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Our materially relevant themes

NS bases its policy priorities on material relevance, weighing up the interests of our stakeholders and the actual impact that NS can have on the topic. We draw up a material relevance matrix based on the various dialogue sessions held in 2019, the ongoing alignment with stakeholders and the biennial survey we ask them to complete. This shows which themes our key stakeholders currently deem most important, what priorities they assign to them and what impact NS has on these themes.

Material relevance matrix for 2019

NS assessed the material themes for 2019 to check that they were as topical and valid as in 2018. The position of the themes was confirmed in additional checks, in the form of continuous monitoring, a media and Internet analysis and regular meetings with stakeholders. Furthermore, internal sector experts looked at developments within the public transport sector. The matrix for 2019 was then presented to the Executive Board and finalised. Like last year, the themes are clustered together in the matrix: they are positioned close to one another, with an overall high level of importance and high impact for NS. This is because of NS’s broad mandate in society, the considerable impact NS has on many issues due to its monopoly of the main rail network, and the balance between NS’s social and commercial roles. The most materially relevant themes are the numbers 1 through 12. One theme has been added: regional activities. Some other themes have seen a slight shift in terms of importance and impact.

According to the stakeholders, the importance of NS as an attractive employer (16) has considerably increased; we are also seeing an increase of NS's impact on this theme. This can be related to increasing labour market shortages on the one hand, and to our efforts to attract technical and ICT staff and highlight diversity and inclusion on the other. This was also reflected in the fact that NS climbed in the attractive employer rankings of Intelligence Group and Intermediair Imago Onderzoek. For three themes, Collaboration (4), Seamless door-to-door journeys (6) and Innovation (11), there was an increase both in terms of importance and impact. Our efforts on these themes are closely interconnected. The activities of the Mobility Alliance (launch of Delta Plan), participation in the Climate Platform, contribution to the Vision for the Future of Public Transport, foundation of RiVIER in conjunction with the G4 for the MaaS platform, new functionality for the NS-App (seat searcher and access to shared car and public transport bicycle options via the app), launch of ATO pilot and continued collaboration with educational institutions to reduce crowding at peak hours. Activities in Europe (15) has increased both in terms of importance to stakeholders and impact of NS, which can be attributed in part to the realisation of the direct connection between Amsterdam and London, the announced night train service to Vienna and the membership of Roger van Boxtel of CER (the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) in Brussels.

Definitions of the materially relevant themes

1. Reliability: the extent to which stakeholders trust NS to fulfil its promises to customers and other stakeholders

2. Transparency: the extent to which NS is open about its affairs

3. Passengers, passengers and passengers/customer satisfaction: the extent to which NS strives for high levels of customer satisfaction

4. Collaboration (internal and external): the extent to which senior management aims for collaboration (both within NS and beyond) and puts collaboration with partners in the transport sector into practice

5. Sustainability: the extent to which NS makes efforts to ensure the balance between people, planet and profit in its operational management

6. Seamless door-to-door journeys: the extent to which NS works on enabling smooth door-to-door journeys

7. Integrity: the extent to which NS is honest and ethical

8. Punctuality: the extent to which NS works on delivering travel in accordance with the timetable

9. Accessibility: the way in which NS makes its services available and accessible for everybody

10. Stations and facilities at stations: the extent to which NS works on making time spent at stations a pleasant experience thanks to various facilities

11. Personal safety and railway safety: the extent to which NS works on providing a safe journey on trains and at stations

12. Innovation: the extent to which NS keys into trends and developments with its products and services

13. Risk management: the extent to which NS is able to identify risks and take appropriate measures in good time

14. Financial position: the extent to which NS is able to meet its financial obligations, both now and in the future

15. Operations in Europe: the extent to which NS learns from its operations abroad

16. An attractive and caring employer: the extent to which NS succeeds in offering its employees attractive employment terms, an attractive remuneration policy and career development opportunities

17. Regional activities: the extent to which NS succeeds in offering tailored regional solutions

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