTech Center, Justyna Orłowska, Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Education and Science for Digital Transformation, emphasized that “education is the foundation for the economy”. – What our education will look like, so will the economy. It all starts at school, she said. She pointed to investments in modern technologies – incl. laboratories of the future – the program is intended for all schools in Poland. – When talking about sustainable development, we must not forget to go everywhere – she emphasized.

Referring to sustainable development, Marcin Wiącek, who participated in the RPO panel, drew attention to the wage gap in the labor market – lower earnings of women than men in comparable positions. and the insufficient share of women in management positions. He cited data showing that women constitute 16 percent. members of Supervisory Boards, 13 percent board members, 6 percent CEOs of companies listed on the GWP. – The glass ceiling is an important social phenomenon in Poland and solutions should be sought on how to minimize it – he said.

Environment and society

The panel participants emphasized that not only small and medium-sized enterprises, but also consumers must show care for the environment, society and corporate governance. After the panel was completed, a letter of intent was signed for the implementation of ESG in Poland.

The 1st ESG Congress – Sustainable Development Leaders for the ESG Ecosystem is the first round table devoted to ESG issues for all interested groups – from representatives of government, business, non-governmental organizations, to scientists and representatives of the most important media.

The Congress is to be an impulse that will help Polish companies to implement and implement ESG activities more effectively, and to prepare the conditions for public institutions to make sustainable development a chance for the Polish economy for dynamic development of competitiveness and innovation. The aim of the event is to start a substantive discussion on ESG standards and to develop recommendations for Poland in this regard, which will be issued in the form of a post-congress report.

The organizer of the congress in Warsaw is the ESG Institute – an advisory and analytical team operating within the framework of the XBW by Ignacy Krasicki. The event is organized by: RaportCSR.pl, the Academy of Management and Development and the Forum of Trustworthy Employers. One of the media patrons of the event is the Polish Press Agency.

The Congress is under the honorary patronage of: the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and Science, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the Ministry of Development and Technology, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and the Ombudsman.

Main photo source: Mateusz Marek / PAP

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