By Wojciech Knawa
There has been a lot of negative press about Poland recently due to political decisions regarding coal, but I feel like it is misleading to those outside the country in terms of what Poles actually care about. This is a country where people are passionate about wellness, health and the environment and you see that every day throughout the nation.
Corporations Can Lead Change
As a business leader I do not believe it is appropriate for us to meddle in political squabbles or opinions of one party or another, but I do believe we have a role to play. Governments are often the slowest vehicle to effect change, but when people change their behaviors and corporations lead the charge positive results follow.
It is for this reason, EPP has committed to do its part to support sustainable business and green initiatives. You may have seen our CEO earlier this year issue this challenge to reduce plastics. In addition, my partner on EPP’s board has previously written about our commitment to supporting bees and educating the public about the important role apiaries play in maintain nature’s balance.
We were especially proud last month when our flagship development in Warsaw, Galeria Mlociny, received an award for green building from Propertynews.pl.
But we’re going a lot farther than that, ensuring that our properties support the environment and create wellness activities for its communities.
We are proud to have the first shopping centers in the country to receive certificates from Poland’s longest bicycle trail for being bike friendly. Our malls in Kielce, Lomza, and Zamosc all feature free bike parking and access to a tool station where riders can repair their bikes.
Go Green, Go Clean
Five of EPP’s galleries are now being serviced by a company which is devoted to using the EU ecolabel certified cleaning services. With the support of EPP, Pakar Service is the first company in Poland and the fifth in Europe to receive this prestigious certificate that guarantees the products and services we are providing in cleaning our centers don’t have a negative impact on the environment. We are hopeful that all of our shopping centers will join this program in the near future and also hope that as the dominant owner of shopping centers in Poland, our competitors will follow suit as well.