Independent Assurance Statements
The Management and Board of Directors
Independent Assurance Statement
Ernst & Young LLP (EY) was retained by ITC Limited (the “Company”) to provide an independent assurance on its Sustainability Report 2013 (the “Report”), limited to the social and environmental information therein. The Company’s management is responsible for the content of the report, and its presentation. EY’s responsibility is to provide assurance on the report content, as described in the scope of assurance. Our responsibility in performing our assurance activities is to the management of the Company only, and in accordance with the terms of reference agreed with the Company. We do not therefore accept or assume any responsibility for any other purpose or to any other person or organisation.
The assurance engagement was planned and performed in accordance with International Federation of Accountants’ International Standard for Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information (ISAE 3000). Our evidence-gathering procedures have been designed to obtain a reasonable level of assurance (as set out in ISAE 3000) on which we base our conclusions.
Scope of Assurance and Methodology
The scope of our work for this assurance was limited to review of information pertaining to environment and social performance for the period of 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013, in 9 selected representative units from various businesses of the Company and Head office, Kolkata, which are material to the Company’s triple bottomline performance. These 9 selected units are:
ITD ( Tobacco Division) - Kolkata (West Bengal) & Pune (Maharashtra)
FBD ( Foods Division ) - Pune (Maharashtra)
Hotels - ITC Windsor, Bengaluru (Karnataka)
PPB (Packaging and Printing Business) - Tiruvottiyur, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
PSPD (Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division) - Bhadrachalam (Andhra Pradesh) & Tribeni (West Bengal)
ILTD ( Leaf Tobacco Division) - Anaparti (Andhra Pradesh)
PCPB (Personal Care Products Business) - Manpura, Himachal Pradesh
EY’s multidisciplinary team of professionals visited the Company’s above manufacturing units and the head office in order to review and verify the data and information presented in the report, on core and additional G3 indicators listed below:
EN 1: Materials used by weight or volume
EN 3: Direct energy consumption by primary energy source
EN 4: Indirect energy consumption by primary source
EN 8: Total water withdrawal by source
EN 16: Total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight
EN 19: Emissions of ozone-depleting substances by weight
EN 20: NOX, SOX and other significant air emissions by type and weight
EN 21: Total water discharge by quality and destination
EN 22: Total weight of waste by type and disposal method
LA 1: Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region
LA 4: Percentage of employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
LA 7: Rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of work-related fatalities by region
LA 10: Average hours of training per year per employee by employee category
HR 1: Percentage and total number of significant investment agreements that include human rights clauses or that have undergone human rights screening
SO 1: Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting
The nature and scope of our work was based on our professional judgment and we have performed procedures deemed necessary to provide a basis for our conclusions. The approach to the assurance exercise included interaction with key personnel to identify the processes in place to capture sustainability performance data and information as per GRI 2006 (GRI-G3) Guidelines. The team conducted review and verification of data collection process, measurement methodology and general review of the logic of inclusion/omission of necessary information/data to:
Review of consistency of data/information within the report as well as between the report and source;
Verification of the transcription of data internally verified by the Company ;
Execution of audit trail of selected data streams and information to determine the level of accuracy in collection, transcription and aggregation processes followed;
Review of the reliability of the information, assessing related controls and their operating effectiveness;
Review of the Company’s plans, policies and practices, pertaining to their social, environmental and sustainable development.
Limitations of our Engagement
The assurance scope excludes:
Aspects of the Report other than those mentioned above;
Data and information outside the defined reporting period (1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013);
The Company’s statements that describe expression of opinion, belief, aspiration, expectation, aim or future intention and national or global socio-economic and environmental aspects;
Data and information on economic and financial performance of the Company.
On the basis of our procedures aimed at obtaining reasonable assurance, we conclude that in our opinion:
The Company has presented, in a reasonably balanced, accurate, complete and transparent manner, the information on Environmental and Social parameters pertaining to the GRI indicators on material consumption, energy, water consumption and discharge, GHG emissions, wastes, safety performance and social programmes.
The Company continued to demonstrate its commitment to the key sustainability issues through its actions on carbon sequestration, waste recycling, creating rainwater harvesting potential, and creating sustainable livelihoods. The carbon positive status has been achieved through implementation of multiple energy efficiency improvement initiatives, increased share of renewables in the overall energy consumption mix and sequestration of CO2 through social and farm forestry projects. The water positive status is based on reduction of specific water consumption and rainwater harvesting potential from structures created. The solid waste recycling positive status of the Company is based on recycling of waste generated within its premises and recycling of waste recovered from external parties. During our review, we noted that the Company has a structured sustainability data capturing system, and, as an improvement measure, is taking up initiatives to further strengthen its robustness, reporting protocols and review mechanisms.
Ernst & Young LLP
5th June, 2013