Assurance statement

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ERM Independent Assurance Report to Vodafone New Zealand Limited

ERM New Zealand Limited (ERM) was engaged by Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone NZ) to provide independent assurance on selected information presented in its 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report (2013 CR Report), to the scope of work outlined below.


Our Brief

We were asked to provide external independent assurance as to whether the material data and disclosures contained within the following sections of the online Vodafone NZ 2013 CR Report were appropriately reported:

  • Corporate Responsibility Governance; Economic Impacts; Employees; Environment; Responsible Network Roll-out, Health and Technology; Community Investment; Looking After Our Customers; Supply Chain; and Vodafone Profile.

The scope excluded data and statements relating to financial information as well as data that had been assured in 2012 and not changed for the 2013 CR Report. In addition, Vodafone NZ's 2013 CR Report has been published online, and includes non-assured data which falls outside the above scope of work.

Our Approach

We delivered our work in accordance with ERM's assurance methodology, which is based on the following international assurance and audit standards: ISAE 3000, ISO14064-3, and ISO 19011.

We planned and performed our work to obtain all the relevant information and explanations that we believe were necessary to gather sufficient evidence to provide a basis for our assurance conclusions as to whether the reported information and data set out in 'Our Brief' above were appropriately reported, i.e. that nothing has come to our attention through the course of our work that indicates the data are materially mis-reported (limited assurance).

If we had been asked to conclude on whether the reported subject matters were robust (reasonable assurance), we would have needed to conduct more work at corporate and site levels and to gather further evidence to support our assurance opinion.

Our assurance activities included:

  • Face-to-face interviews at corporate level to understand and test the processes in place for reporting Corporate Responsibility (CR) data and underlying data management system. This was followed up with a review of relevant documentation;
  • Interviews with selected Vodafone NZ stakeholders to ascertain the responsiveness and inclusivity of Vodafone NZ's CR approach;
  • Reporting of our assurance findings to management as they arose to provide them with the opportunity to correct them prior to finalisation of our work; and
  • Review of the presentation of information relevant to the scope of our work in the 2013 CR report to ensure consistency with our findings.

Respective Responsibilities and ERM's Independence

Vodafone NZ was responsible for preparing the 2013 CR Report and for the collection and presentation of information within it. The ERM team, led by Tracey Ryan, Managing Partner, ERM New Zealand was responsible for expressing assurance conclusions in line with the scope of work agreed with Vodafone NZ. During 2012/13, ERM did not work with Vodafone NZ on other consulting engagements.

Our Conclusion

On the basis of work undertaken as described above, ERM concludes that in all material respects, the data and disclosures included in our brief are appropriately presented in the 2013 CR report.

Key Findings

Based on the scope of work, and without affecting our assurance conclusion, ERM identified the following key observations and recommendations for improvement:

Good Practice

  • Through a period of significant change in the organisation (the acquisition of TelstraClear), Vodafone NZ has maintained its commitment to reporting CR issues across the consolidated organisation.
  • Vodafone NZ has initiated an improved CR data collection and management process that will add further robustness and traceability to the CR data collected.
  • Managing the impact of greater societal connectivity and exposure through mobile and fixed communications technologies remains a strong focus for Vodafone NZ, demonstrating an understanding of the broad and indirect impacts of its operations.

Opportunities for Improvement

  • Vodafone NZ has initiated a more formalised review of its stakeholders and their material CR issues, however, the integration of this into a formalised stakeholder engagement programme is still to be completed.
  • In acquiring TelstraClear, Vodafone NZ has increased the scope of its services, the breadth of its customer base and the scale of its direct operational impacts. Identifying and assessing the material CR impacts associated with this new operating environment will be a key task for Vodafone NZ in the coming year.

ERM congratulates Vodafone NZ on its 2013 CR Report.

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ERM New Zealand Ltd, 27 June 2013, Auckland, New Zealand

ERM is an independent global provider of environmental, social and corporate responsibility consulting and assurance services. Over the past 4 years we have worked with over half of the world's 500 largest companies, in addition to numerous governments, international organisations and NGOs.

Our assurance statement provides no assurance on the maintenance and integrity of the website, including controls used to achieve this, and in particular whether any changes may have occurred to the information since it was first published. These matters are the responsibility of Vodafone NZ but no control procedures can provide absolute assurance in this area.