The Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 is Linde’s seventh sustainability report. In it, we provide information on our sustainability performance, priorities and challenges. Current projects and initiatives show where we are concentrating our efforts. Global indicators allow readers to compare our performance. This report is targeted at all stakeholders of The Linde Group – employees, shareholders, neighbours, customers, partners, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), political circles, the research and scientific community, and the general public.
Issues and spotlight topics
Our CR reporting covers all main sustainability issues relevant to Linde. We follow internationally recognised standards on sustainability reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and the Global Compact principles published by the United Nations.
Our choice of CR priorities is largely guided by the expectations of our customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. We regularly assess the relevance of these sustainability topics for both our business and our stakeholders. More information on our materiality analysis can be found under “Relevant topics”.
We have largely maintained the structure of last year’s report. However, we have expanded on a number of topics and added new indicators to reflect our progress in these areas. Examples include measures to promote women within the company. Our aim is to give a transparent picture of our CR performance and meet rising demands for information from our stakeholders.
Boundaries of this report
This report refers to all consolidated Group companies in which Linde has at least a 50-percent stake. As in previous years, we publish the complete CR report online. The entire report or individual chapters can be downloaded as a PDF. In addition, we publish a brochure summarising the main content of our CR report.
In 2012, we pulled forward the publication date of our CR report, releasing it as early as May for the first time. The reporting period for the indicators contained in this report is the 2011 financial year. Relevant developments and events that took place in the 2012 financial year prior to the editorial deadline in April 2012 are also covered in this report. The next report is scheduled for spring 2013. We publish information on our sustainability performance through a variety of other channels as well:
The Management Report of The Linde Group’s annual report contains a chapter on corporate responsibility, various key non-financial indicators and updates on sustainable business practices at Linde. Also part of the annual report, the Linde Annual 2011 focuses on Linde’s products and technologies that contribute to the goals of environmental and climate protection.
The Linde Group website contains detailed information on the subject of corporate responsibility. The websites of the Gases, Healthcare, Engineering and Gist divisions also report on corporate responsibility. In addition, some members of The Linde Group release publications that address sustainability issues.
Available to the public, our investor relations expert presentations give detailed accounts of the market opportunities available to Linde in the areas of energy and environmental technologies.
We refer to these other channels and sources where appropriate to avoid repetition and ease readability.
Reporting standards and assurance
Selected key performance indicators in this report were again independently reviewed and subsequently assured by KPMG Sustainability. The audit was carried out in line with the International Standard for Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000.
We used the latest version of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G3.1, in this report. Once again, we applied the highest GRI standard application level (A+) for sustainability reporting, which was confirmed by GRI.
This report also serves as a Communication on Progress within the framework of our commitment to the UN Global Compact. We explain how we integrate the ten Global Compact principles into our business activities. We use the Global Compact logo to identify content relevant to our Communication on Progress. A combined GRI and Global Compact Index table provides detailed information on all relevant topics. For the first time in 2012, our CR report complies with the UN Global Compact „Advanced" level.