Our key themes

We have carried out a materiality analysis to determine which topics our stakeholders and our own organisation would find most relevant to see reported on in our annual report. In this context, we drew up a list of possible topics on which we could report, with reference to a number of external reporting and other frameworks and the annual reports from various similar companies.

We then asked our stakeholders to participate in an online questionnaire and indicate the relevance of these topics for our annual report. Six officers from Gasunie - the members of the Executive Board and three senior managers - were invited to complete the survey in order to determine the internal prioritisation. The results are presented in the materiality matrix below.

2017 materiality matrix

1 Energy transition 12 Compliance with laws and regulations
2 Business development 13 Cybersecurity/cybercrime
3 Transport security 14 Economic performance
4 Transparency 15 Environs management
5 Methane emissions 16 Customer satisfaction
6 Employee health and safety 17 Sustainable employability
7 Risk and crisis management 18 Energy management
8 Safety of the pipeline network 19 Geopolitical developments
9 CO2 emissions 20 Waste management
10 Internationalisation of the energy markets 21 Socially responsible procurement
11 Cooperation in the chain 22 Anti-corruption

In the materiality analysis, we divided the topic of ‘Emissions’ into methane emissions and CO2 emissions. The analysis indicated that both internal and external stakeholders felt the topic of Methane emissions was more important than CO2 emissions in terms of impact and relevance. We therefore report principally on methane in this report, but also cite our CO2 emissions in accordance with the standard from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The delineation of the topics has not changed with respect to last year.

In this report, we concentrate on the six most material topics. Together, these topics form the basis of this integrated annual report, which was drawn up in accordance with the GRI Standards, application level Core.
Below we explain for each topic why it is important for us and describe our management approach in relation to it. The GRI Standards reference table is available on our website.

You can find a more detailed explanation of the materiality analysis in the annex containing ‘Reporting principles’.

The overview below provides a brief description for each topic of the content and the influence that Gasunie has on it.

Energy transition The Dutch energy policy aims to achieve a CO2-neutral energy supply by 2050. Many parties are currently actively involved in this. Gasunie plays a role in the social debate by connecting various parties and raising awareness in relation to this theme. We are also active in the areas of green gas, hydrogen and heat. We aim to help accelerate the energy transition and, through our infrastructure, our knowledge and our experience, we provide permanent added value to the energy supply of the future. We have also set CO2 savings targets for ourselves for the period until 2020 and until 2030. This ambition ensures we remain a European front runner in this area.
Business development The changing circumstances on the gas market present opportunities to identify and realise new business. We work with partners both inside and outside the energy chain to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable energy supply. At the same time, we also develop gas infrastructure-related activities in our core area of north-western Europe and, where opportune, beyond.
Transport security Customers and society rely on a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply. Uninterrupted gas supply through our network contributes to that and is therefore our priority. In view of the decrease in gas from the Groningen gas field, we are increasingly using our nitrogen capacity to make foreign gas suitable for use in Dutch domestic households. In Germany, market areas are being converted from low-calorific to high-calorific gas. We monitor our performance with reference to, among other things, the number of transport disruptions and incidents of pipeline damage.
Transparency We prefer to be open and transparent in contacts with our stakeholders. We elaborate on our activities in our annual report, explaining not only what went well, but also what did not go so well and what we are doing to improve matters. We report in accordance with the GRI Standards and have an independent auditor review the sustainability information in our annual report; we also publish the assurance report.
Methane emissions Natural gas consists mainly of methane. We take measures to limit the release of methane during activities. We also focus on repairing ‘fugitive leaks’. We monitor our performance with reference to, among other things, our carbon footprint and have set ourselves targets for reducing our carbon footprint by 2020 and 2030.
Employee health and safety We are constantly striving to ensure a healthy environment in which to work at the office and in the field. Raising awareness about working safely, creating an ergonomic working environment and measuring the workload among our employees are all part of this. We monitor our performance with reference to sickness absence figures and Total Reportable Frequency Index figures.

Besides the fact that these are the most relevant themes for our stakeholders, they also tie closely with our strategy. We describe the risks and key control measures associated with these themes per strategic pillar in ‘Our risk profile’. The effectiveness of internal control measures is evaluated annually. In the ‘Document of Representation’, the management of the (business) units accounts for the structure, existence and functioning of the business controls. Supported by these accounts, the Executive Board renders an aggregate account to the Supervisory Board.

In advance of the annual business plan process, among other things the key developments in the business environment, the gas market and our role in the energy transition are discussed with the members of the Supervisory Board. This culminates in guidelines and frameworks for the business plan.

In our business plan for the 2018-2020 period, concrete agreements were made between the Executive Board, the business units and the departments directly involved on the goals to be achieved and resources available for this. For the 2018 management goals that have been agreed on, please see the 2018 management agenda.

The Executive Board is informed monthly about important developments. Each quarter, the business units, Corporate Business Development and staff departments report on the progress of their business plan. The Executive Board discusses these reports with the responsible managers. If safety incidents have occurred, these are discussed in the weekly Executive Board meeting. The Supervisory Board supervises the management and provides solicited and unsolicited advice.

In ‘Our results’, we explain our performance with regard to the various themes in 2017. When selecting the results, we gave priority to the performance on the six material themes. In the table below, reference is made to relevant achievements for each theme.

Energy transition Renewable gas cluster, Hydrogen and power-to-gas cluster, Heat cluster, Energy transition results [GTS]
Business development EUGAL pipeline, German LNG, Gasunie New Energy projects, Participations results: Gasunie Engineering, BBL, EnergyStock
Transport security Gas transport results, new operating system for gas transport network, Transparency (EU development)
Transparency Risk profile, Connectivity matrix, SWOT analysis, Management agendas, Development of customer organisation, Corporate governance, assurance report on the sustainability information in our annual report
Methane emissions Methane emissions (in Environmental results), LDAR programme (in Environmental results)
Employee health and safety Employees results, Safety results