Selection of sustainability topics

Our Strong Rail strategy also forms the overarching framework for our reporting. We are also reliant on the support and acceptance of our stakeholders in order to successfully implement our strategy. In 2019, as part of a comprehensive materiality analysis (2019 Integrated Report), we therefore asked them for an assessment of 16 important areas of action for sustainability in DB Group. These areas of action reflect the focus points of our strategy and supplement them with other topics that our stakeholders deem relevant. Based on the revised GRI standards, a more comprehensive approach was adopted in 2022 than in the previous year in order to validate and update the set of material topics. As part of a step-by-step procedure, two complementary surveys were conducted:

  • The relevant set of topics, consisting of 16 areas of action and their related aspects, was updated with the help of the respective internal DB representatives of our eight stakeholder groups. The areas of action were maintained and supplemented to include additional indi­-vidual aspects.
  • The relevance of the areas of action and the effects perceived in the fields of action were surveyed in the same way as the set of topics. The associated effects should be described, classified as positive and negative, and assigned to one of the business, environment or society sectors. In addition, the stakeholder representatives assessed the impact according to how preventable, difficult and extensive it is and how likely they consider it to occur.
  • In addition, the business relevance of the areas of action was recorded through a management survey of selected executives.
  • The survey results were quantitatively evaluated and qualitatively reviewed in a workshop with experts from the Sustainability Strategy and Environment departments as well as Investor Relations and Sustainable ­Finance and the set of key topics was determined. The CSO/CEO was informed of the results.

Our sustainability topics are made up of:

  • Material topics according to the GRI: Compared to the previous year, supplemented by the additional topics of corporate governance and compliance, customer safety and the handling of politics and regulation.
  • Topics from the transparency aspiration: Arise from our comprehensive transparency aspiration towards our stakeholders.
  • Additional topics: Supplemented on the basis of an internal assessment of their significance.
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