Independent Assurance Statement
Det Norske Veritas AS ('DNV AS') has been commissioned by the management of Tata Steel Limited ('Tata Steel' or 'the Company') to carry out an assurance engagement on the Company's 2010-11 Sustainability Report ('the Report') in its printed format against the Global Reporting Initiative 2006 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Version 3.0 (GRI G3.0) and DNV Protocol for Verification of Sustainability Reporting (VeriSustain) .
Tata Steel is responsible for the collection, analysis, aggregation and presentation of information within the Report. Our responsibility in performing this work is to the management of Tata Steel only and in accordance with terms of reference agreed with the Company. The assurance engagement is based on the assumption that the data and information provided to us is complete and true. This statement is intended for the management and stakeholders of Tata Steel.
Scope of Assurance
The scope of work agreed upon with Tata Steel included the following:
- Verification of the entire Report covering social, environmental and economic indicators for the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011;
- Review of the Report against the requirements of VeriSustain with a moderate level of assurance and;
- Information relating to company's sustainability issues, responses, performance data, case studies and underlying systems for the management of such information and data as presented in the Report;
- Information relating to company's materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement processes;
- The boundary of the report covers Raw Material Division ( OMQ and Collieries) and Steel Division (FPPC and LPPC) based on management control and /or significant influence as explained in the Report;
- The work was performed at
- Tata Steel Jamshedpur Steel Works
- Jamadoba Colliery
- Marketing and Sales Office ( FPPC and LPPC), Kolkata
- DNV carried out the verification during November 2011;
- The report was checked for meeting the requirements of GRI Application Level 'A'.
The Report has been evaluated against the principles of Materiality, Stakeholder Inclusiveness, Completeness, Responsiveness, Reliability and Neutrality, as set out in VeriSustain, and the GRI G3.0. As part of the verification DNV has challenged the sustainability-related statements and claims made in the Report and assessed the robustness of the underlying data management system, information flow and controls. We have:
- Examined and reviewed documents, data and other information made available to DNV by Tata Steel;
- Visited the Tata Steel Jamshedpur Steel Works, Jamadoba Colliery and Marketing and Sales Office ( FPPC & LPPC) , Tata Center, Kolkata for the purpose of verifying qualitative and quantitative information presented in this Report;
- Conducted interviews with Senior Management at Tata Steel Jamshedpur Steel Works Jamadoba Colliery and Marketing and Sales Office ( FPPC & LPPC) , Tata Center, Kolkata, including data owners , decision-makers and risk managers from different divisions and functions of the Company;
- Performed sample-based reviews of the mechanisms for implementing the Company's own sustainability-related policies, as described in the Report, and for determining material issues to be included in the Report;
- Performed sample-based checks of the processes for generating, gathering and managing the quantitative and qualitative data included in the Report;
- Reviewed the process of acquiring information and economic data from the financial data presented in the 2010-11 certified Annual Report.
In DNV's opinion, the Report is a fair representation of the Company's sustainability-related strategies, management systems and performance. The Report meets the general content and quality requirements of the GRI G3.0, and DNV confirms that the GRI requirements for Application Level 'A+' have been met. We have evaluated the Report's adherence to the following principles on a scale of 'Good', 'Acceptable' and 'Needs Improvement':
Stakeholder Inclusiveness: Good. The Company had engaged themselves in dialogue with selected stakeholders during the year through different channels. The material issues emerging from the stakeholder engagement were collected, prioritised and the results are reflected in the report. Reference is made to the issue-based stakeholder engagement process under this Report.
Materiality: Acceptable. The process developed internally captures key sustainability issues. The completeness of materiality assessment process may need to be focused further to bring out sustainability issues with short and, medium term impacts.
Responsiveness: Good. The Company has adequately responded to stakeholder concerns through its policies and management systems, and this is reflected in the Report.
Reliability: Acceptable. We have evaluated the reliability of specified sustainability performance information and found it to be acceptable. The Company has developed its own data management system for capturing and reporting its sustainability performance. Although no systematic errors have been detected, DNV has identified some manual discrepancies which have subsequently been corrected.
Completeness: Acceptable. The Report gives a detailed description of the limitations in scope and boundary. The Company may consider increasing the scope and boundary to bring in its entire domestic and international business operations which are significant, considering the nature of Tata Steel's operational activities.
Neutrality: Good. The Company has reported sustainability related issues in a balanced manner, in terms of content and tone. Challenges and limitations are presented together with commitments to future improvements.