2.5 Corporate Responsibility
United Internet AG’s Management Board and Supervisory Board consider it their responsibility to ensure the Company’s continued existence and create sustainable value through responsible corporate management that takes a long-term perspective. For United Internet, running a business involves more than pursuing economic goals – it also has an obligation to society, the environment, employees, and other stakeholders.
United Internet fulfills its disclosure obligations pursuant to the German CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz – CSR-RUG) (sections 315b and 315c in conjunction with section 289c of the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch – HGB)) and publishes a combined non- financial statement as part of a separate sustainability report.
The Company’s Sustainability Report 2020 will be published in early April 2021 (at https://www.united-internet.de/en/investor-relations/publications/reports.html) and thus fulfills the disclosure requirements of the CSR-RUG and the transparency requirements of stakeholders.
This non- financial statement published within the sustainability report contains the statutory and supplementary disclosures for the material aspects for United Internet: environmental matters (chapter: Climate and Environmental Protection), employee-related matters (chapter: United Internet as an Employer), social matters (chapter: Our Social Commitment), respect for human rights (chapter: United Internet as a Business Partner), and anti-corruption and bribery matters (chapter: Responsible Corporate Management). This list of the minimum aspects required by the CSR-RUG has been supplemented by the chapter “Customer-Related Matters and Product Responsibility”. These are material for United Internet and must therefore be reported. In addition to customer satisfaction, customer-related matters include information security, data protection, and digital transformation in general – all of which are particularly relevant to the sector. This is why these topics are presented in a separate chapter entitled “Corporate Digital Responsibility.”
In addition to the CSR-RUG, reporting is based on the internationally recognized Sustainability Reporting Standards published by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The non- financial statement is prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option. Both the CSR-RUG and the GRI Standards expect information to be presented on how the material topics and their impacts are managed, and in particular the associated goals and measures, and the procedures used for risk identification and mitigation. The CSR-RUG uses the term “policy” (“Konzept”) in this context, whereas the GRI talks about the “management approach.” The latter term is also used in the non- financial statement of United Internet and thus also comprises the CSR-RUG’s “policies”. In addition, the European Commission’s Guidelines on non-financial reporting are applied, which build on Directive 2014/95/EU on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups – the European Directive underlying the CSR-RUG.
When defining the content of the non- financial statement, the materiality principle was applied and the expectations of United Internet’s stakeholders were taken into consideration. The main requirements used to define the material topics were those set out in the GRI Standards, the CSR-RUG, and the above mentioned EU Guidelines. The GRI Reporting Principles of Stakeholder Inclusiveness, Sustainability Context, Materiality, and Completeness were observed during the definition process.
The Company’s Supervisory Board is responsible for examining the content of sustainability reporting.