Responsible Corporate Governance
METRO GROUP endorses responsible corporate governance. For us, legal compliance, integrity and transparency are important principles in our dealings not only with one another, but also with customers, suppliers and business partners. That is why we have developed consistent guidelines, standards and processes for management and firmly established them across the Group. This helps us guard against potential risks due to impropriety or ignorance and we emphasise the importance of taking responsibility for one’s individual conduct.
Standards for acting sustainably
Our activities are subject to laws, legislative provisions and self-imposed standards of conduct. To support our employees in complying with these rules, we have established a Group-wide compliance management system. At its core are METRO GROUP’s 8 business principles. These are supplemented by standards of conduct, including primarily those relating to competition law and the anti-corruption guidelines introduced across the Group in 2011. To prevent corruption and gaining unfair personal advantages, the mandatory check of business partners regarding their compliance with laws and guidelines was introduced in risk areas. This supplemented the existing elements for ensuring compliance in the supply chain. Further, our operational business processes are increasingly being subjected to a minimum standard of internal controls.
Information, consultation and training
We regularly notify our employees of the relevant guidelines, standards and processes. To do so, we use different communication formats that clearly explain our business principles. We further support the employees in complying with the guidelines and standards and the resulting obligations by way of mandatory training courses and consultation sessions. By the end of 2012, for example, we had familiarised over 10,000 employees with the anti-corruption guidelines in classroom-based courses. Further, in the reporting period we started to roll out a Group-wide e-training platform for computer-based training. Employees in 13 of the national companies are already undergoing e-training on corruption prevention. A training module on competition law will be added in 2013. The topic will further attract a lot of attention thanks to the Group-wide Compliance Day. Managers will also regularly receive the Compliance Newsletter.
Group-wide compliance organisation
Compliance Officers are at hand as points of contact in the sales lines and the service and national companies of METRO GROUP. Their head, the Chief Compliance Officer of METRO GROUP, reports directly to the Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG, Olaf Koch. Not only all employees but also customers, suppliers and other business partners can communicate breaches – if necessary anonymously – to the METRO GROUP Compliance Hotline.