As far as is known, the Port of Rotterdam Authority is the very first Dutch company to publish a fully integrated auditor’s report with a fully integrated annual report and corporate social responsibility (CSR) report. Ernst & Young Accountants LLP have issued an auditor’s report which applies not only to the financial statements, but also the financial and general information in the annual report. ‘If you are going to take corporate social responsibility seriously and make it part of your business operations, you must carry this through to your reporting. That takes some getting used to, because everything you write in the report will be verified by the accountants. I am very pleased that we have completed the process so successfully’, says Thessa Menssen, Chief Financial Officer of the Port Authority.
The integration of CSR reports with financial reports has become a visible trend in the past years, but never before have we seen this level of integration of both the annual report and the auditor’s report’, says Dick de Waard, partner at Ernst & Young and one of the report signatories. Previously two auditor’s reports were made, one for the financial statements, and the other regarding the corporate social responsibility. ‘This was always difficult to explain to clients, and because of the increasing level of integration in the reports, it was no longer appropriate. It is a good thing as an accountant to show that you are responding to developments.’
Besides Ernst & Young, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a non-governmental organisation that develops standards for corporate social responsibility reporting, examined the annual report. GRI assessed the report against the G3 guidelines and confirmed its classification as ‘B+’.
The annual report will not be printed but will be available online only. You may read the Dutch report at www.portofrotterdam.com. The report is set up in such a way to make it readily accessible online. Naturally all the compulsory elements are included, and the report or parts of it can be printed out if required. The English version will be published mid April.
Throughput in the port of Rotterdam fell in 2009 by 8.1% The income of the Port Authority fell by 4.4% to € 144.2 million. Including a one-off item of income, total income increased by 10.9% to € 167.4 million. The Port Authority invested € 341 million in the port in 2009. This year investment will reach about € 500 million, and in 2011 almost € 700 million. Despite the economic crisis, the trend in income will enable the Port Authority to continue to invest in the mainport.