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Independent assurance report

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


As Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel) describes on page 132, sustainability information is integrated into various sections of this 2009 Report. The management of AkzoNobel is responsible for reporting on sustainability in such a way that it provides an adequate view of the company’s sustainability policies, measures and performance in 2009. This includes the identification of material issues and the design and implementation of an adequate internal control system to ensure the sustainability information does not contain any material inaccuracies.

We were engaged by the Board of Management of Akzo Nobel N.V. to provide assurance on the information in the section Sustainability facts and figures 2009 on pages 131 to 151 of the 2009 Report. Our responsibility is to issue an assurance report on this information based on the engagement outlined below.

Our engagement was designed to obtain:

  • Reasonable assurance on whether:
     - The information in the paragraph Managing our values on page 134 is, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of the policy and management with respect to sustainability during 2009 based on the Reporting principles on page 148
     - The 2009 data for the HSE Key Performance Indicators on pages 143 to 151 have been properly consolidated.
  • Limited assurance on whether the information in Sustainability facts and figures on pages 131 to 151 is, in all material respects, presented in accordance with the Reporting principles on page 148. Procedures performed to obtain a reasonable level of assurance are more extensive than those for a limited level of assurance which are aimed at determining the plausibility of information.

Reporting criteria and assurance standard

AkzoNobel applies its own internal criteria and guidelines for reporting on sustainability as described in the Reporting principles on page 148 which, where relevant, are based on the G3 reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. We believe that 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 Engagements (ISAE) 3000: Assurance Engagements 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 understand and review sustainability information, and that they comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants from the International Federation of Accountants to ensure their independence.

Work undertaken

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 procedures for the information for which limited assurance was provided, were:

  • A documentation study to obtain insight into the organization and a risk analysis (including a sector benchmark, a media analysis and internet search) to identify relevant environmental, safety and social issues for AkzoNobel in the reporting period
  • A review of the reporting criteria and the design and implementation of systems and processes for information management, internal control and processing of the qualitative and quantitative information in Sustainability facts and figures
  • Interviewing management at corporate and business level who are responsible for the sustainability policies, management, internal control and reporting and evaluating trends and the explanations provided in Sustainability facts and figures
  • Reviewing internal and external documentation to determine whether the qualitative information in Sustainability facts and figures is supported by sufficient evidence.

In order to obtain reasonable assurance on the information in the paragraph Managing our values and the consolidation process for HSE Key Performance Indicators, we performed additional procedures, including:

  • Testing the internal controls of the monitoring system for managing sustainability
  • Assessing the reliability of the consolidation process for the HSE Key Performance Indicators by:
     - Testing, on a sample basis, the operation of internal controls aimed at the reliability of the consolidation process at corporate level
     - Assessing the quality of the data validation process at business unit level and reviewing the procedures undertaken by internal audit
     - Performing analytical procedures on the data from the reporting units and reviewing the site level data validation process.

During the assurance process we discussed changes to the various drafts of Sustainability facts and figures with AkzoNobel, and reviewed the final version of Sustainability facts and figures to ensure that it reflects our findings.

Conclusions

Based on our procedures, for reasonable assurance, we conclude that:

  • The information in the paragraph Managing our values on page 134 is, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of the policy and management with respect to sustainability during 2009 based on the Reporting principles on page 148
  • The 2009 data for the HSE Key Performance Indicators on pages 143 to 151 have been, in all material respects, properly consolidated.

Based on our procedures for limited assurance, as described above, nothing came to our attention to indicate that the information in Sustainability facts and figures 2009 on pages 131 to 151 is not, in all material respects, presented in accordance with the reporting principles on page 148.

Amsterdam, February 16, 2010
KPMG Sustainability

W.J. Bartels RA

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