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Scope and reporting criteria

In the annual report, NS presents its operational and financial performance and the associated social aspects with the highest possible degree of integration. Our reporting method is in accordance with the GRI Standards’ ‘core’ option. The following are the main building blocks of this type of reporting:

  • relevant provisions in the Dutch Civil Code;

  • the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS);

  • the revised 2016 Dutch Corporate Governance Code;

  • GRI SRS reporting guidelines ('core' option);

  • the International Integrated Reporting Council IIRC.

In order to provide assurance regarding the reliability of the information included, NS instructed EY to perform an audit with a limited level of assurance, with a focus on non-financial information in the following chapters: In brief, Foreword by the CEO, 2020: A year dominated by COVID-19, Our strategy, How NS adds value to society, Our impact on the Netherlands, The profile of NS, Our activities and performance in the Netherlands, Our activities and performance abroad, and the following sections: Organisational improvement, Dialogue with our stakeholders in the Netherlands, Notes to the material themes, About the scope of this report, and Scope and reporting criteria.

GRI indicators

The selection of the GRI indicators is based on the GRI method, the 2020 Transport Plan, discussions with our stakeholders and the resulting material relevance matrix. The reported data are derived from measurements, calculations, third-party reports or internal systems. Any changes in definitions or inherent limitations in the data are highlighted in the report. The GRI index is available at the end of the online annual report.
Definition cards for performance indicators from the Transport Plan and the reporting criteria can be found on and the PI Vervoerplan 2020.


NS reports on topics whose material relevance emerges from the material relevance analysis, which also serves as the basis for choices regarding the level of detail and demarcation of our reporting. Themes where NS has little impact or that stakeholders do not consider particularly important are included in the report in less detail. Within the context of the stakeholder dialogue, Abellio regularly provided input and answered questions on material themes such as our financial position, operations in Europe and developments abroad.

This report primarily concerns NS’s activities in the Netherlands. The activities in the United Kingdom and Germany are discussed where they involve operations in which NS holds a stake of more than 50%.
All data derive from measurements, unless stated otherwise in the description of the method. Any estimates are made using the relevant procedures in our Reporting Manual.
Uncertainties in the data regarding the quantification of our impact are explained on
We report on the transport supply chain as a whole where procurement is concerned or where our process of value creation gives reason to do so. The choices we have made in this regard are specified, where relevant, under value creation.
Acquisitions are included in the data from the date of acquisition; disposals are included until the date of disposal, unless stated otherwise.
The definitions of the KPIs and the descriptions of the measurement methods used can be found in the 2020 Transport Franchise Definitions.

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