About this report

The Corporate Responsibility Report 2013 is Linde’s ninth sustainability report. In it, we report on how sustainability contributes to corporate success and how we perceive our responsibility towards stakeholders and the environment. The full report is only available online. The entire document as well as individual chapters can be downloaded as a PDF. In addition to the online report, we also publish a print brochure summarising our progress on sustainability issues (“Corporate Responsibility At a Glance”).

Topics

Our corporate responsibility reporting follows internationally recognised standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. Our stakeholders – our employees, customers and shareholders, for example – are an important resource in identifying key issues for Linde. We regularly align our sustainability topics with their expectations. Information about this materiality analysis is available to the public.

The Corporate Responsibility Report also serves as a report on our progress within our commitment to the UN Global Compact. We report on how we incorporate the ten Global Compact principles into our business activities, labelling relevant content with the Global Compact logo. A combined GRI and Global Compact index provides an overview and summary of all main topics. Once again, we report in accordance with the UN Global Compact Advanced Level criteria. We also take into consideration the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, an action plan initiated by the Global Compact LEAD platform.

Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) help us track our economic, ecological and social performance. We use them to measure our progress and identify scope for improvement. The reporting period is the 2013 financial year. Where possible, we present our KPIs in this report over a four-year period. We mainly collect KPIs for health, safety and environmental protection as well as employee statistics from global databases. Our financial figures are prepared and published in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Due to changes in the applicable IFRS accounting standards, the sites in the scope of our reporting changed in the 2013 financial year. Additional joint ventures were included in our reporting. To ensure comparability between reporting years, we have restated the figures for the 2012 business year retrospectively. In addition, the values of the acquired homecare company Lincare were retrospectively recognised in full for the 2012 financial year. Significant changes compared to the figures reported prior to 2012 are often due to these effects.

This report relates to all consolidated Group companies in which Linde exercises a controlling influence over their financial and operating policies, either solely or with joint venture partners. In the case of companies with joint management, the KPIs are recorded pro rata. Figures for work-related accidents on sites are always reported in full.

We incorporated relevant information available prior to the editorial closing date in March 2014. This report is published annually in German and English.

Integrated reporting

We publish key non-financial KPIs and qualitative information about sustainability at Linde in our annual report. The Corporate Responsibility Report supplements our reporting through additional details. We also publish information on sustainable business practices in other key corporate publications and communication channels:

  • The Linde Group website contains detailed information on corporate responsibility focus areas. The Clean Technology portal provides an overview of products and technologies that help to meet the challenges of climate protection.
  • The websites of our Gases, Engineering and Gist divisions also offer information about sustainability in relation to specific business activities.
  • Some of Linde’s subsidiaries release regional publications that address sustainability issues.
  • Product brochures also detail the benefits of our technologies in terms of environmental protection.
  • Our investor relations presentations are available to the public and give detailed accounts of market opportunities for Linde in the areas of energy and environmental technologies.
  • We also publish updates on corporate responsibility issues via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Where appropriate, we include links to these other channels and sources in this report.

Independent assurance

Our key performance indicators are independently reviewed. Once again, we commissioned KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft to provide an audit on selected non-financial KPIs. The scope is described in the independent audit report. The audit was carried out in line with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. This year, we extended the scope of the audit to include additional KPIs for external certification of our locations in line with international standards. The audited KPIs are marked as such in the tables of this report. We also point out if KPIs have already been published in the Group management report of Linde’s 2013 annual report. In 2013, we also integrated further non-financial KPIs into our annual report.

This report complies with the G3.1 version of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. This independent organisation has again confirmed that Linde has achieved the highest GRI Application Level: A+. Our corporate responsibility reporting thus also complies with the requirements of the German Sustainability Code.

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