The purpose of an impact analysis

The social impact analysis underlines the importance of our role as a provider of public transport in Dutch society and shows that the social benefits we generate far exceed our financial result. It also provides us with insights into the social costs of our services in terms of e.g. emissions, safety and journey times, and underscores the importance of continuing our door-to-door strategy.

NS intends to integrate the results of the impact analysis in strategic decision-making and investment decisions. This will not only let us focus on the financial and operational results, but also on increasing the positive sides and lowering the negative sides of the social impact. NS has now worked out several case studies, testing how impact analyses work at the project level, and as a step towards more detailed management information so that we will be better able to provide services for passengers and deploy our resources – including the financial ones – more effectively. One example of such a case study is the one looking at alternatives for the connections in Zeeland (see box).

Material relevance as the principle for quantifying the scope

The material topics covered in the material relevance matrix formed the foundations for the scope of the social impact analysis (steps 1 and 2 in the diagram). For each theme (step 3) we show the impact of NS – quantitatively if possible and otherwise qualitatively – including the strategic priorities and the actions to improve this impact.