To the Board of Directors and stakeholders of Transurban:
Transurban Limited (Transurban) commissioned Net Balance Management Group Pty Ltd (Net Balance) to
provide an independent assurance of the non-financial content of this Transurban Sustainability Report
2007 (the Ďreportí). The report presents Transurban's sustainability performance over the period 1 July
2006 to 30 June 2007. Transurban was responsible for the preparation of the report and this statement
represents the assurance providerís independent opinion. Net Balanceís responsibility in performing its
assurance activities is to the management of Transurban alone and in accordance with the terms of
reference agreed with them. Any reliance third parties may place on this statement is entirely at their
The objective of the assurance process is to provide stakeholders of Transurban with an independent
opinion on the materiality, completeness and accuracy of the information presented within the report,
and whether Transurban has responded to stakeholdersí concerns and adequately communicated those
responses within the report. This is confirmed through a review of selected claims made, underlying
systems, processes and competencies that support the production of the report, as well as the extent to
which policies and strategies relating to sustainability are embedded. Ensuring continuous improvement
in data management systems and associated reporting processes is also a complementary objective.
Our approach to assurance provision is aligned to the AA1000 Assurance Standard. The assurance
engagement was undertaken in October 2007. The process involved:
- a review of Transurbanís key sustainability strategies, policies, objectives, management systems,
background documentation and procedures for measurement, data collection and reporting
- a review of the report for any significant anomalies, particularly in relation to significant claims as
well as trends in data
- an overview of the extent to which Transurbanís key economic, environmental and social policies are
embedded in the organisation
- a series of interviews with key personnel responsible for collating and writing various parts of the
report in order to substantiate the veracity of selected claims
- an examination of the aggregation and/or derivation of, and underlying evidence for, over 80
selected data points and statements made in the report. The verified items were broadly selected to
not only satisfy the principles of materiality, completeness and responsiveness, but also as
supporting evidence for conclusions reached, and
- a review of selected external media sources relating to Transurban's sustainability performance so as
to further substantiate reported claims and, more importantly, to ensure that no significant omissions
were made in the report.
The assurance process was carried out under Net Balanceís quality control procedures.
Our scope of work did not involve verification of the accuracy and robustness of financial data, other than
that relating to environmental, social or broader economic performance. The NSW office of Hills M2 in
North Ryde was also visited, but there was no assurance work undertaken for the Westlink M7 in Sydney.
Net Balance was not responsible for the preparation of any part of this report. Net Balance has not
undertaken any commissions for Transurban in the reporting period concerning reporting or data
collection. Our independence was further ensured by selecting an assurance team that had no other
involvement with Transurban during the reporting period that could impair the teamís independence or
The assurance team comprised of individuals with expertise in environmental and social performance
measurement and reporting. The assurance team has collectively undertaken over 70 assurance
engagements in Australia over the past ten years and is also led by a Lead Sustainability Assurance
Practitioner (Lead CSAP) accredited by the Independent Register of Certified Auditors (IRCA) UK. The
team is also a global leader in the use of the AA1000 Assurance Standard in assurance provision.
Based on the scope of the assurance process, the following represents the assurance providerís opinion:
- The findings of the assurance engagement provide confidence in the reporting processes established
and the information provided within the report. The level of data accuracy was found to be high, but
some additional improvements to data management, including the reduction of manual aggregation
and transcription processes are recommended to reduce potential for minor anomalies. Data trails
selected were easily identifiable and traceable, and the personnel responsible were able to reliably
demonstrate the origin(s) and interpretation of data.
- The statements made in the report appropriately reflect environmental, social and economic
performance achieved during the period.
- All suggested changes were satisfactorily addressed by Transurban prior to finalising the report.
Overall, the assurance provider is satisfied that the report is an appropriate representation of
Transurbanís sustainability performance during the reporting period.
The way forward
- Materiality: Issues material to stakeholders have been considered and communicated within the
report. Materiality was determined by assessing compliance performance, issues material to
stakeholders, policy-related performance and peer-based norms. It was found that material issues
relating to Transurbanís environmental, social and broader economic aspects of its sustainability
performance are appropriately addressed.
- Completeness: The report was found to be complete in addressing key environmental, social and
economic performance as well as all operations of Transurban using the Global Reporting Initiativeís
(GRI) G3 as a guide. Completeness was also achieved by Transurban taking into account the entire
chain of entities and covering all information that are material to the operation of the company.
- Responsiveness: Net Balance tested the responsiveness of the organisation through a review of
management systems, documents and policies prepared by the organisation relating to the way it
responds to stakeholdersí concerns and interests; by assessing the resources allocated to implement
the aforementioned policies and commitments; by assessing the timeliness and accessibility of
reported information; and by undertaking a review of key policies, targets and indicators and
assessing the extent to which these are implemented by Transurban.
Transurban sees sustainable development and management as a core value proposition. Transurban has
focused its sustainability effort over the past few years on integrating sustainability principles within its
business at all levels. This has resulted in management commitment, an increased level of awareness of
Transurbanís own environmental and social footprint, and an aspiration to lead the sector and influence
partners, customers and peers to become more sustainable. Transurban has produced a comprehensive
report that provides detailed data and commentary on organisational performance indicators, targets and
other measures for the organisation, which represents best practice and a commendable framework for
In terms of direct impact, the organisationís characterisation of its environmental footprint is adequate.
Improved environmental performance is possible with the introduction of challenging targets particularly
in the greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, understanding around its social footprint is still
developing. Net Balance also recommends that some systems and quality controls for the collection and
reporting of social data such as donations and toll waivers are developed, which would further assist in
Results of stakeholder engagement in 2007 have presented Transurban with a challenge to shift some
focus from environmental issues towards transport integration issues and establishing links between
transport integration and sustainability. This would show leadership in the transport sector and bring
sustainability issues to the forefront.
Another key challenge for Transurban is the measuring and managing of indirect impacts made by
customers and the supply chain as the transport industry and Transurban grow. Since work relating to
indirect impacts is still in its infancy, Transurban is well positioned to show leadership in the transport
sector by starting to investigate and direct these effects beyond its sphere of direct influence, for
example, the development of a sustainability procurement policy.
Net Balance has provided additional suggestions for reporting improvement in some areas. These have
been outlined in a more detailed report presented to the Transurban Board and executive team.
On behalf of the assurance team
15 November 2007
Director, Net Balance & Lead CSAP (IRCA UK)