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Assurance report

To the Board of Management of Akzo Nobel N.V.


Engagement

We have performed an assurance engagement on the 2008 Report – Sustainability facts and figures (hereafter Sustainability Sections (pages 187 to 202) of Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel)) in accordance with Standard 3410, “Assurance standard relating to social reports”. Our assurance engagement aimed to obtain:

  • Reasonable assurance that the information in paragraph “Managing our values” is, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of the policy and management with respect to sustainability, business operations and events during 2008
  • Reasonable assurance of the reliability of the consolidation process at group level for the HSE Key Performance Indicators
  • Limited assurance that the other information in the Sustainability Sections is, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of the policy with respect to sustainability, business operations and events during 2008.

The procedures performed in order to obtain limited assurance aim to verify the plausibility of information and probe less deeply than those performed for assurance engagements aimed at obtaining reasonable assurance.

The management’s responsibility

The management of AkzoNobel is responsible for drawing up the 2008 Report – Sustainability Sections in such a way that it gives an accurate and adequate view of AkzoNobel’s policy, measures and performance in the field of sustainability. That responsibility comprises, among other things, the design, implementation and maintenance of an internal control system that helps ensure that the 2008 Report – Sustainability Sections does not contain any material inaccuracies, as well as the selection and use of acceptable principles for measuring and presenting sustainability performance results, and the making of estimates that, under the given circumstances, can be deemed to be reasonable. The choices made by the management, the scope of the section and the reporting principles, including the inherent specific limitations that might affect the reliability of the information are explained in the paragraph Reporting principles.

The auditor’s responsibility

It is our responsibility to formulate a conclusion with regard to the 2008 Report – Sustainability Sections of AkzoNobel on the basis of the engagement outlined above.

Procedures

We performed our procedures in accordance with Dutch law and the requirements set out therein with respect to the independence of assurance team members. The test criteria that we used are the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3) published by the Global Reporting Initiative, the social reporting guide of the Dutch Accounting Standards Board (Raad voor de Jaarverslaggeving) and AkzoNobel’s own reporting policies. We believe that these criteria are suitable in view of the purpose of our assurance engagement.

We have performed all the procedures deemed necessary to obtain the evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our conclusions. Our main procedures were the following:

  • Obtaining insight into the industry, the characteristics of the organization and relevant social issues
  • Reviewing the reporting principles and significant estimates and calculations used in the preparation of the Sustainability Sections
  • Performing analytical procedures both at the Group and BU levels conducting interviews with responsible company officials in order to verify the existence of the policies and measures described in the Sustainability Sections
  • Substantive testing if the information in paragraph “Managing our values” is in accordance with the actual elements of policy, management of business operations and monitoring with respect to sustainability in AkzoNobel’s business units during 2008
  • Assessing the reliability of the consolidation process for the HSE Key Performance Indicators and the plausibility of the other information in the Sustainability Sections of AkzoNobel, by identifying inherent risks that might affect the reliability of the information and investigating the extent to which such risks are covered by internal controls
  • Testing, on a sample basis and insofar as relevant for our engagement, the operation of the internal controls aimed at the reliability of the consolidation process
  • Performing a limited number of sample tests to verify the substantiation of the information contained in the Sustainability Sections
  • Evaluating the overall view given by the Sustainability Sections of AkzoNobel.

Conclusion

On the basis of our procedures aimed at obtaining reasonable assurance, we conclude that:

  • The information in paragraph “Managing our values” is, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of the policy and management with respect to sustainability, business operations and events during 2008
  • The consolidation process that underlies the HSE Key Performance Indicators was, in all material respects, performed in a reliable manner.

On the basis of our procedures aimed at obtaining limited assurance, nothing came to our attention to believe that the other information (pages 187 to 202) in AkzoNobel’s 2008 Report – Sustainability Sections does not, in all material respects, accurately and adequately represent the sustainability policy, the business operations and events that took place in 2008, in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, the social reporting guide issued by the Dutch Accounting Standards Board, and the documented reporting policy of AkzoNobel.

Rotterdam, February 23, 2009

Ernst & Young Accountants LLP

 

D.A. de Waard

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Copyright © 2009 Akzo Nobel N.V.