Selected measures and projects
To prevent the large-scale loss and waste of food, a range of actors in society need to pull in the same direction. For that reason we discuss this topic intensively with our stakeholder groups – for example as part of the EU Retail Forum for Sustainability in Brussels. The forum brings together representatives from politics, retail and non-governmental organisations to discuss sustainable management in retail. In 2012 METRO GROUP had its own information booth at this event. A key topic was our holistic approach to reducing food losses along the entire supply chain. We and other retail companies signed an agreement on the prevention of waste at the forum. Under this agreement measures for consumer education and information on the prevention of waste will be rolled out by the middle of 2014.
METRO GROUP has been engaging systematically with the topic of compliance for some time – the observance of rules, laws and internal guidelines in the Company. Among other things this includes providing our employees with regular information about the significance of the topic and ensuring ongoing training on that topic. Further, the question as to what specific contribution each individual can make in their day-to-day work was the central topic of a Group-wide Compliance Day in 2012. Under the motto “Compliance & You” employees in almost all countries, sales lines and service companies were invited to a range of initiatives. These included for example group discussions, the presentation of training videos and a competition.
LOCAL PRESENCE IN THE MARKET
METRO GROUP has set up the Store Visits project along with other German companies to demonstrate the economic significance of retail to representatives from politics and associations and to reinforce understanding of the complexity of the sector. Store visits are conducted to enable insights into current issues and innovations in the trade sector. Around 40 decision-makers from European institutions and representatives of government, associations and companies around the world have already taken advantage of this offer. The destinations of these visits were various METRO Cash & Carry wholesale stores and the Real Future Store in Tönisvorst, which sees our sales line blazing a new trail into customer communication and the layout of the store and product range.
ALLIANCE FOR CONSUMER EDUCATION
From the mobile phone contract through security on the Internet right up to healthy eating: the consumer competence of children and young people is being tested in a whole host of ways. In order to reinforce the topic of consumer education whilst still at school, the “Deutsche Stiftung Verbraucherschutz” (German Foundation for Consumer Protection) has set up an alliance for consumer education, the “Bündnis für Verbraucherbildung”. METRO GROUP is one of the supporters of this initiative with further actors from commerce, politics, the academic sector and civil society. In the reporting year we have signed the resolution “Verbraucherkompetenzen frühzeitig fördern – mehr Verbraucherbildung in die Schulen” (Promote consumer competence early on – more consumer education in schools). One of the ways in which we are supporting the initiative is making sure it is discussed with representatives of regional governments with a view to them including it in their school curriculums.
ACHIEVING IMPROVEMENTS TOGETHER
Constructive dialogue and responsible supplier management pay dividends in the long run, which can be seen for example in our relationship with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). The Asian pulp and paper manufacturer has been one of our suppliers for many years. Because the company had come under fire for clearing rain forests in Indonesia, we engaged in a series of discussions with APP along with various non-governmental organisations and other companies. This effort is now showing positive results: on 5 February 2013 APP publicly declared that it was drawing up a new forest policy and managing already cleared areas to minimise greenhouse emissions. The implementation of the measures is to be monitored by an independent party.
GREATER ENERGY EFFICIENCY TOGETHER
Since 2012 our sales brand Saturn has been cooperating with Utopia, Germany’s leading Internet platform for sustainable consumption, with a view to making it easier for their customers to take sustainable purchasing decisions. To increase the proportion of low-energy and resource-saving products in households, the initiative aims to provide clear and targeted consumer information. The partners have developed a dedicated logo for this purpose: in the Saturn online shop the “Utopia empfiehlt” (Utopia recommends) logo indicates washing machines, fridge-freezers, TVs, tumble driers, dishwashers and coffee machines that are particularly energy-saving and therefore recommended. In future Saturn intends to extend the rating to other categories and to expand the initiative to include stationary retailing.
NEW FROM OLD
To reduce carbon emissions and electrical waste and at the same time create jobs for people with disabilities – this is the approach of the charitable company “Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderungen” (Work for People with Disabilities, AfB). The integration-focused company collects used IT devices such as laptops, computers and printers from its cooperation partners, reconditions them and resells them at affordable prices. Our IT company METRO SYSTEMS also supports AfB and donates devices that are no longer needed by the Company that would otherwise cost money to dispose of. In the reporting year this came to around 700 computers, laptops and printers. In return the charitable organisation pledges to create one job for every 2,000 devices received. AfB aims to create 500 new jobs for people with disabilities in the coming years.
HEALTHY IN VIETNAM
High standards in the areas of hygiene and food safety need to be maintained along the entire supply chain to ensure high food quality. In some countries there is still room for improvement in the necessary conditions and structures. Aiming to enhance the quality and safety of food in conjunction with customers, suppliers and employees, METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam set up the “Healthy” programme in 2012. The 20-month-long project integrates the various actors along the supply chain and trains them individually: customers are instructed in handling food and food safety. Suppliers of fruit, vegetables and fish are given information about international supply chains, buyer expectations and the significance of measures for improving quality, hygiene and resource efficiency. In this way METRO Cash & Carry makes an essential contribution to improving the quality of life in Vietnam and at the same time secures the high quality standards of products across the entire supply chain.
COMMITMENT TO CHILDREN
A growing number of children from socially disadvantaged families or orphans cannot take toys at Christmas or equipment when they start school for granted. Along with social institutions, Galeria Kaufhof is committed to helping these children: in the run-up to Christmas 2012 our sales line again put up charity trees that were hung with children’s wish lists in all outlets and at the head office. Customers and employees took the lists off the trees, fetched the gifts described on them and forwarded them to a central point. Galeria Kaufhof organises the initiative and steps in if any lists are left on the trees. In this way more than 15,000 dolls, picture books, soft toys, toy cars and balls find their way into children’s bedrooms every year. In some outlets a similar initiative is held at the start of the school year. For example, in June 2012 50 children from the Theresien Kinder- und Jugendhilfezentrum in Offenbach were given gifts.