Independent assurance statement to Mondi Group

ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) was engaged by Mondi Group to provide assurance in relation to the information set out below and presented in the online Mondi 2013 Sustainable Development Report (the Report).

Engagement summary

Scope:

  1. Whether the 2013 data for the following key performance indicators (‘KPIs’) are fairly presented, in all material respects:
  2. Whether the Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (the ‘GRI G3 Guidelines’).

In addition we were asked to check whether the GRI G3 Application Level B+, is consistent with the GRI criteria for this Application Level.

Reporting criteria

  • The Sustainability Reporting Guidelines G3 of the Global Reporting Initiative and internal indicator criteria developed by Mondi and described in the section ‘Reporting scope and boundary’ and the relevant performance sections.
  • ISO 14064-1:2006 and the WBCSD WRI GHG Protocol (2004) for the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions.

Assurance standard

  • ERM CVS’ assurance methodology, based on the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE 3000).
  • ISO 14064-3:2006 for the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions.

Assurance level

  • Reasonable assurance: Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions for Mondi Group’s material operations.
  • Limited assurance: Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions for Mondi Group’s converting operations, the other indicators set out under (1) above and the preparation of the report as set out under (2) above.

Respective responsibilities:

  • Mondi Group is responsible for preparing the Report and for the collection and presentation of the information within it.
  • ERM CVS’s responsibility is to provide conclusions on the agreed scope based on the assurance activities performed and exercising our professional judgement.

Our conclusions

In our opinion, the 2013 Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions for Mondi Group’s material operations are fairly presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.

Based on our activities, nothing has come to our attention to indicate that the 2013 data for the other KPIs, as listed under ‘Scope’ above, are not fairly presented, in all material respects, with the reporting criteria.

Based on our activities, nothing has come to our attention to indicate that the Report has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the GRI G3 Guidelines.

GRI application level

We conclude that the self-declared G3 Application Level [B+] and based on the GRI Content Index is consistent with the GRI criteria for this Application Level.

Our assurance activities

A multi-disciplinary team of sustainability, GHG and assurance specialists performed the following activities:

  • A review of external media reporting relating to Mondi Group to identify relevant sustainability issues in the reporting period.
  • Interviews with relevant staff to understand Mondi Group’s Sustainable Development strategy, policies and management systems for the KPIs.
  • Interviews with relevant staff to understand and evaluate the data management systems and processes (including IT systems and internal review processes) used for collecting and reporting SD data.
  • A review of the internal reporting guidelines, including conversion factors used.
  • Visits to eight production sites in South Africa, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Belgium to verify the source data underlying the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, the other environmental and safety indicators, the Chain-of-Custody certified fibre indicator and the food contact packaging operation hygiene certification indicator.
  • A visit to the offices of Mondi Group in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to review the source data underlying the land claims indicators.
  • An analytical review of the year end data submitted by all sites included in the consolidated 2013 group data for the KPIs.
  • Reviewing selected evidence related to the design, information collection, and production of the Report in accordance with the GRI G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
  • Reviewing the presentation of information relevant to the scope of our work in the Report to ensure consistency with our findings.

In addition, for the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG data:

  • Assessing the conclusions of accredited third-party verification bodies relating to the verification of Scope 1 CO2e emissions for 2013 from Mondi Group’s material operations that fall within the scope of the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) and checking consistency of the verified emissions with the data for these operations included in the consolidated data in the Report.
  • Requesting and performing desktop verification of underlying source data for GHG emissions from four other material operations not covered by our site visits or the EU ETS verification process.
  • Testing the calculation of the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions and reviewing uncertainties associated with the measuring and reporting of GHG emissions data for Mondi Group’s material operations at site and Group levels.

The limitations of our engagement

The reliability of the assured data is subject to inherent uncertainties, given the available methods for determining, calculating or estimating the underlying information. It is important to understand our assurance conclusions in this context. Our independent assurance statement provides no assurance on the maintenance and integrity of the website, including controls used to achieve this, and in particular whether any changes may have occurred to the information since it was first published.

Our observations

We have provided Mondi Group with a separate detailed management report. Without affecting the conclusions presented above, we have the following key observations:

  • Although Mondi achieved a further improvement in its Total Recordable Case Rate (TRCR) in 2013, there were 4 fatalities during the year, all of which involved contractors. While recognising that Mondi has already undertaken assessments of its most significant safety risks and is developing action plans, we recommend an increased focus on contractor safety in 2014 to ensure that the action plans lead to the implementation of improved safety procedures, in particular for non-routine contractor operations, in line with Mondi’s goal of zero harm in the workplace.
  • Based on performance to date, Mondi’s commitment to reduce specific contact water consumption by 10% by 2015 against a 2010 base year is a challenging target. Further to the completion of water impact assessments at all of its pulp and paper mills and forest operations, we encourage Mondi to apply the information gained from this process to implement measures to reduce water input and to recycle and reuse process water in order to improve its performance in line with its commitment.
  • We note that this year’s Report outlines how Mondi engages with its key stakeholders and details their interests and topics of concern. However, we suggest that future Sustainable Development Reports would be improved by the inclusion of feedback received from Mondi’s stakeholders on its SD practices and performance, together with Mondi’s response.
  • We recognise that Mondi’s monitoring and reporting of Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certified input materials, by now including externally procured pulp as well as wood, improves the transparency of its reporting on this metric. However, our findings indicate there is a need for Mondi to better communicate the purpose and importance of this metric as well as improving the clarity of its commitments and performance reporting.
  • While recognising the progress made with Community Engagement Programmes (CEPs) and SEAT assessments at material operations, we recommend refining the definition of ‘socially material operations’ so that all operations where Mondi’s activities have significant social and economic impacts for local communities are included in these programmes.

Jennifer Iansen-Rogers
Head of Report Assurance Services
28 March 2014

ERM Certification and Verification Services, London
www.ermcvs.com
Email: post@ermcvs.com

ERM CVS is a member of the ERM Group. The work that ERM CVS conducts for clients is solely related to independent assurance activities and auditor training. Our processes are designed and implemented to ensure that the work we undertake with clients is free from bias and conflict of interest. ERM CVS and the staff that have undertaken work on this assurance exercise provide no consultancy related services to Mondi Group in any respect.