To: the General Meeting of Shareholders and the Supervisory Board of PostNL N.V.
We have audited the non-financial information in the Annual Report 2022 (hereafter: ‘Annual Report’) of PostNL N.V. based in The Hague (hereafter: PostNL or the Company) for the year ending 31 December 2022. Our audit is aimed at obtaining a reasonable level of assurance.
Based on the procedures performed, the non-financial information is prepared, in all material respects, with reference to the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI Standards) and in accordance with the PostNL’s internally developed supplemental reporting criteria as disclosed in the section ‘Reporting criteria’ of our Report.
The non-financial information is included in the following sections in the Annual Report:
‘Business Report’ (excluding ‘EU taxonomy on sustainable activities’, ‘Financial value’, 'Outlook 2023', ‘Risk and opportunity management’ and ‘Regulatory compliance management’);
The ‘Non-financial statements’ included in the ‘Performance statements’; and
Appendix 3 'Glossary and definitions'.
We performed our audit in accordance with Dutch law, including Dutch Standard 3810N ‘Assurance-opdrachten inzake maatschappelijke verslagen’ (Assurance engagements relating to sustainability reports), which is a specified Dutch Standard that is based on the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 ‘Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information’. This engagement is aimed to obtain reasonable assurance. Our responsibilities in this regard are further described in the ‘Auditor’s responsibilities’ section of our report.
We are independent of PostNL in accordance with the ‘Verordening inzake de onafhankelijkheid van accountants bij assurance-opdrachten’ (ViO, Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, a regulation with respect to independence). Furthermore, we have complied with the ‘Verordening gedrags- en beroepsregels accountants’ (VGBA, Dutch Code of Ethics).
We believe the assurance evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our conclusion.
The non-financial information needs to be read and understood together with the reporting criteria. PostNL is solely responsible for selecting and applying these reporting criteria, taking into account applicable law and regulations related to reporting.
The reporting criteria used for the preparation of the non-financial information are the Universal Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative and the internally developed supplemental reporting criteria specific to PostNL for reporting elements which are not covered in GRI as disclosed in the section ‘Non-financial statements’ included in the chapter ‘Performance statements’ of the Annual Report. The absence of an established practice on which to draw, to evaluate and measure the non-financial information allows for different, but acceptable, measurement techniques and can affect comparability between entities and over time. Consequently, the non-financial information needs to be read and understood together with the reporting criteria used.
Based on our professional judgement we determined materiality levels for each relevant part of the non-financial information as included in the Annual Report. When evaluating our materiality levels, we have taken into account quantitative and qualitative considerations as well as the relevance of information for both stakeholders and PostNL.
We agreed with the Supervisory Board that misstatements which are identified during the audit and which in our view must be reported on quantitative or qualitative grounds, would be reported to them.
Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgement, were of most significance in our audit of the financial statements. No key audit matters were identified in our audit of the non-financial information.
PostNL is the parent company of a group of entities. The non-financial information incorporates the consolidated information as specified in the 'Non-financial statements’ of the Annual Report.
Our group audit procedures consisted of both procedures at corporate (consolidated) level and at entity level. Our selection of entities in scope of our audit procedures is primarily based on the entity’s individual contribution to the consolidated information. By performing our audit procedures at entity level, together with additional procedures at corporate level, we have been able to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence about the group’s non-financial information to provide a conclusion about the non-financial information.
The non-financial information includes prospective information such as ambitions, strategy, plans, expectations and estimates. Inherently the actual future results are uncertain. We do not provide any assurance on the assumptions and achievability of prospective information in the non-financial information.
References to external sources or websites in the non-financial information are not part of the non-financial information itself as audited by us. Therefore, we do not provide assurance on this information.
The Board of Management is responsible for the preparation of the non-financial information in accordance with the applicable criteria as described in the ‘Reporting criteria’ section of our report, including the identification of stakeholders and the definition of key material topics. The Board of Management is also responsible for selecting and applying the reporting criteria and for determining that these reporting criteria are suitable for the legitimate information needs of stakeholders, taking into account applicable law and regulations related to reporting. The choices made by The Board of Management regarding the scope of the non-financial information and the reporting policy are summarized in the chapter ‘Non-financial statements’ of the Annual Report.
Furthermore, the Board of Management is responsible for such internal control as it determines is necessary to enable the preparation of the non-financial information that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
The Supervisory Board is, among other things, responsible for overseeing the PostNL reporting process.
Our responsibility is to plan and perform our audit in a manner that allows us to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence for our conclusion. Our audit has been performed with a high, but not absolute, level of assurance, which means we may not have detected all material misstatements due to fraud or error.
Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the decisions of users taken on the basis of the non-financial information. The materiality affects the nature, timing and extent of our audit procedures and the evaluation of the effect of identified misstatements on our opinion.
We apply the ‘Nadere Voorschriften Kwaliteitssystemen’ (NVKS, Regulations for Quality management systems) and accordingly maintain a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
We have exercised professional judgement and have maintained professional scepticism throughout the audit, in accordance with the Dutch Standard 3810N, ethical requirements and independence requirements.
Our audit included among others:
Performing an analysis of the external environment and obtaining an understanding of the key material topics and the characteristics of PostNL;
Evaluating the appropriateness of the reporting criteria used, their consistent application and related disclosures in the non-financial information. This includes the evaluation of the results of stakeholder dialogue and the reasonableness of estimates made by the Board of Management of PostNL;
Obtaining through inquiries a general understanding of control environment, processes and information systems relevant to the preparation of the sustainability information, but not to obtain assurance evidence about their implementation or their operating effectiveness;
Obtaining an understanding of the reporting processes for the non-financial information, including obtaining a general understanding of internal control relevant to our audit, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of PostNL’s internal control;
Taking into consideration the procedures performed by the Internal Audit department of PostNL;
Identifying and assessing the risks if the non-financial information is misleading or unbalanced, or contains material misstatements, whether due to errors or fraud. Designing and performing further audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtaining audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our conclusion. The risk that the non-financial information is misleading or unbalanced, or the risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from errors. Fraud may involve collusion, forgery intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control. These further procedures included, among others:
Inquiry with management and relevant staff of PostNL at corporate and component level responsible for the sustainability strategy, policies and results;
Inquiry with relevant staff of PostNL responsible for providing the information for, carrying out the internal control procedures on, and consolidating the data in the non-financial information;
Verifying that the non-financial information reconciles with underlying records of PostNL;
Evaluating relevant internal and external documentation, on a test basis, to determine the reliability of the information in the non-financial information; and
Performing an analytical review of the data and trends.
Evaluating the presentation, structure and content of the non-financial information; and
Considering whether the non-financial information as a whole, including the disclosures, reflects the purpose of the reporting criteria used.
We have communicated with the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant findings that we identified during our audit.
The Hague, 27 February 2023
KPMG Accountants N.V.
R.R.J. Smeets RA