Limited Assurance Report of the Independent Auditor regarding selected sustainability performance disclosures
To the Executive Board of Linde Aktiengesellschaft, Munich
We have performed an independent limited assurance engagement on selected sustainability performance disclosures, including explanatory notes, published in the online Linde Corporate Responsibility Report 2017 (hereinafter “Report”), for the business year from January 1 to December 31, of Linde Aktiengesellschaft, Munich (hereinafter “Linde”).
The following selected sustainability performance disclosures are included in the scope of our assurance engagement and marked with the symbol in the Report, available at http://corporateresponsibility.linde.com/cr-report/2017/:
- Material topics
- Use of resources:
- Resources and materials
- 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 safety:
- Number of serious traffic incidents involving trucks per 1 million km
- 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
- Certified sites:
- Social commitment:
The legal representatives of Linde are responsible for the preparation of the selected sustainability performance disclosures in accordance with the Reporting Criteria. Linde applies the principles and standard disclosures of the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Scope 1 and 2) of thes Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in combination with internal guidelines (hereinafter: the “Reporting Criteria”).
This responsibility of the legal representatives includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the selected sustainability performance disclosures and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual disclosures which are reasonable under the given circumstances. Furthermore, this responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining internal controls relevant for the preparation of the report in a way that is free of – intended or unintended – material misstatements.
Independence and Quality Assurance on the Part of the Auditing Firm
We are independent from the entity in accordance with the requirements of independence and quality assurance set out in legal provisions and professional pronouncements and have fulfilled our additional professional obligations in accordance with these requirements.
Our audit firm applies the national statutory provisions and professional pronouncements for quality assurance, in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and Chartered Accountants (in Germany) and the quality assurance standard of the German Institute of Public Auditors (Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer, IDW) regarding quality assurance requirements in audit practice (IDW QS 1).
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion on the selected sustainability performance disclosures based on our work performed within our limited assurance engagement.
We conducted our work in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): “Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information” published by IAASB. This standard requires that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance of whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the selected sustainability performance disclosures of the entity, for the business year from January 1 to December 31, 2017, mentioned above, have not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria. In a limited assurance engagement, the evidence gathering procedures are more limited than in a reasonable assurance engagement, and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a reasonable assurance engagement. The choice of audit procedures is subject to the auditor’s own judgement.
Within the scope of our engagement, we performed the following procedures:
- Inquiries of personnel on corporate level, who are responsible for the materiality analysis, in order to gain an understanding of the processes for determining material sustainability topics and respective reporting boundaries of Linde
- A risk analysis, including a media search, to identify relevant information on Linde’s sustainability performance in the reporting period
- Evaluation of the design and implementation of the systems and processes for determining, processing and monitoring the selected sustainability performance disclosures included in the scope of the limited assurance engagement, including the consolidation of the data
- Inquiries of personnel on the corporate level responsible for determining and consolidating data as well as carrying out internal control procedures in relation to the data, including explanatory notes
- Evaluation of selected internal and external documentation
- Analytical evaluation of data and trends of quantitative disclosures, which are submitted by all sites for consolidation on group level
- Evaluation of local data collection, validation and reporting processes as well as the reliability of reported data based on a sample at Leuna, as well as the regional business units for North America, Central Europe, South East Asia, East Asia and Middle East
- Assessment of the overall presentation of the selected sustainability performance disclosures
Based on the procedures performed and the evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the selected sustainability performance disclosures, including explanatory notes, for the business year from January 1 to December 31, 2017, are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.
Restriction of Use / Clause on General Engagement Terms
This assurance report is issued for the purposes of the Executive Board of Linde Aktiengesellschaft, Munich, only. We assume no responsibility with regard to any third parties.
Our assignment for the Executive Board of Linde Aktiengesellschaft, Munich, and professional liability is governed by the General Engagement Terms for Wirtschaftsprüfer (German Public Auditors) and Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften (German Public Audit Firms) (Allgemeine Auftragsbedingungen für Wirtschaftsprüfer und Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften) in the version dated January 1, 2017 (https://www.kpmg.de/bescheinigungen/lib/aab_english.pdf). By reading and using the information contained in this assurance report, each recipient confirms having taken note of provisions of the General Engagement Terms (including the limitation of our liability for negligence to EUR 4 million as stipulated in No. 9) and accepts the validity of the General Engagement Terms with respect to us.
Munich, March 8, 2018
[German Public Auditor]