Notes on the material themes

NS has been preparing for the Corporate Sustainability Directive (CSRD) since 2022. This means that in 2026, NS’s annual report for 2025 will have to be fully compliant with the CSRD requirements. The materiality analysis concerns topics in connection with which NS has an impact on society or topics with a potential impact on NS.

The material topics provide insight into the impact of NS on societal issues (impact materiality) and, conversely, the way in which such issues influence the development, performance and position of NS (financial materiality). The materiality analysis exclusively concerns topics in connection with which NS has an impact on society or topics with a potential impact on NS. We have included both positive and negative impacts. Examples of positive impacts include improving accessibility and contributing to climate targets by providing safe, sustainable and accessible national and international travel. Potential negative impacts include restrictions to participation in social and economic life due to faltering public transport facilities. We also looked at potential opportunities and risks arising around the various impacts.

In 2023, we recalibrated the material themes with various internal stakeholders. We report on objectives and results for all material topics included.



Operational performance 

The extent to which NS is committed to achieving operational performance agreements on the main rail network and the high-speed line, such as punctuality and seat availability.  

Customer satisfaction 

The extent to which NS meets the core needs of travellers with respect to their travel experience.  

Attractive and inclusive employership 

The extent to which NS can offer its current and future employees an attractive (employment conditions and development) and inclusive (open and safe, diversity, equality) working environment where everyone can be themselves, and encourages being a good employer in the chain.  

Door-to-door journeys 

The extent to which NS facilitates customised door-to-door travel for all public transport passengers in all regions of the Netherlands. Where possible with our own physical and digital services, but also through other providers.  

Sustainable enterprise 

The extent to which NS contributes to the climate (agreement) by offering sustainable mobility and making it more sustainable by operating zero-emission, circular and green business practices and accepting its responsibility to make the chain more sustainable.  

International journeys 

The extent to which NS works together with partners and implements improvements to international travel, among other things to offer an attractive alternative to short-haul flights and cars.  

Collaborating with stakeholders 

The extent to which NS assumes a coordinating role in the mobility sector through reliable, open and accessible cooperation and knowledge sharing with (inter)national and regional stakeholders in order to shape sustainable mobility in the Netherlands.  

Financially healthy organisation  

The extent to which NS is able to achieve a financial return now and in the future so that it can continue to invest in improving its services.  

Travelling and working in safety 

The extent to which NS is committed to safety for passengers, colleagues and employees of partners.  


World-class stations 

The extent to which NS is committed to working with our partners in the region to provide world-class stations by creating functional and valued hubs for mobility and quality of life.  


Innovation, digitalisation and data- driven operations 

The extent to which NS continues to innovate, digitalise and provide data-driven operations in order to optimise our services, the quality of our products and efficient business operations and thus increase passenger satisfaction with their journey, now and in the future.  



The extent to which NS is committed to seamless travel in order to make its products and services available and accessible to all.  

Changes to themes

The material topics and associated definitions are unchanged from 2022. Compared with 2022, the theme of ‘Travelling and working in safety’ (9) has increased in importance as a result of the focus on public safety. In terms of NS’s impact on people and the environment, the importance of the themes ‘Collaborating with stakeholders’ (7), ‘Financially healthy organisation’ (8) and ‘Accessibility’ (12) has increased. This did not change their positions relative to other themes. The increase in importance of the theme ‘Collaborating with stakeholders’ follows the trend of the environment becoming more complex. The rise of the theme ‘Financially healthy organisation’ stems from the increased importance of affordability and increased inflation and transport poverty. The increase in importance of ‘Accessibility’ (12) reflects the growth of societal and political expectations regarding accessibility: accessible public transport and participation are increasingly becoming the norm.

Evaluation of our management approach

We use our objectives and results to conduct an annual evaluation of our management approach to the various material topics. In this regard, we also discuss the effectiveness of our actions and consider any lessons we might learn from the results obtained. For ‘Operational performance’ (1), ‘Customer satisfaction’ (2) and ‘Door-to-door journey’ (4), for example, we use the performance indicators from the 2023 Rail Transport Franchise Definitions. For the other material topics, we use our own performance indicators. In addition, we try to manage our own positive and possible negative impacts on the various topics. The objective is to increase our positive impact on people and the planet where possible, and mitigate and reduce our negative impacts. We report on any adjustments to our management approach that result from the evaluation, and for each material topic we provide insight into how we manage our impacts and mitigate them where necessary.

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