Independent Assurance Report

To RWE AG, Essen

PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft has performed a moderate assurance1 engagement on the German version of the Corporate Responsibility Report and issued an independent assurance report, authoritative in German language, which has been translated as follows:

We have been engaged by RWE AG, Essen, to perform an independent assurance engagement to attain moderate assurance in respect of observing the AA1000 AccountAbility principles and regarding selected sustainability information in the Corporate Responsibility Report "Die Energiewende nachhaltig gestalten. Corporate Responsibility-Bericht 2012" for the business year 2012 of RWE AG, Essen, as well as additional data from the key data tool (the "CR-Report"). The Corporate Responsibility Report is published as online version on www.rwe.com/cr-report.


Responsibility of the legal representatives
  • Responsibility of the legal representatives

    It is the responsibility of the legal representatives of the Company

    • to comply with the principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness as defined in the AccountAbility Principles Standard (2008) (the "AA1000 AccountAbility Principles"), and
    • to prepare the sustainability information in the Sustainability Report in accordance with the criteria set out in the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Vol. 3 (pages 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 to prepare the Sustainability Report with the application of assumptions and estimations for single CR data that are appropriate under the given circumstances.

Responsibility of the auditors
  • Responsibility of the auditors

    Our responsibility is to form an independent opinion, based on our assurance procedures, on whether facts have come to our attention leading us to believe that in all material respects

    • the systems and processes installed by the Company are not appropriate for compliance with the AccountAbility Principles; or
    • the selected sustainability information in the Sustainability Report has not been prepared in compliance with the GRI criteria.

    We also have been engaged to report on recommendations for the further development of sustainability management and sustainability reporting on the basis of the results of our assurance engagement.

    The websites reviewed by us are marked "Reviewed 2011". Our engagement concerns the German version of the Sustainability Report. Data linked from these websites were not part of our review.

    We conducted our independent assurance engagement in accordance with AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS) 2008 and also in accordance with International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000.

    These standards require that we fulfill our professional duties and plan and conduct the engagement in accordance with the principle of materiality so that we can form an opinion with moderate assurance1, which is the degree of assurance that was required by RWE AG. We are independent as defined by Section 3.2 of AA1000AS (2008). Due to our expertise and experience with non-financial assessments, sustainability management as well as social and ecological issues, we have the competencies required to conduct this independent assurance engagement. An independent assurance engagement performed to obtain moderate assurance1 is less substantial in scope than an independent assurance engagement performed to obtain high assurance2, with the result that a corresponding lower level of assurance is obtained. The selection of the issues to be examined is a matter for the dutiful judgement of the independent auditors performing the engagement.

    We conducted examination procedures at the level of the headquarters – RWE AG, Essen, and, at the subsidiary level, particularly at RWE Power AG, Essen, RWE Deutschland AG, Essen, envia Mitteldeutsche Energie AG (enviaM), Chemnitz, RWE Dea AG, Hamburg, Essent Gruppe, ´s-Hertogenbosch (Nehterlands), RWE npower, Swindon, (UK), and RWE Transgas, Prag (Czech Republic).

    With regard to compliance with the AccountAbility Principles we conducted the following examination procedures:

    • Obtaining a fundamental understanding of the application of the AA1000 principles by interviewing persons responsible for stakeholder management at the Group headquarters and at selected locations;
    • Collecting and evaluating documentation regarding stakeholder dialogue, communication with stakeholders as well as of evaluation and interpretation for the respective subsidiaries of RWE;
    • understanding the relevant documentation for analysing and prioritising sustainability topics and realization in the specific CR-areas.

    With regard to selected sustainability information in the Sustainability Report, our work included inter alia the following examination procedures:

    • discussion with the employees responsible for reporting of sustainability information;
    • examination of the systems and processes for data collection, calculation and reporting of sustainability information;
    • functional examination of selected controls for the assurance of data quality;
    • review of the GRI G3-Content Index in terms of consistence with the specifications in the report and its accuracy and completeness;
    • analytical assessment of sustainability data as well as limited testing of detail on a sample basis.
Material findings and judgments
  • Material findings and judgments

    With regard to the fundamental AccountAbility Principle of inclusivity:

    • Internal and external stakeholders are involved in various dialogue formats to discuss current issues.
    • Supraregional stakeholder dialoguesareorganized and controlled at group level by the central CR management and the responsible technical departments, regional stakeholder dialogues controlled by the operating subsidiaries. If there are group-wide issues, coordination took place by the central CR management according to the established internal rules of cooperation.
    • Between the responsible technical departments and the central CR management a regular exchange is established.

    With regard to the AccountAbility Principle of materiality:

    • In context with the so-called issue radar stakeholders' concerns and expectations are gathered and evaluated.
    • This issue radar is part of the materiality analysis, which takes place annually and by which the fields of action introduced in 2006 are subject to arevolving assessment and new issues are added, if necessary.
    • The results of this analysis are systematically included in the CR reporting, the CRmanagement and single CR projects.

     

    With regard to the AccountAbility Principle of responsiveness:

    • Communication with stakeholders takes generally place in a comprehensive manner via various communication channels and is thematically balanced.
    • The processes of reaction are coordinated within the group.
    • Astandardizeddocumentation of dialogues with stakeholders do not exist, yet

    Based on our independent assurance engagement to obtain moderate assurance, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that, in all material respects the systems and processes installed by the Company are not appropriate for compliance with the AccountAbility Principles, and selected sustainability information set out in the Sustainability Report has not been prepared in compliance with the GRI criteria.
     
    Further recommendations
    Without qualifying the opinions on our engagement stated above, we make the following recommendations for the development of the sustainability management and reporting:

    • Development of stakeholder management:

      - Documentation of stakeholder dialogues in all Group companies

      - Introduction of Group-wide procedures for handling stakeholder concerns consistently and to ensure the escalation of potentially critical issue to the corporate headquarters

      - Institutionalization of the existing regular exchange of group-wide stakeholder issues.

    • Improvement of reporting processes:

      - Continuationofimprovementindata collection and control environment for certain CR data and ensuring of data consistency across systems within the Group

      - Extension of IT tools to support the reporting processContinuationand completionofthe process documentation for data collection in various group companies. 

    Frankfurt am Main, March 30 2012
    PricewaterhouseCoopers
    Aktiengesellschaft
    Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft

    Michael Werner ppa. Juliane von Clausbruch

    1 “Moderate assurance” as specified by AA1000AS (2008) is equivalent to “limited assurance” as specified by IS AE 3000.
    2 “High assurance” as specified by AA1000AS (2008) is equivalent to “reasonable assurance” as specified by ISAE 3000.