Certification of Independent Audit
To TÜV Rheinland AG, Cologne
Based on a contractual agreement, we have conducted an audit to obtain limited assurance regarding the essential information about TÜV Rheinland AG, Cologne (hereinafter referred to as “the company”) presented in the »Responsibility« section of the Corporate Report for the business year from 1 January to 31 December 2014 (hereinafter referred to as the »sustainability section« *).
Legal Representatives’ Responsibility
The company’s Executive Board is responsible for preparing the sustainability section in accordance with the criteria specified in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.0 (pages 7–17) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):
- Stakeholder inclusiveness,
- Sustainability context,
- Comparability and
This responsibility consists of selecting and applying appropriate methods of data collection used in drawing up the sustainability section, as well as in making assumptions and assessments relative to individual sustainability statements that are plausible under the given circumstances. This responsibility also encompasses the conception, implementation, and maintenance of such systems and processes as are of importance for the preparation of the sustainability section.
Independence and quality assurance on the part of the auditing firm
We have met the requirements regarding independence along with the additional requirements relating to professional conduct of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA Code), which is based on the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional conduct worthy of the profession.
Our auditing firm applies the International Standard on Quality Control 1 and, in accordance with this, maintains a comprehensive quality assurance system comprising documented policies and measures that govern compliance with requirements of professional conduct, professional standards, and relevant statutory and other legal requirements.
Our task is to make an assessment on the basis of the work we have undertaken as to whether we have become aware of circumstances that lead us to believe that the information presented in the company’s sustainability section of the Corporate Report for the 2014 business year do not comply in material respects with the criteria of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.0 (pp. 7–17). The scope of our mandate did not include physical inspection of references to external sources of documentation or expert opinions or of statements relative to the future. In addition, we were instructed to make recommendations, on the basis of our audit findings, with regard to the enhancement of sustainability management and sustainability reporting.
We conducted our audit in compliance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000, which requires us to abide by our professional duties and to plan and implement the commission with due regard for the principle of materiality so as to be able to make our assessment with a limited degree of certainty.
In an audit to establish »limited assurance«, the audit activities are less extensive than those undertaken in an audit to establish a sufficient degree of certainty, so that a correspondingly lower degree of certainty is achieved. The choice of audit activities is subject to the auditor’s own judgment.
In the course of our audit, we undertook, among others, the following activities:
- Interviews with employees in the departments responsible for preparing the sustainability section regarding the process of drawing up sustainability reports and regarding the internal control system governing this process;
- An inspection of the documents pertaining to the sustainability strategy and gaining an understanding of the sustainability organizational structure, stakeholder dialog, as well as the development process for the company’s sustainability program;
- Interviews with employees of the departments that are responsible for individual subsections of the sustainability section;
- An inspection of the procedure and documentation of the systems and processes used to collect, analyze, validate, and aggregate sustainability data as well as conducting random analyses;
- Telephone interviews within the process of investigating the processes used to collect, analyze and aggregate select information for multiple companies of the TÜV Rheinland Group Greater China region;
- An analytical assessment of the disclosures presented in the sustainability section;
- Obtainment of further proof of select information presented in the sustainability section by viewing internal documents, contracts, and invoices/reports from external service providers.
On the basis of our audit to establish limited assurance, we did not become aware of any circumstances that lead us to believe that the information presented in the company’s sustainability section on pages 48–81 of the Corporate Report for the 2014 business year was prepared in a manner which did not comply in material respects with the criteria of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.0 (pp. 7–17).
Supplementary Notes – Recommendations
Without qualifying our audit findings outlined above, we make the following recommendations with regard to the enhancement of the company’s sustainability management and sustainability reporting:
- Further formalization and automation of data collection processes
- Ensuring consistent international application of definitions for all CSR indicators and increased reporting of international disclosures
Cologne, March 9, 2015
pp Pia Schnück
* Our audit applied only to the German version of the sustainability section.