Acona Ltd has been commissioned by Home Retail Group to independently verify their 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report (the “Report”) and provide assurance relating to its accuracy. In particular, that:
This review took place during April and May 2009.
The review covered operations in UK and Eire. Other overseas operations were excluded, although in many instances their impact would not materially affect the data or information presented.
Information subject to verification by other third parties – such as financial data included within the Annual Report and Accounts or those submitted as part of a legislative requirement – was outside our scope. However, we have relied on it in forming our conclusions.
The information and statements contained within the Report are the responsibility of Home Retail Group. This statement is the responsibility of Acona Ltd and represents our independent opinion of the content of the report.
The following approach was adopted:
The data and inferences drawn from them, and substantive statements are materially accurate and supported by a range of evidence from internal and external sources.
The introduction of a dedicated CR data collection system has improved the robustness of data collection, eliminating many of the potential manual handling errors associated with data collation and analysis.
As a consequence, inaccuracies identified during this process were generally limited to errors within source data. In most instances these were relatively minor and confined to issues relating to coverage and data handling.
Inaccuracies identified were rectified and the Report was amended accordingly. Where this was not the case, recommendation was made to remove the relevant information or to provide additional clarification within the body of the text.
To further ensure the robustness of the Report, management effort has been applied to strengthen the level of accountability and responsibility for information provided. This is supported by a staged process of review and approval by a range of staff in the Group, including the appropriate senior management and the CR Steering Group.
It is our opinion that the Report succeeds in presenting an accurate picture of CR activity at Home Retail Group.
Acona Ltd is an independent consultancy, based in London but with staff all over the UK. We have broad expertise and advise large, mainly corporate, clients on the full range of social, environmental and ethical matters. All of our team has extensive experience in the field and biographical information can be found on our website – www.acona.com/cr
Acona has provided consultancy support to Home Retail Group during the year under review. This support included advice on strategy, disclosure and assistance with the implementation of projects. Acona is independent from Home Retail Group, and is impartial from the organisation's major stakeholders. This review was undertaken by members of our team who were not involved in advising on the structure or content of this report.