Independent assurance report

To the readers of The Linde Group’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2012

We were engaged by the Executive Board of The Linde Group (further ‘Linde’) to provide assurance on the 2012 data for selected environmental and safety indicators listed in the section ‘Scope’ together with the related explanatory information in the publication: ‘Corporate Responsibility Report 2012’ (further ‘The Report’). The Executive Board of Linde is responsible for the preparation of The Report, including the identification of material issues. Our responsibility is to issue an assurance report based on the engagement outlined below.

Scope

Our assurance engagement was designed to provide limited assurance on whether the 2012 data for the following selected environmental and safety indicators together with the related explanatory information are presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria:

  • Use of resources:
    • Energy
    • Water
    • Resources and materials
  • Emissions:
    • Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1)
    • Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2)
    • Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3)
    • Emissions to air
    • Emissions to water
  • Waste and recycling
  • Transport:
    • Number of serious traffic incidents involving trucks
  • Occupational health and safety:
    • Workplace accidents by employees (per million working hours)
    • Number of workplace accidents by contractors with at least one day of absence
    • Number of fatalities involving employees
    • Number of fatalities involving contractors

We do not provide any assurance on the achievability of the objectives, targets and expectations of Linde.

Procedures performed to obtain a limited level of assurance are aimed at determining the plausibility of information and are less extensive than those for a reasonable level of assurance.

The Report is published online at www.linde.com/cr-report. Indicators in scope of our assurance engagement are marked with a “ ”.

Reporting criteria and assurance standard

Linde applies the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3.1) of the Global Reporting Initiative supported by internally developed guidelines for reporting on Corporate Responsibility as described in sections GRI 3.6 to 3.9 of the GRI Index. It is important to view the performance data in the context of these reporting criteria. We believe these criteria are suitable in view of the purpose of our assurance engagement.

We conducted our engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagement (ISAE 3000): Assurance Engagement 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 provide assurance on sustainability information, and that they comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants of the International Federation of Accountants to ensure their independence.

Work undertaken

Our procedures included the following:

  • A risk analysis, including a media search, to identify relevant corporate responsibility issues for Linde in the reporting period.
  • Reviewing the suitability of the internal reporting criteria including conversion factors used.
  • Evaluating the design and implementation of the systems and processes for the collection, processing and control of the data for the selected environmental and safety indicators, including the consolidation of this data.
  • Interviews with relevant staff at corporate and regional levels responsible for carrying out internal control procedures on the data and consolidating the data for the selected environmental and safety indicators.
  • Visits to five selected production sites in Germany (2), Hungary (1) and Thailand (2), and four selected regions respectively divisions in Europe (3) and Asia (1), to review the source data and the design and implementation of validation procedures at local level.
  • Evaluating internal and external documentation, based on sampling, to determine whether the data for the selected environmental and safety indicators together with the related explanatory information is supported by sufficient evidence.
  • An analytical review of the data and trend explanations submitted by all production sites for consolidation at group level.

During the assurance process we discussed the necessary changes in The Report and reviewed the final version of The Report to ensure that it reflects our findings.

Conclusion

Based on the procedures performed, as described above, nothing has come to our attention to indicate that the 2012 data for selected environmental and safety indicators listed in the section ‘Scope’ together with the related explanatory information are not presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.

Emphasis of matter

Without qualifying our conclusion above, we draw attention to the explanation on the scope of the emissions to air and water, which explains that the values stated apply to production sites legally obliged to report.

Amsterdam, 26 March, 2013

KPMG Sustainability,

Part of KPMG Advisory N.V.
W.J. Bartels, Partner