Limited Assurance Report of the Independent Auditor regarding the combined separate non-financial report1)
To the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach
We have performed an independent limited assurance engagement on the non-financial statement of Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach (further “Schaeffler AG or Company”) and on the non-financial statement of the parent company that is combined with it, as well as the chapter “Organizational structure and business activities” of the group management report (further “combined separate non-financial report”) for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2021.
The legal representatives of the Company are responsible for the preparation of the combined separate non-financial report in accordance with §§ 315b, 315c in conjunction with 289b to 289e HGB and with Article 8 of Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (further “EU Taxonomy Regulation”) and the supplementing Delegated Acts as well as the interpretation of the wordings and terms contained in the EU Taxonomy Regulation and in the supplementing Delegated Acts by the Company as disclosed in Section “Targets and legal conditions” of the combined separate non-financial report.
This responsibility of the legal representatives includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the combined separate non-financial report and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual disclosures which are reasonable under the given circumstances. Furthermore, the legal representatives are responsible for the internal controls they deem necessary for the preparation of the combined separate non-financial report that is free of – intended or unintended – material misstatements.
The EU Taxonomy Regulation and the supplementing Delegated Acts contain wordings and terms that are still subject to substantial uncertainties regarding their interpretation and for which not all clarifications have been published yet. Therefore, the legal representatives have included a description of their interpretation in Section “Targets and legal conditions” of the combined separate non-financial report. They are responsible for its tenability. Due to the innate risk of diverging interpretations of vague legal concepts, the legal conformity of these interpretations is subject to uncertainty.
It is our responsibility to express a conclusion on the combined separate non-financial report based on our work performed within a limited assurance engagement.
We conducted our work in the form of a limited assurance engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): “Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information”, published by IAASB. Accordingly, we have to plan and perform the assurance engagement in such a way that we obtain limited assurance as to whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the combined separate non-financial report of the Company for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2021 has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with §§ 315b and 315c in conjunction with 289b to 289e HGB and with the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the supplementing Delegated Acts as well as the interpretation of the wordings and terms contained in the EU Taxonomy Regulation and in the supplementing Delegated Acts by the legal representatives as disclosed in Section “Targets and legal conditions” of the combined separate non-financial report. We do not, however, issue a separate conclusion for each disclosure. As the assurance procedures performed in a limited assurance engagement are less comprehensive than in a reasonable assurance engagement, the level of assurance obtained is substantially lower. The choice of assurance procedures is subject to the auditor’s own judgement.
Within the scope of our engagement we performed, amongst others, the following procedures:
- Inquiries of group-level personnel who are responsible for the materiality analysis in order to understand the processes for determining material topics and respective reporting boundaries for Schaeffler AG
- A risk analysis, including media research, to identify relevant information on Schaeffler AG’s sustainability performance in the reporting period
- Evaluation of the design and the implementation of systems and processes for the collection, processing, and monitoring of disclosures, including data consolidation, on environmental, employee, and social matters, respect for human rights, and anti-corruption and bribery matters
- Inquiries of group-level personnel who are responsible for determining disclosures on concepts, due diligence processes, results and risks, performing internal control functions and consolidating disclosures
- Inspection of selected internal and external documents
- Analytical procedures for the evaluation of data and of the trends of quantitative disclosures as reported at group level by all sites
- Evaluation of local data collection, validation and reporting processes as well as the reliability of reported data based on a sample of the sites in Puebla (Mexico), Lahr (Germany) and Bien Hoa City (Vietnam)
- Assessment of the overall presentation of the disclosures
- Evaluation of the process for the identification of taxonomy-eligible economic activities and the corresponding disclosures in the combined separate non-financial report
The legal representatives have to interpret vague legal concepts in order to be able to compile the relevant disclosures according to Article 8 of the EU Taxonomy Regulation. Due to the innate risk of diverging interpretations of vague legal concepts, the legal conformity of these interpretations and, correspondingly, our assurance thereof are subject to uncertainty.
In our opinion, we obtained sufficient and appropriate evidence for reaching a conclusion for the assurance engagement.
Independence and Quality Assurance on the Part of the Auditing Firm
In performing this engagement, we applied the legal provisions and professional pronouncements regarding independence and quality assurance, in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and Chartered Accountants (in Germany) and the quality assurance standard of the German Institute of Public Auditors (Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer, IDW) regarding quality assurance requirements in audit practice (IDW QS 1).
Based on the procedures performed and the evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the combined separate non-financial report of Schaeffler AG for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2021 has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with §§ 315b and 315c in conjunction with 289b to 289e HGB and with the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the supplementing Delegated Acts as well as the interpretation disclosed in Section “Targets and legal conditions” of the combined separate non-financial report.
Restriction of Use/General Engagement Terms
This assurance report is issued for purposes of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach, only. We assume no responsibility with regard to any third parties.
Our assignment for the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach, and professional liability as described above was governed by the General Engagement Terms for Wirtschaftsprüfer and Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften (Allgemeine Auftragsbedingungen für Wirtschaftsprüfer und Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften) in the version dated January 1, 2017 (https://www.kpmg.de/bescheinigungen/lib/aab_english.pdf). By reading and using the information contained in this assurance report, each recipient confirms notice of the provisions contained therein including the limitation of our liability as stipulated in No. 9 and accepts the validity of the General Engagement Terms with respect to us.
Munich, February 23, 2022
1) Our engagement applied to the German version of the combined separate non-financial report 2021. This text is a translation of the Independent Assurance Report issued in German, whereas the German text is authoritative.