Independent assurance report.
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft has performed a limited assurance engagement on the German version of the chapters “Strategy & Management”, “Suppliers” and selected information in the chapter “Facts & figures” and the "Interactive subsidiary benchmarking tool" of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 “We take responsibility” and issued an independent assurance report, authoritative in German language, which has been translated by Deutsche Telekom AG as follows:
We have been engaged to perform a moderate assurance engagement i in respect of observing the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles (Type 2 audit) and in respect of selected sustainability information in the Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 (the "CR Report") of Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn, (the "Company"). Our assurance engagement related to selected individual disclosures and selected complete German pages from the Group's Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 website with information from reporting year 2011. In cases where our review covers the entire content of the pages, such pages are marked with the symbol . Individual disclosures reviewed by us, such as information under the heading "Indicators," are marked directly with the symbol . Any unmarked pages or disclosures that are referred to in or link from the web pages were not the subject of the audit engagement.
It is the responsibility of the Company's management
- to comply with the principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness as defined in the AccountAbility Principles Standard (2008) (the "AA1000 AccountAbility Principles") in sustainability management, and
- to prepare the sustainability information in the CR Report in accordance with the criteria set out in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
This responsibility includes the conception, implementation and maintenance of systems and processes for ensuring compliance with the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles and preparation of the CR Report using assumptions and estimations for individual CR disclosures that are appropriate under the given circumstances.
Our responsibility is to express an opinion, based on our assurance procedures, as to whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that, in all material respects,
- the systems and processes set up by the Company are not suitable for compliance with the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness, or
- the disclosures and pages of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 marked with the symbol have not been prepared in compliance with the criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI. These selected disclosures can be found under the headings "Strategy and Management," "Suppliers" and "Indicators" in the CR Report.
We have also been commissioned to make recommendations on the further development of sustainability management and CR reporting.
We conducted our work in accordance with the AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS) 2008, as well as in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000.
These standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and that we plan and perform the assurance engagement with due regard for the principle of materiality so as to allow us to express our conclusion with moderate assurancei, the level of assurance requested by Deutsche Telekom. We are independent within the meaning of section 3.2 of AA1000AS (2008). As a result of our specialist knowledge and experience of non-financial assurance engagements, sustainability management and social and environmental topics, we have the necessary expertise to carry out this assurance engagement.
In a moderate assurance engagement the evidence-gathering procedures are more limited than in a high assurance engagementii, and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a high assuranceii engagement.
The procedures selected depend on the practitioner's judgment. We conducted audits at Group Headquarters (Bonn, Germany) level and at the level of selected international subsidiaries, in particular T-Mobile USA Inc., Bellevue, Washington, USA, OTE A.E, Athens, Greece, Magyar Telekom Plc., Budapest, Hungary, and T-Mobile Netherlands BV, Den Haag, Netherlands. The evidence-gathering procedures we carried out in terms of adherence to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles included:
- Inquiries of the relevant contacts in the Stakeholder Involvement & Stakeholder Dialog and CR Communications areas;
- Examination of the relevant documentation regarding stakeholder dialog, further communication with stakeholders and participative formats at Group Headquarters level and at the level of selected international subsidiaries;
- Examination of the relevant documentation regarding pinpointing and prioritization of sustainability topics, CR categories and identified stakeholder expectations at Group Headquarters level and at the level of selected international subsidiaries;
- Survey of selected departments and acquiring of evidence on randomly selected projects in relation to sustainability and stakeholder management that additionally show that the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles are accounted for in the organization.
In connection with the sustainability information in the CR report marked with , we have conducted, among others, the following audit procedures:
- Surveys of employees responsible for reporting sustainability information
- Determining the processes for recording, calculating and reporting sustainability information
- Testing of the main controls for ensuring data quality
- Acquiring of evidence on a sample basis of the accuracy of disclosures marked with the symbol , including by examining internal documents, minutes from internal meetings, reports by external service providers
- Analytical assessment of selected sustainability data
Key findings and conclusions
Findings with regard to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principle of inclusivity:
- At Group level, stakeholder management is managed by the central function Stakeholder Engagement & Stakeholder Dialog, which is part of the Corporate Responsibility department. The Stakeholder Involvement Strategy project was set up in this area with the aim of designing focused relationships with the Company's stakeholders and of systematically implementing a stakeholder management system and stakeholder involvement Group-wide.
- The principles of stakeholder involvement at Deutsche Telekom AG have been defined in accordance with the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles.
- It was found that Deutsche Telekom has established processes that facilitate the exchange with stakeholders and support the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes. At the level of selected departments, stakeholders are actively involved in projects.
- Internationally, the involvement of stakeholders is organized at international subsidiary level. This takes place in coordination with the central functions at Group level. It was found that stakeholders are regularly involved (e.g., through stakeholder dialog days) at the level of selected subsidiaries. As of the time of the audit, the international roll-out of the stakeholder involvement strategy had not been completed, but began while the audit was ongoing.
Findings with regard to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principle of materiality:
- As part of the materiality process, key CR topics are systematically identified with the input of internal and external stakeholders and shown in the materiality matrices within Deutsche Telekom AG's CR Report. Within the materiality process, issues relating to Deutsche Telekom AG's three CR categories were evaluated. The three CR categories are key pillars of the CR strategy with direct relevance to Deutsche Telekom's core business.
- As part of central stakeholder involvement, the expectations of individual stakeholder groups are determined in a targeted way, evaluated, and can then be taken into account in CR reporting, further CR communication, and the strategic alignment of the CR department.
- Internationalizing the materiality process was the first step in standardizing the identification of key CR issues in the different international subsidiaries.
Findings with regard to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principle of responsiveness:
- Our random sample inquiries and the evidence we have acquired show that the processes for responding to stakeholder queries are running correctly.
- It was found that, with the principles of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), suitable guidelines on CR reporting are used.
- Communication with stakeholder groups uses a number of communication channels and has a balance of topics.
Based on our moderate assurance engagement, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that, in all material respects, the systems and processes established by the Company are unsuitable for fulfilling the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness.
Furthermore, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that, in all material respects, the disclosures and pages of the CR Report for calendar year 2010 marked with the symbol have not been prepared in accordance with the criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI.
Without qualifying the conclusions of our engagement set out above, we make the following recommendations for the further development of sustainability management and CR reporting:
- Further development of stakeholder management, in particular:
- Continuation of the international roll-out of the stakeholder involvement strategy at international level, which began at the start of 2012
- Formalization of the processes for responding to stakeholder queries and greater standardization of the processes for responding and documentation at international level
- Continuation of the international standardization of processes for identifying key stakeholders and issues for international subsidiaries which have their own materiality process
- Expansion of the Group-wide management function for sustainability, e.g.:
- There should be increased standardization and documentation of processes for recording and determining data upstream of the CR database.
Düsseldorf, May 22, 2012
Andreas Bröcher Nicole Kummer
Wirtschaftsprüfer (German Public Auditors)
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