The METRO GROUP goes further than the statutory regulations and harmonises its economic targets with society's requirements and those of its customers, employees, investors and partners. It is important here to take into account the limits that the environment itself sets. In terms of the vision for sustainability 'We offer quality of life', the METRO GROUP promotes together with its sales lines the strategic and operational anchoring of sustainability in the company. The increasingly successful integration of CR in the core business can also be seen in the results of external ratings – among other things, the trading company is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is named as an Industry Group Leader in the Food & Staples Retailing category. The METRO GROUP describes the comprehensive CR commitment in the key activities along the value-creation chain in the sustainability report and on its website at www.metrogroup.de/verantwortung.
The METRO GROUP constantly drives the commitment to sustainability and has been able to make progress in the measures that have previously been initiated:
Employees: Establishment of sustainability
It is the aim of the METRO GROUP to integrate sustainability successively in all key guidelines and business processes. For example, the company has linked the remuneration of the Management Board and of the global senior management to the result of the rating in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2014. In addition, sustainability has since 2015 formed a criterion in the new performance evaluation process for all employees as one of the principles guiding their actions. The awareness of the employees for the issues is raised in this way, prompting changes in behaviour.
Value-added chain: Sustainability in the purchasing policy
The METRO GROUP adopted a purchasing policy for sustainable procurement back in 2013, on the basis of which processes for assessing specific sustainability criteria for individual product groups are defined. In order to ensure socially acceptable working conditions within the supply chain, the METRO GROUP focuses on implementing social standards systems at its suppliers. The goal is to have all producers in defined risk countries where the Group's purchasing company in Hong Kong – METRO GROUP BUYING Hongkong – has imported goods manufactured as well as producers that manufacture proprietary brands and imports in the areas of clothing, shoes, toys and household hardware for the METRO GROUP sales lines audited in accordance with the BSCI or equivalent standards. 1,943 producers had been audited by 30 September 2015, 93 per cent of which passed the audit.
Innovation: Traceability of goods
After being successfully implemented for the fish and meat product categories at METRO Cash & Carry Germany, the 'Pro Trace' traceability solution was launched in other countries at the start of 2015. In addition, a pilot project was launched in Germany in 2015 in which customers can also trace goods in the fruit and vegetable category back to their place of origin. For 2016, the trading company has undertaken to include more suppliers from selected product categories in the project.
Sustainable product range
The METRO GROUP pursues the goal of offering customers around the world high-quality and safe products that are produced in a way that is socially acceptable and also saves the environment and resources. The trading company uses a variety of labels and codes to provide information on the sustainability aspects of the products and is looking in the long term to increase the proportion of sustainable products in its sales. The product range in the sales lines currently includes articles from fair trade as well as food that is marked with the European Ecolabel. The range also offers products from sustainable and environmentally compatible fishing. The customer can identify these from the seal of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Furthermore, the METRO Cash & Carry and Real sales lines in Germany sell fish products with the sustainable aquaculture (ASC) and dolphin-safe seals. Real is also increasing its offer to customers of products from sustainable forestry. In order to cater to the growing demand for regional products, the METRO GROUP is additionally focusing in many product groups on bundled purchasing at the place of origin and on expanding the offer of regional products.