Independent practitioner`s report on a limited assurance engagement on Sustainability information
To Deutsche Bahn AG, Berlin
We have performed a limited assurance engagement on the disclosures in the sections “To our stakeholders – Open stakeholder dialog”, “To our stakeholders – Social commitments” and “Notes to sustainability” of the 2021 Integrated Report of Deutsche Bahn AG, Berlin (hereinafter the “Company”) for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 (hereinafter the “Report”).
Not subject to our assurance engagement are the external sources of documentation or expert opinions mentioned in the Report.
Responsibility 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 includes the selection and application of appropriate sustainability reporting methods and making assumptions and estimates about individual sustainability disclosures of the Company that are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the executive directors are responsible for such internal controls as the executive directors consider 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”: “BS WP/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 – IDW QS 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.
Responsibility of the Assurance Practitioner
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion with limited assurance on the disclosures in the Report based on our assurance engagement.
We conducted our assurance engagement in accordance with 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 obtain limited assurance about whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the disclosures in the Company’s Report, other than the external sources of documentation or expert opinions mentioned in the Report, are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria.
In a limited assurance engagement the procedures performed are less extensive than in a reasonable assurance engagement, and accordingly a substantially lower level of assurance is obtained. The selection of the assurance procedures is subject to the professional judgement of the assurance practitioner.
In the course of our assurance engagement, we have, amongst other things, performed the following assurance procedures and other activities:
- Gain an understanding of the structure of the sustainability organization and the stakeholder engagement
- Inquiries of 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 procedures on selected disclosures in the Report
- Reconciliation of selected disclosures with the corresponding data in the consolidated financial statements and the group management report
- Inquiries on the relevance of climate-risks
- Evaluation of the presentation of the selected disclosures
Based on the assurance procedures performed and evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the disclosures in the Report of the Company for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria.
Restriction of Use
We draw attention to the fact that the assurance engagement was conducted for the Company’s purposes and that the report is intended solely to inform the Company about the result of the assurance engagement. Consequently, it may not be suitable for any other purpose than the aforementioned. Accordingly, the report is not intended to be used by third parties for making (financial) decisions based on it. Our responsibility is to the Company. We do not accept any responsibility to third parties. Our assurance opinion is not modified in this respect.
Berlin, 9 March 2022
Hendrik Fink ppa. Thomas Groth
(German public auditor)