Independent Assurance Report on the Sonova Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2018/19
To the Board of Directors of Sonova Holding AG, Stäfa.
We have been engaged to perform assurance procedures to provide limited assurance on the aspects of the 2018/19 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Reporting of Sonova Holding AG, Stäfa and its consolidated subsidiaries included in the 2018/19 CR Report.
Scope and subject matter
Our limited assurance engagement focused on the selected data and information disclosed in the CR Report of Sonova for the year ended on March 31, 2019:
- The indicator ‘number of active granted patent and design rights owned by the Sonova Group as of March 2019’ in the section ‘Customer-focused solutions’, the tables ‘Internal leadership recruitment rate (ILRR)’, ‘Employee turnover rates’, ‘Employees by region’, ‘Employees by employment contract’, ‘New hire rate’, ‘Employees by gender’, ‘Employees by age’, ‘Women in management positions’ in the section ‘Investment in people’, the tables ‘Energy consumption’, ‘Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – Scope 1+2’, ‘Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – Scope 3’, and the indicator ‘purchase volume from suppliers with certified environmental management systems’ in the section ‘Safeguarding the environment’ (CR indicators);
- The management of reporting processes with respect to the CR Report and the preparation of CR indicators as well as the related control environment in relation to data aggregation of CR indicators.
We have not carried out any work on data reported for prior reporting periods, nor have we performed work in respect of projections and targets.
The management reporting processes with respect to the CR reporting and CR indicators were prepared by Sonova based on the internal policies and procedures as set forth in the following:
- the Sonova Group internal CR reporting guidelines based on the ‘GRI Standards’ published in October 2016 by the Global Reporting Initiative;
- the Sonova Group internal reporting manuals ‘Environmental Reporting’ dated 12th of December 2017 and ‘HR KPI Calculation Factsheet’; and
- Procedures, by which the data for the CR indicators reporting is gathered, collected and aggregated internally.
The accuracy and completeness of CR indicators are subject to inherent limitations given their nature and methods for determining, calculating and estimating such data. Our assurance report should therefore be read in connection with Sonova’s internal guidelines, definitions and procedures on the CR reporting.
The Board of Directors of Sonova Holding AG is responsible for both the subject matter and the criteria as well as for the selection, preparation and presentation of the selected data and information in accordance with the criteria. This responsibility includes the design, implementation and maintenance of related internal control relevant to this reporting process that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
Our responsibility is to express a limited assurance conclusion on whether anything has come to our attention to indicate that the identified CR information selected and contained in this report is not stated, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.
We planned and performed our procedures in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE 3000) (Revised) ‘Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information’, and, in respect of greenhouse gas emissions, with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE 3410) ‘Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements’. These standards require that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance on the identified sustainability information prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with Sonova’s internal policies and procedures.
A limited assurance engagement under ISAE 3000 (Revised) and ISAE 3410 is substantially less in scope than a reasonable assurance engagement in relation to both the risk assessment procedures, including an understanding of internal control, and the procedures performed in response to the assessed risks. Consequently, the nature, timing and extent of procedures for gathering sufficient appropriate evidence are deliberately limited relative to a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore less assurance is obtained with a limited assurance engagement than for a reasonable assurance engagement. The procedures selected depend on the assurance practitioner’s judgement.
Our independence and quality control
We have complied with the independence and other ethical requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, which is founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour.
Our firm applies International Standard on Quality Control 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.
Summary of work performed
Our assurance procedures included, amongst others, the following work:
- Evaluation of the application of Group guidelines
Reviewing the application of the Sonova Group internal CR reporting guidelines;
- Site visit and management inquiry
Remote site visit procedures at Advanced Bionics LLC in Valencia (USA). The selection was based on quantitative and qualitative criteria;
Interviewing personnel responsible for internal reporting and data collection at the site and at the Sonova Corporate level;
- Assessment of the key figures
Performing tests on a sample basis of evidence supporting selected CR indicators concerning completeness, accuracy, adequacy and consistency;
- Review of documentation and analysis of relevant policies and principles
Reviewing relevant documentation on a sample basis, including Sonova Group CR policies, management of reporting structures and documentation;
- Assessment of the processes and data consolidation
Reviewing the management reporting processes for CR reporting and assessing the consolidation process of data at Sonova Group level.
We have not conducted any work on data other than outlined in the subject matter as defined above. We believe that the evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our assurance conclusion.
Based on our work performed nothing has come to our attention causing us to believe that in all material respects:
- The CR indicators outlined in the scope and subject matter section and disclosed in the 2018/19 CR Report of Sonova Group are not stated in accordance with Sonova Group internal policies and procedures; and
- The management of reporting processes with respect to the CR Report and the preparation of CR indicators as well as the related control environment in relation to data aggregation of these key performance indicators are not functioning as designed.
Zurich, 17 May 2019