Assurance report of the independent auditor
To: the Shareholder and the Supervisory Board of TenneT Holding B.V.
We have reviewed the sustainability information in the Integrated Annual Report for the year 2018 of TenneT Holding B.V. at Arnhem (hereinafter: TenneT). 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 sustainability information does not present, in all material respects, a reliable and adequate view of:
- The policy and business operations with regard to corporate social responsibility
- The thereto related events and achievements for the year 2018
in accordance with the reporting criteria as included in the section Reporting criteria below.
The sustainability information consists of the chapters ‘2018 at a glance’, ‘Letter from the CEO’, ‘About TenneT’, ‘Our Performance in 2018’ (excluding the sections ‘Financial’ and ‘Statements of the Executive Board’) and the section 'About this report' of the Integrated Annual Report.
Basis for our conclusion
We have performed our review of the 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 specific 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 sustainability information of our report.
We are independent of TenneT 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. This includes that we do not perform any activities that could result in a conflict of interest with our independent assurance engagement. 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.
The sustainability information needs to be read and understood together with the reporting criteria. TenneT is solely responsible for selecting and applying these reporting criteria, taking into account applicable law and regulations related to reporting.
The reporting criteria used for the preparation of the sustainability information are the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the applied supplemental reporting criteria as disclosed in section ‘About this report’ of the Integrated Annual Report.
Limitations to the scope of our review engagement
The sustainability information includes prospective information such as ambitions, strategy, plans, expectations and estimates. Inherent to prospective information, the actual future results are uncertain. We do not provide any assurance on the assumptions and achievability of prospective information in the sustainability information.
The references to external sources or websites in the sustainability information are not part of the sustainability information as reviewed by us. We therefore do not provide assurance on this information.
Responsibilities of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board for the sustainability information
The Executive Board is responsible for the preparation of the sustainability information in accordance with the reporting criteria as included in the section Reporting criteria, including the identification of stakeholders and the definition of material matters. The choices made by the Executive Board regarding the scope of the sustainability information and the reporting policy are summarised in the section ‘About this report’ of the Integrated Annual Report.
The Executive Board is also responsible for such internal control as the Executive Board determines is necessary to enable the preparation of the sustainability information that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or errors.
The Supervisory Board is responsible for overseeing the reporting process of TenneT.
Our responsibilities for the review of the sustainability information
Our responsibility is to plan and perform the review in a manner that allows us to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence for our conclusion.
Procedures performed to obtain a limited level of assurance are aimed to determine the plausibility of information and vary in nature and timing from, and are less in extent, than for a reasonable assurance engagement. The level of assurance obtained in a review is therefore substantially less than the assurance obtained in an audit.
We apply the ‘“Nadere voorschriften kwaliteitssystemen” (NVKS, Regulations for 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 other applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
We have exercised professional judgement and have maintained professional skepticism throughout the review performed by a multi-disciplinary team, in accordance with the Dutch assurance standards, ethical requirements and independence requirements.
Our review included amongst others:
- Performing an analysis of the external environment and obtaining an understanding of relevant social themes and issues, and the characteristics of the company
- Evaluating the appropriateness of the reporting criteria used, their consistent application and related disclosures in the sustainability information. This includes the evaluation of the results of the stakeholders’ dialogue and the reasonableness of estimates made by the Executive Board.
- Obtaining an understanding of the reporting processes for the sustainability information, including obtaining a general understanding of internal control relevant to our review.
- Identifying areas of the sustainability information with a higher risk of misleading or unbalanced information or material misstatements, whether due to fraud or errors. Designing and performing further assurance procedures aimed at determining the plausibility of the sustainability information responsive to this risk analysis. These further review procedures consisted amongst others of:
- Interviewing management and relevant staff at corporate and business level responsible for the sustainability strategy, policy and results
- Interviewing relevant staff responsible for providing the information for, carrying out internal control procedures on, and consolidating the data in the sustainability information
- Visits to TenneT Netherlands & Germany (Bayreuth) aimed at, on a local level, validating source data and evaluating the design and implementation of internal controls and validation procedures
- Obtaining assurance information that the sustainability information reconciles with underlying records of the company
- Reviewing, on a limited test basis, relevant internal and external documentation
- Performing an analytical review of the data and trends submitted for consolidation at corporate level
- Reconciling the relevant financial information with the financial statements
- Evaluating the consistency of the sustainability information with the information in the Integrated Annual Report which is not included in the scope of our review
- Evaluating the overall presentation, structure and content of the sustainability information
- Considering whether the sustainability information as a whole, including the disclosures, reflects the purpose of the reporting criteria used
We communicate with the Supervisory Board regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the review and significant findings that we identify during our review.
Amsterdam, 18 February 2019
Ernst & Young Accountants LLP
Signed by R.T.H. Wortelboer