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 2013 Corporate Report for the business year from January 1 to December 31, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the »sustainability section«*).
Responsibility of the Legal Representatives
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 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):
- Stakeholder inclusiveness
- Sustainability context
This responsibility consists of selecting and applying appropriate methods of data collection used in drawing up the aforementioned sustainability section as well as confirming that assumptions and assessments of individual sustainability statements are plausible under the given circumstances. This responsibility also encompasses the conception, implementation, and maintenance of systems and processes insofar as they are of importance for the preparation of the sustainability section.
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 on pages 40 – 73 of the Corporate Report for the 2013 business year do not comply in material respects with the criteria of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.0 (pp. 7–17). 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 such as is required for annual financial statements in accordance with Section 317 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), 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
- On-location visits within the process of analyzing the processes used to collect, analyze, validate, and aggregate select information:
- TÜV Rheinland Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
- TÜV Rheinland Immobiliengesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (Germany);
- An analytical assessment of the information 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 of the Corporate Report for the 2013 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 .
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 formalize the data collection process and the internal control system for sustainability information
- Secure the consistent international application of definitions for all CSR indicators and increased reporting of international information
- Increase reporting on the progress made in achieving CRS goals
Düsseldorf, March 11, 2014
(Accounting and Auditing Firm)
pp Pia Schnück
* Our audit applied only to the German version of the sustainability section. The sustainability section will be made available in print and as a PDF file for download as part of the 2013 Corporate Report. Our audit did not cover links and references to external sources of documentation.