About this report

About this report

The Corporate Responsibility Report 2014 is Linde’s tenth sustainability report. We report here on the contribution made by sustainability to our corporate success and on the ways in which we assume our responsibility towards stakeholders and the environment. The full report is only available online. The contents of the report (either the entire report or individual sections) can be downloaded as PDF files. In addition to the online report, we also publish a printed brochure summarising our progress on sustainability issues ("Corporate Responsibility 2014 – At a Glance"). The report is published in both German and English.

Integrated reporting

We publish non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs) and qualitative information about sustainability in our Annual Report. More detail is provided in the Corporate Responsibility Report, supplementing the disclosures in the Annual Report. We also publish information on sustainable business practices in other key corporate publications and via other communication channels:

  • The Linde Group website contains detailed information on the corporate responsibility focus areas. The Clean Technology portal provides an overview of products and technologies which help us meet the challenges of climate protection.
  • The websites of our Gases, Engineering and Gist Divisions offer information about sustainability specific to their own business operations.
  • Some Linde subsidiaries produce regional publications which address sustainability issues.
  • Our product brochures contain information about the environmental benefits of our technologies.
  • Our investor relations presentations (which are open to the public) provide information about market opportunities for Linde arising from technologies relating to the energy and environmental sector and healthcare.
  • We use social media to provide corporate responsibility updates.

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

Topics

We comply with internationally recognised standards for sustainability reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. Our stakeholders, who include our employees, customers and shareholders, are an important resource in identifying key issues for Linde. We review the topics we address on a regular basis to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our stakeholders. Information about our materiality analysis is made publicly available.

The Corporate Responsibility Report also serves as a progress report in the context of 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 the main topics. Once again, we are reporting in accordance with 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) enable us to track our economic, ecological and social performance. We use them to measure our progress and to identify scope for improvement. The reporting period is the 2014 financial year. Where possible, we present our KPIs in this report over a five-year period. Global reporting systems are used to generate most of the data we require to present KPIs for safety, health and environmental protection as well as for employee statistics. Our financial KPIs are calculated and published in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

As a result of changes in the International Financial Reporting Standards, with which Linde must comply, there has been an increase in the number of sites included in the reporting process since the 2012 reporting year. Major changes in KPIs compared with prior years are therefore often due to this fact. For the 2014 financial year, additional KPIs relating to topics such as employee development and diversity have been included in the report. The definition and methods of calculation for some environmental protection indicators were also revised in 2014. Information about these changes has been disclosed in the KPI tables.

This report relates to all companies in The Linde Group over which Linde AG is able to exercise control (the power to govern the financial and operating policies of the entity) or joint control together with other parties. In the case of companies over which Linde AG can exercise joint control, the KPIs are recorded pro rata, with the exception of figures for workplace accidents which are shown in full even for jointly controlled entities.

This report contains any relevant information that was available prior to the editorial deadline in January 2015.

Independent assurance

Our KPIs are independently reviewed. Once again, we engaged KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft to provide assurance on selected non-financial KPIs. The scope of the engagement is described in the independent assurance report. The engagement was conducted in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 which covers assurance reports on sustainability reports. Those KPIs which were within the scope of KPMG’s engagement are identified as such in the tables presented in this report. We also identify those KPIs that have already been published in the management report of the Annual Report of The Linde Group. In 2014, we incorporated additional non-financial KPIs into the Annual Report.

This report complies with version G3.1 of the GRI 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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