Opinion of the Alliander stakeholder panel
To the reader of this report,
The stakeholder panel is delighted with Alliander's invitation to provide feedback on the Annual Report 2015. This summary of our feedback is presented in a spirit of encouragement in order to help Alliander bring its report even more into line with the needs of its stakeholders.
Several years ago Alliander decided to structure the Annual Report according to the information requirements of its various stakeholders: customers, employees and shareholders & investors. This is an approach we applaud. We also note the external recognition that the report has received in e.g. the Transparency Benchmark, and acknowledge the major steps Alliander has taken towards integrating non-financial and financial information in the report. We endorse the route that Alliander is taking in putting sustainability at the heart of the report. It is also good to see that Alliander is increasingly embracing the circular economy and monetisation of its impact, while also continuing to refine its value creation process and align its activities with the materiality matrix. To help Alliander make further steps forward, we have the following suggestions.
Thanks to its unique position in the supply chain, Alliander is well positioned to connect parties and coordinate their joint efforts to bring about the energy transition and a sustainable Netherlands. This ambition is clearly manifest in the objectives that Alliander sets itself and the examples given by Alliander in this report. Nevertheless, we still feel that this forward-looking vision is insufficiently reflected in the report. As a Panel, we would welcome more long-term objectives and an implementation plan for their achievement. We understand from our talks with Alliander that this poses a dilemma. Alliander is keen to express its ambition but, as a semi-public organisation, also wants to stay close to its formal role in the energy sector. Whilst acknowledging this dilemma, we challenge Alliander to show more ambition. More specifically, we believe that, as an influential player, Alliander could do more to achieve additional gains in the value chain.
Stronger cohesion between strategy, objectives and results
The report is closely aligned with the materiality analysis and is structured around the most important stakeholder groups. This approach makes it rather difficult to assess Alliander's actual results versus the 2015 year plan and to ascertain how the material subjects are related to objectives and results.
A clear central theme - running from trends via strategy to indicators - would give the report added force and focus and forge a link between the long-term objectives, the results in recent years and the year plans for 2015 and 2016. More clear examples of concrete investments and demonstrable improvements for the benefit of customers would further enhance the report.
Going forward, it is necessary to closely watch the numerous energy transition initiatives that are being started up in the sector and the chain and to organise, intensify and stimulate constructive dialogues and partnerships with external partners.
Transparency about remuneration
Remuneration in the public and semi-public sector is a topical social issue. Some of Alliander's employees (namely the employees of Liander) come under the Executives’ Pay (Standards) Act (Wet normering topinkomens – WNT). We appreciate that we have been given the opportunity to express our concerns about the current remuneration level and that Alliander is nevertheless implementing the WNT1 on an organisation-wide basis within the legal timeframes. We urge Alliander to provide full transparency about this issue in its annual report.
Finally, we would like to praise Alliander for its openness towards the stakeholders. We particularly appreciate the chance to give substantive feedback on draft versions of the annual report and to discuss specific issues with the management.
Jan Bijker - Chairman of the Underground Networks and Groundwater Management Section of Bouwend Nederland.
Giuseppe van der Helm - former Director of the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development in the Netherlands & member of the Panel of Experts of the Transparency benchmark
Marleen Janssen van Groesbeek - Lecturer in Sustainable Finance at Avans University of Applied Sciences and expert in sustainability reporting
This is the first year that Alliander installed a stakeholder panel to give feedback on the draft version of its Annual Report. The stakeholder panel marks a new step in our ambition to continue working on the further development of our structural stakeholder dialogue in the coming years. We shared a draft version of the Annual Report 2015 with the panel members. The panel members sent us their input in a written reaction, which was then discussed in more detail at a lunchtime meeting in our new circular building at Duiven on 13 January 2016. This meeting was also attended by our CFO Mark van Lieshout. The feedback was used to improve the current report and will help us make further refinements in the future. The stakeholder panel is independent.
Perhaps you too would like to have your say about the annual report or the themes facing Alliander. If so, we are open to dialogue and also regularly organise roundtable sessions with our stakeholders. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.