Assurance report of the independent auditor
To: the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and the Supervisory Board of Koninklijke DSM N.V.
We have reviewed the sustainability information in the sections: 'DSM and the Sustainable Development Goals', 'Strategy 2018', 'How DSM creates value for its stakeholders', 'Stakeholders', 'People', 'Planet' and 'Sustainability Statements', as included in the Integrated Annual Report (hereafter: the Selected Sustainability Information) over the year 2017 of Koninklijke DSM N.V. (hereafter: Royal DSM), based in Heerlen, the Netherlands. A review is aimed at obtaining a limited level of assurance.
Based on our procedures performed, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the Selected Sustainability Information is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and the internally developed criteria as disclosed in the section Reporting policy.
Basis for our conclusion
We have performed our review on the Selected Sustainability Information in accordance with Dutch law, including Dutch Standard 3810N 'Assurance-opdrachten inzake maatschappelijke verslagen' (Assurance engagements relating to sustainability reports), which is a specified Dutch standard that is based on the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 'Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information'.
Our responsibilities under this standard are further described in the section 'Our responsibilities for the review of the Selected Sustainability Information' of our report.
We are independent of Royal DSM in accordance with the 'Verordening inzake de onafhankelijkheid van accountants bij assurance-opdrachten' (ViO, Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, a regulation with respect to independence) and other relevant independence regulations in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we have complied with the 'Verordening gedrags- en beroepsregels accountants' (VGBA, Dutch Code of Ethics).
We believe that the assurance evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our conclusion.
Scope of the group review
Royal DSM is the parent company of a group of entities. The Selected Sustainability Information incorporates the consolidated information of this group of entities.
Our group review procedures consisted of both review procedures at corporate (consolidated) level and at site level. Our selection of sites in scope of our review procedures is primarily based on the site's individual contribution to the consolidated information. Furthermore, our selection of sites considered relevant reporting risks and geographical spread.
By performing our procedures at site level, together with additional procedures at corporate level, we have been able to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence about the group's reported information to provide a conclusion about the Selected Sustainability Information.
Unexamined prospective information
The Selected Sustainability Information includes prospective information such as ambitions, strategy, plans, expectations and estimates. Inherently the actual future results are uncertain. We do not provide any assurance on the assumptions and achievability of prospective information in the Selected Sustainability Information.
Consistency with the Selected Sustainability Information included in other parts of the Integrated Annual Report
In addition to the Selected Sustainability Information and our assurance report thereon, the Integrated Annual Report contains other sustainability information.
Based on the following procedures performed, we conclude that the sustainability information included in other parts of the Integrated Annual Report is consistent with the Selected Sustainability Information and does not contain material misstatements.
We have read the other parts of the Integrated Annual Report. Based on our knowledge and understanding obtained through our review of the Selected Sustainability Information, we have considered whether the sustainability information included in other parts of the Integrated Annual Report contains material misstatements.
The scope of the procedures performed is substantially less than the scope of those performed in our review of the Selected Sustainability Information.
Responsibilities of the Managing Board for the Selected Sustainability Information
The Managing Board of Royal DSM is responsible for the preparation of the Selected Sustainability Information in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and the internally developed criteria as disclosed in the section Reporting policy.
The Managing Board is also responsible for such internal control as it determines is necessary to enable the preparation of the Selected Sustainability Information in a manner that ensures that this is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
Our responsibilities for the review of the Selected Sustainability Information
Our responsibility is to plan and perform the assurance engagement in a manner that allows us to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence for our conclusion.
Procedures performed in an assurance engagement to obtain a limited level of assurance are aimed at determining the plausibility of information and are less extensive than a reasonable assurance engagement. The level of assurance obtained in review engagements is therefore substantially less than the level of assurance obtained in an audit engagement.
Misstatements can arise from fraud or errors and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the decisions of users taken on the basis of the Selected Sustainability Information. The materiality affects the nature, timing and extent of our review procedures and the evaluation of the effect of identified misstatements on our conclusion.
We apply the 'Nadere voorschriften kwaliteitssystemen'
(Regulations on quality management systems) and accordingly maintain a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
We have exercised professional judgement and have maintained professional skepticism throughout the review, in accordance with the Dutch Standard 3810N, ethical requirements and independence requirements.
Our review engagement included, among others, the following procedures:
- Performing an analysis of the external environment, obtaining an understanding of relevant social themes and issues, and of Royal DSM's business;
- Evaluating the appropriateness of the reporting criteria and its consistent application, including the evaluation of the reasonableness of the Managing Board's estimates;
- Evaluating the design and implementation of the reporting systems and processes related to the information in the Selected Sustainability Information;
- Interviewing the Managing Board, management and relevant staff at corporate and business group level responsible for the sustainability strategy and policy;
- Interviewing relevant staff responsible for providing the Selected Sustainability Information, carrying out internal control procedures on the data and consolidating the data in the Selected Sustainability Information;
- A limited number of visits to production sites to review the source data and the design and implementation of internal controls and validation procedures at local level;
- An analytical review of the data and trends submitted for consolidation at corporate level;
- Reviewing relevant data and evaluating internal and external documentation, based on limited sampling, to assess the accuracy of the information in the Selected Sustainability Information; and
- Reviewing the results of procedures performed by the Corporate Operational Audit department of Royal DSM with respect to the Selected Sustainability Information.
We communicate with the Supervisory Board regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the review and significant findings, including any significant findings in internal control that we identify during our review.
Amstelveen, 27 February 2018
KPMG Accountants N.V.
E.H.W. Weusten RA