We have been engaged by the Board of Management of Akzo Nobel N.V. to provide assurance on the information in the section Sustainability facts and figures of the AkzoNobel Report 2010. The Board of Management of Akzo Nobel N.V. is responsible for reporting on sustainability in such a way that it provides an adequate view of AkzoNobel’s sustainability policies, measures and performance in 2010. 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.
Our responsibility is to provide assurance on this information based on the engagement outlined below.
Our engagement was designed to provide:
- Reasonable assurance on whether the information in the section is fairly presented in accordance with the reporting criteria
- Limited assurance on whether the other information in Sustainability facts and figures is fairly stated in accordance with the reporting criteria.
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 the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (G3), supported by internally developed guidelines, as described in the . It is important to view the performance data in the context of this explanatory information. 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.
We have performed 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 the section Sustainability facts and figures is supported by sufficient evidence
- Joining two site visits of the Internal Audit department in relation to Health, Safety and Environment (Cologne and Huron).
- Reviewing relevant internal audit work for all business units
- Joining one business unit visit of the Internal Audit department in relation to managing our values (Marine and Protective Coatings).
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.
Based on our procedures for reasonable assurance, we conclude that the information in the paragraph Managing our values is fairly presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.
Based on our procedures for limited assurance, nothing came to our attention to indicate that the other information in the section Sustainability facts and figures is not fairly stated, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.
Amsterdam, February 16, 2011
W.J. Bartels RA