Independent Assurance Report1
To the Executive Board of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen am Rhein
We were engaged to provide assurance on the sustainability performance information in the Online-“BASF Report 2014” for the business year 2014 (further ‘The Report’). The Executive Board of BASF SE is responsible for the appropriateness of the preparation and presentation of qualitative claims and the appropriateness of the determination and presentation of quantitative indicators on sustainability performance in The Report in accordance with the reporting criteria, including the identification of material issues. Our responsibility is to issue an assurance report on the sustainability performance information published in The Report.
The Report contains the Management’s Report, which is, together with the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014 subject to the statutory group audit.
Our assurance engagement was designed to provide limited assurance on whether the sustainability performance according to GRI G4 of The Report, published under www.bericht.basf.com/2014/en, is presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.
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.
Reporting criteria and assurance standards
BASF SE applies the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines G4 Reporting Principles of Stakeholder Inclusiveness, Sustainability Context, Materiality and Completeness, as described in the section ‘About this Report’, as reporting principles for determining material aspects and report content.
BASF SE applies GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines G4, the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Scope 1 and 2), the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard of World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Guideline for emissions avoided of the International Council of Chemical Associations and the WBCSD as well as recommendations of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), supported by internal guidelines, as described in the section “About this report”, as reporting criteria.
BASF SE applies internally developed criteria for the evaluation method Sustainable Solution Steering, climate protection products and the related prevented emissions as well as for the Health Performance Index, as described in The Report, as reporting criteria. It is important to view the performance data in the context of these criteria.
We conducted our engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000: Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, and the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3410: Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements, issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. These standards require, amongst others, that the assurance team possesses the specific knowledge, skills and professional competencies needed to provide assurance on sustainability information, and that we comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants of the International Federation of Accountants to ensure our independence.
Our procedures included:
- Interviewing employees at Group level in order to gain an understanding of the process for determining material sustainability topics and respective boundaries of BASF SE.
- A risk analysis, including a media search, to identify relevant sustainability aspects for BASF SE in the reporting period.
- Reviewing the suitability of internally developed reporting criteria.
- Evaluation of the design and implementation of the systems and processes for the collection, processing and control of the sustainability performance information, including the consolidation of the data.
- Interviews with relevant staff at Group level responsible for providing the data, carrying out internal control procedures and consolidating the data in The Report.
- An analytical review of the data and trend explanations submitted by all sites for consolidation at Group level.
- Visits to Kuantan (Malaysia), Ulsan Chem (South Korea) and Ulsan Pigment (South Korea) to assess local data collection and reporting processes and the reliability of the reported data.
- Interviews with relevant staff on Group level responsible for providing the information in the sections Sustainability Management, Innovation, Work at BASF, Corporate Citizenship, Responsibility along the value chain and Corporate Governance.
- Evaluating internal and external documentation, to determine whether qualitative and quantitative information is supported by sufficient evidence and presented in an accurate and balanced manner.
- Reviewing the consistency of GRI G4 in-accordance option ‘Comprehensive’ as declared by BASF with sustainability performance information in The Report.
- An evaluation of the overall presentation of the sustainability performance information within the scope of our engagement.
Based on the procedures performed, as described above, nothing has come to our attention to indicate that the sustainability performance information for the business year 2014 in The Report is not, in all material respects, presented fairly in accordance with the reporting criteria.
Frankfurt am Main, February 24, 2015
1 Translation of the independent assurance report, authoritative in German language. Our engagement applies to the German version of the BASF Report 2014.