About | External Verification
Independent Assurance Report
We have been engaged to perform a limited assurance engagement on the online annexes of the augmented online version of the Annual Report of Bayer AG, Leverkusen, (hereinafter: the Company), for the business year from 1 January to 31 December 2013 (“Annual Report 2013 – Augmented Version”; hereinafter: Online Version) as well as on the chapters “Investor Information” and “Reporting Principles” of the Online Version.1
Company’s Board of Managing Directors is responsible for the proper preparation of the report in accordance with the criteria stated in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):
This responsibility includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the report and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual sustainability disclosures which are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining systems and processes relevant for the preparation of the Online Version.
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion based on our work performed as to whether anything has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the information marked with the label “limited assurance” in the Online Version of the Company’s Annual Report for the business year from 1 January to 31 December 2013 have not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the above mentioned criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI.
Any links to external sources of documentation as well as prospective statements were not in scope of our engagement.
We also have been engaged to make recommendations for the further development of sustainability management and sustainability reporting based on the results of our assurance engagement.
We conducted our work in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. This Standard requires that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the assurance engagement, under consideration of materiality, in order to provide our conclusion with limited assurance.
In a limited assurance engagement the evidence-gathering procedures are more limited than for a reasonable assurance engagement (for example, an audit of financial statements in accordance with § (Article) 317 HGB (“Handelsgesetzbuch”: “German Commercial Code”)), and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a reasonable assurance engagement. The procedures selected depend on the practitioner’s judgement.
Within the scope of our work we performed amongst others the following procedures:
Inquiries of personnel responsible for the preparation of the Online Version regarding the process to prepare the reporting of sustainability information and the underlying internal control system;
Inspection of documents regarding the sustainability strategy as well as understanding the sustainability management structure, the stakeholder dialogue and the development process of Company’s sustainability program;
Inquiries of personnel in the corporate functions that are responsible for the individual chapters of the Online Version;
Recording of the systems and processes for collection, analysis, validation and aggregation of sustainability data and their documentation on a sample basis;
Performance of site visits as part of the inspection of processes for collecting, analyzing and aggregating selected data at:
– Bayer CropScience Kansas City (United States of America),
– Bayer CropScience Knapsack (Germany),
– Bayer CropScience Muttenz (Switzerland),
– Bayer HealthCare Berlin (Germany),
– Bayer HealthCare Shawnee (United States of America),
– Bayer MaterialScience Caojing (China),
– Bayer MaterialScience Leverkusen (Germany),
– Currenta Leverkusen (Germany);
Analytical procedures on sustainability data included in the Online Version;
Gaining further evidence for selected data of the Online Version through inspection of internal documents, contracts and invoices/reports from external service providers.
Based on our limited assurance engagement, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the information marked with the label “limited assurance” in the Online Version of the Company’s Annual Report for the business year from 1 January to 31 December 2013 has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the above mentioned criteria of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3.1 (pp. 7 to 17) of the GRI.
Emphasis of Matter – Recommendations
Without qualifying our conclusion above, we make the following recommendations for the further development of the Company’s sustainability management and sustainability reporting:
Further formalization of the internal controls system for sustainability information and transformation into standardized processes in the course of the further development of Integrated Reporting;
Further development of the materiality analysis in consideration of the new requirements for Integrated Reporting and the new G4 Guidelines of GRI.
Düsseldorf, February 27, 2014
||ppa. Aissata Touré
||(German Public Auditor)
1 Our engagement applied to the German and English augmented online version of the Annual Report of Bayer AG, which describes the sustainability performance of the Company. This text is a translation of the Independent Assurance Report issued in German language – the German text is authoritative. The Online Version is available at www.bayer.de/GB13 and www.bayer.com/AR13 respectively.