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Independent assurance report


To the readers of AkzoNobel’s Sustainability statements 2012

We were engaged by the Board of Management of AkzoNobel N.V. (further AkzoNobel) to provide assurance on the sustainability information in the AkzoNobel Report 2012. The Board of Management of AkzoNobel is responsible for the preparation of the AkzoNobel Report 2012, including the identification of material issues. Our responsibility is to issue an assurance report based on the engagement outlined below.

Scope

Our assurance engagement was designed to provide:

  • Limited assurance on whether the information in the Sustainability statements section (further Sustainability statements) and in the Compliance and integrity management chapter of the Governance and compliance section of the AkzoNobel Report 2012 is fairly presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria
  • Reasonable assurance on whether the information in the Managing our values paragraph (see Note 1 in the Sustainability statements) is presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria as defined by AkzoNobel

We do not provide any assurance on the achievability of the objectives, targets and expectations of AkzoNobel.

Procedures performed to obtain a limited level of assurance are aimed at determining the plausibility of information and are less extensive than those for a reasonable level of assurance.

Reporting criteria and assurance standard

AkzoNobel applies the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3.1) of the Global Reporting Initiative, supported by internally developed guidelines as described in the Reporting principles paragraph. It is important to view the performance data in the context of these criteria. We believe these criteria are suitable in view of the purpose of our assurance engagement.

We conducted our engagement in accordance with the International Standard for Assurance Engagement (ISAE 3000): Assurance Engagement other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. This standard requires, among others, that the assurance team possesses the specific knowledge, skills and professional competencies needed to provide assurance on sustainability information, and that they comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants of the International Federation of Accountants to ensure their independence.

Work undertaken

Our procedures for limited assurance included:

  • A risk analysis, including a media search, to identify relevant sustainability issues for AkzoNobel in the reporting period
  • Reviewing the suitability of the internal reporting criteria
  • Evaluating the design and implementation of the systems and processes for the collection, processing and control of the information in the Sustainability statements, including the consolidation of the data for the Sustainability statements
  • Interviewing management at corporate and business level responsible for the sustainability policies, implementation, management, internal controls, monitoring and reporting
  • Interviews with relevant staff at corporate and business level responsible for providing the information and consolidating the data for the Sustainability statements
  • Evaluating internal and external documentation, based on sampling, to determine whether the information in the Sustainability statements is supported by sufficient evidence
  • Joining an audit of HSE&S (Health, Safety, Environment & Security Management) at the Decorative Paints site in Montataire, France
  • Reviewing the relevant work of Internal Audit

Our additional procedures for reasonable assurance included:

  • Testing the relevant work of Internal Audit in respect of the information in the Managing our values paragraph
  • Joining the sustainability assessment questionnaire review at the Automotive and Aerospace Coatings business in Sassenheim, the Netherlands, together with the Internal Audit team to evaluate the implementation and test the operating effectiveness of controls in respect of the information in the Managing our values paragraph at local level

Additionally, we determined, as far as possible, whether the information concerning sustainability in the other sections of the AkzoNobel Report 2012 is consistent with the information in the Sustainability statements.

During the assurance process, we discussed the necessary changes in the information presented in the Sustainability statements and reviewed the final version to ensure that it reflects our findings.

Conclusions and opinion

Based on our procedures for limited assurance, nothing has come to our attention to indicate that the information in the Sustainability statements and in the Compliance and integrity management chapter of the Governance and compliance section is not fairly presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.

In our opinion, the information in the Managing our values paragraph is presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.

We also report, to the extent of our competence, that the information on sustainability in the rest of the AkzoNobel Report 2012 is consistent with the information in the Sustainability statements.

Amsterdam, February 19, 2013

KPMG Sustainability
Part of KPMG Advisory N.V.

W.J. Bartels RA, Partner

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