Independent assurance for UK postal service
We provided independent assurance of Royal Mail Group’s 2010/11 corporate responsibility report.
We based our work on the AA1000AS (2008) assurance standard. This involved an evaluation of Royal Mail’s adherence to the principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness as well as the reliability of data and key claims in the report.
In our assurance statement, we commended Royal Mail’s new reporting approach. The new structure, including leading each chapter with key facts and strategic priorities is easy for stakeholders to use.
We also found that the report places considerable emphasis on increased transparency. This was reflected in more open disclosure on areas Royal Mail needs to improve.
In addition, we made a number of recommendations to help Royal Mail improve its future CR reporting.
Alice Dickerson, public affairs manager at Royal Mail Group, says: “The structure and rigour of the independent assurance process contributed significantly to the quality and content of our report. Given the transition that corporate responsibility is undergoing at Royal Mail Group, Two Tomorrows’ expertise and knowledge of our previous reports proved very useful. Most importantly, the involvement of Two Tomorrows should reassure our stakeholders that the content and data contained within the report is both accurate and material.”
Key aspects of this assurance assignment included:
- reviewing sustainability issues that could affect Royal Mail and were of interest to stakeholders
- interviewing directors and senior managers responsible for sustainability issues
- reviewing Royal Mail’s approach to stakeholder engagement
- site visits to review processes and systems for preparing sustainability data and implementing sustainability strategy
- reviewing drafts of the report.
Other work with Royal Mail
Our relationship with Royal Mail stretches as far back as 1999. Over the years, we have provided wide-ranging support to the organisation, including:
- providing assurance of Royal Mail Group’s 2003-04 and 2004-05 CSR reports
- advising Royal Mail on a partnership with the charity Re-Cycle to find new uses for old delivery bicycles
- developing and managing a Christmas card recycling scheme
- developing new products and services to enable Royal Mail customers to comply with environmental regulations
- many projects to improve the eco-efficiency of Royal Mail operations.