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 AG 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. In the Sustainability Report, the Company also complies with its reporting obligation under the EU Taxonomy Regulation 2020/852 of the European Parliament and discloses its proportion of sustainable business activities accordingly.
The Company’s Sustainability Report 2022 will be published in late March 2023 (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.
The non-financial statement published within the sustainability report contains the statutory disclosures for the aspects “environmental matters” (chapter: Environmental Responsibility), “employee-related matters” and “social matters” (chapter: Social Responsibility), and “respect for human rights” and “anti-corruption and bribery matters” (chapter: Corporate Responsibility). This list of the minimum aspects required by the CSR-RUG has been supplemented by the chapter “Digital Responsibility”, which is a material aspect for United Internet and also particularly relevant for the sector.
In addition to the CSR-RUG, reporting is based on the internationally recognized Sustainability Reporting Standards published by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In accordance with the new structure of the standard, the Sustainability Report corresponds to the option: “With reference to the GRI Standards”. 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. 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. For the definition of the material topics, the new requirements of the GRI Standards were applied, together with the European reporting guideline (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive - CSRD). The principle of so-called dual materiality was applied and both external and internal company perspectives were taken into account.
The Company’s Supervisory Board is responsible for examining the content of sustainability reporting. The Supervisory Board is supported in this by a “limited assurance” review of the non-financial statement by PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft.