Independent Practitioner’s Report on a Limited Assurance Engagement on Sustainability Information 1)
To Deutsche Bahn AG, Berlin
We have performed a limited assurance engagement on the disclosures in the sections “To our stakeholders – Sustainability management” and “Notes to sustainability” of the Integrated Report of Deutsche Bahn AG, Berlin (hereinafter “the Company”), for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020 (hereinafter the “Report”).
Responsibilities of the Executive Directors
The executive directors of the Company are responsible for the preparation of the Report in accordance with the principles stated in the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (hereinafter the “GRI-Criteria”).
This responsibility of the Company’s executive directors includes the selection and application of appropriate methods of sustainability reporting as well as making assumptions and estimates related to individual sustainability disclosures, which are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the executive directors are responsible for such internal controls as they have considered necessary to enable the preparation of a Report that is free from material misstatement whether due to fraud or error.
Independence and Quality Control of the Audit Firm
We have complied with the German professional provisions regarding independence as well as other ethical requirements.
Our audit firm applies the national legal requirements and professional standards – in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and German Chartered Auditors (“Berufssatzung für Wirtschaftsprüfer und vereidigte Buchprüfer”: “BSWP/vBP”) as well as the Standard on Quality Control 1 published by the Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer (Institute of Public Auditors in Germany; IDW): Requirements to quality control for audit firms (IDW Qualitätssicherungsstandard 1: Anforderungen an die Qualitätssicherung in der Wirtschaftsprüferpraxis – IDWQS 1) – and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Our responsibility is to express a limited assurance conclusion on the disclosures in the Report based on the assurance engagement we have performed.
Within the scope of our engagement we did not perform an audit on external sources of information or expert opinions, referred to in the Report.
We conducted our assurance engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the IAASB. This Standard requires that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to allow us to conclude with limited assurance that nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the disclosures in the Company’s Report for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020 have not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria.
In a limited assurance engagement the assurance procedures are less in extent than for a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore a substantially lower level of assurance is obtained. The assurance procedures selected depend on the practitioner’s judgment.
Within the scope of our assurance engagement, we performed amongst others the following assurance procedures and further activities:
- Obtaining an understanding of the structure of the sustainability organization and of the stakeholder engagement
- Inquiries of Company’s management and relevant personnel involved in the preparation of the Report regarding the preparation process, the internal control system relating to this process and selected disclosures in the Report
- Identification of the likely risks of material misstatement of the Report under consideration of the GRI-Criteria
- Inspection of processes for collecting, controlling, analyzing and aggregating selected data at specific sites of the Company on a sample basis
- Analytical evaluation of selected disclosures in the Report
- Comparison of selected disclosures with corresponding data in the consolidated financial statements and in the group management report
- Evaluation of the presentation of the selected disclosures regarding sustainability performance
Based on the assurance procedures performed and assurance evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the disclosures in the Company’s Report for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020 have not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria.
Intended Use of the Assurance Report
We issue this report on the basis of the engagement agreed with the Company. The assurance engagement has been performed for purposes of the Company and the report is solely intended to inform the Company as to the results of the assurance engagement. The report is not intended to provide third parties with support in making (financial) decisions. Our responsibility lies solely toward the Company. We do not assume any responsibility towards third parties.
Berlin, 3 March 2021
Hendrik Finkppa. Thomas Groth
(German Public Auditor)
1) PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH has performed a limited assurance engagement on the German version of the sections “To our stakeholders – Sustainability management” and “Notes to sustainability” of the 2020 Integrated Report and issued an independent practitioner’s report in the German language, which is authoritative. The following text is a translation of the independent practitioner’s report.