To the readers of AkzoNobel’s Sustainability facts and figures 2011
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 2011. 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 2011. 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.
Our engagement was designed to provide:
- Limited assurance on whether information in the Sustainability facts and figures section is, in all material respects, fairly stated in accordance with the reporting criteria
- Reasonable assurance on whether the information in the paragraph Managing our values (see “Managing our values”) is, in all material respects, presented in accordance with the reporting criteria as defined by Akzo Nobel N.V.
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. We have also reviewed, to the extent of our competence, whether the sustainability information in the Achieving our strategic ambitions and Our strategic agenda chapters in the Strategy section of the AkzoNobel Report 2011 is consistent with the information in the Sustainability facts and figures section.
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 Reporting principles section. 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 sustainability information, identify and collect the thereto related assurance 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 the Sustainability facts and figures section
- 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 the Sustainability facts and figures section
- Reviewing internal and external documentation to determine whether the qualitative information in the Sustainability facts and figures section is supported by sufficient evidence
- Joining a site visit of the Internal Audit department in relation to Health, Safety and Environment (Jundiai)
In order to obtain reasonable assurance on the information in the paragraph Managing our values, we performed additional procedures, including:
- Reviewing relevant internal audit work for all businesses
- Contacting relevant management about the information submitted by three business units
- Performing one business unit visit audit together with the Internal Audit department (Functional Chemicals)
During the assurance process, we discussed changes to the various drafts of the Sustainability facts and figures section with AkzoNobel, and reviewed the final version to ensure that it reflects our findings.
Based on our procedures for limited assurance, nothing came to our attention which indicates that the information in the Sustainability facts and figures section is not, in all material respects, fairly stated in accordance with the reporting criteria.
Based on our procedures for reasonable assurance, we conclude that the information in the Managing our values chapter of the Sustainability facts and figures section is, in all material respects, presented in accordance with reporting criteria defined by Akzo Nobel N.V. We also report, to the extent of our competence, that the information on sustainability in the sections Achieving our strategic ambitions and Our strategic agenda of the AkzoNobel Report 2011 is consistent with the information in the Sustainability facts and figures section.
Amsterdam, February 15, 2012
W.J. Bartels, partner,
on behalf of KPMG Sustainability,
part of KPMG Advisory N.V.