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Reporting principles


We have a clear commitment and ambition to be best-in-class in sustainability, which we regard as a continuous learning process. Within the boundaries of our values and principles laid down in our Code of Conduct, as well as our corporate ambition to drive sustainability into our daily business practices, we require local management and employees to find the best ways to realize our ambitions in their respective countries.

We are continuously improving our management information systems and data gathering processes. Furthermore, we welcome an active dialog with our stakeholders and give their opinions the serious consideration they deserve. With this process in mind, we expect the clarity, consistency and accuracy of our reporting to further improve over time.

Scope

The sustainability facts and figures of this 2008 Report cover our global activities and performance in the field of sustainability. Specifically, it includes quantitative and qualitative data relating to the calendar year 2008 and comparative data for 2007, based on the AkzoNobel portfolio including businesses from the former ICI, with the following exclusions:

  • The managing sustainability reviews and eco-premium product assessments have not been carried out for National Starch and Chemicals Pakistan. These entities contribute €1.4 billion to total revenue
  • For both 2007 and 2008 HSE data, we have excluded former ICI businesses which were sold during 2007 and 2008 to allow performance comparison.

Data has, by and large, been obtained from our financial management reporting system and the corporate reporting systems for Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) performance indicators of AkzoNobel and the former ICI. During 2008, former ICI businesses continued to report HSE to ICI definitions, to ensure consistent HSE reporting. The data was converted to AkzoNobel definitions to allow integrated 2008 quarterly and year-end reporting. From 2009, all KPIs are integrated.

Because we are now including sustainability reporting in our 2008 Report – which already includes sustainability aspects of the company’s processes and business operations – this facts and figures section provides a summary of the cross-business elements of the sustainability agenda.

Selection of topics

We have focused on the sustainability aspects which form part of the AkzoNobel strategy formulated during 2008. This sets material sustainability metrics and performance firmly alongside financial elements. We continue to seek ways of linking sustainability performance to business results in areas such as carbon and eco-premium solutions.

We appreciate the work of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Where relevant, we have used their Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. An index of all indicators used according to the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines can be found on our corporate website www.akzonobel.com.

We also used information from third party questionnaires, notably the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and feedback from various other stakeholders.

Reporting process

The integration of sustainability in day-to-day business is part of our internal audits. Moreover, the sustainability sections of this 2008 Report have also been reviewed by independent, external auditors. We have requested the external auditors to focus their 2008 audit program and to provide us with assurance on the embedding of sustainability in the management cycle of our business units and sites – from governance to risk management and compliance; from integrating sustainability objectives in the strategic planning processes, to operational planning, target-setting and progress monitoring – while providing assurance that managers and employees are evaluated and remunerated against these targets.

Senior managers approved the content and the quantitative data used in this sustainability section relating to their respective areas of responsibility. The auditors were asked to review the reliability of the consolidation process for the quantitative data, particularly the integration of former ICI data – together with the other information in our sustainability sections. These reports and Key Performance Indicators were subject to a limited review. We are confident in the overall reliability of the data reported, but recognize that some of this data is subject to a certain degree of uncertainty, inherent to limitations associated with measuring and calculating data.

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