Our ethos

METRO GROUP sees itself as part of society and contributes towards social value added. In the light of the global challenges we have already described, our company has a responsibility to go beyond legal requirements in reconciling economic goals with society’s requirements and the demands of our customers, staff, investors and partners. At the same time, we have to remain within the boundaries imposed by the environment. Doing all of this enables us to act today with tomorrow in mind.

In line with METRO GROUP’s sustainability vision – “We offer quality of life” – this means we need to ensure our business activities generate additional value and simultaneously reduce any negative impact they may have. We are working with our employees to achieve this in various areas: for example, we trace where our resources and the raw materials for our products come from and record how efficiently they are used in the manufacturing process and at our locations. We monitor the social and environmental conditions in which our products are made and take steps – where relevant – to ensure they are disposed of properly. We promote responsible consumption and foster dialogue and collaboration in our work with different stakeholder groups and partners.

Sustainability vision

We offer quality of life …

… for our customers, …

… for our employees, …

… for all who work for us, …

… for society, …

… because we are acting more sustainably, …

… we are working on a responsible range of products and assortment design.

… we systematically make sustainability a part of our work.

… we support humane working conditions.

… we are working on solutions to global challenges with a steadfast commitment to the issue and a trusting relationship with our stakeholders.

Our approach – embedding sustainability in the heart of our company

Strategically embedding sustainability in our core business is imperative for us to fulfill on our sustainability pledge. It is crucial that every individual understands how important sustainability is and behaves accordingly. To support and drive this process, METRO GROUP is encouraging people to act in a sustainable way by means of strategic and procedural guidelines. At the same time, it aims to share knowledge and generate awareness for this issue by constantly providing concrete information. In this way, sustainability will become part of each employee’s autonomous decisions and actions.

In order to embed sustainability in the heart of the company and in the employees’ minds, it is essential that we link it with our corporate strategy, shape our business processes and programmes accordingly, and implement our sustainability management system.


Sustainable Performance Plan

According to the Sustainable Performance Plan (SPP), the variable long-term incentive for members of the Management Board not only includes figures based on share prices but is also partially linked (25 per cent) to the realisations of sustainability targets. The exact size of this share of the variable long-term incentive, taking into account sustainability components, depends on the position achieved by METRO AG in the RobecoSAM/Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) ranking in comparison to competitors in its own sector. SPP has since also been taken into account in the remuneration of METRO GROUP senior management worldwide.

Embedding sustainability in the corporate strategy

METRO GROUP’s prime objective is to generate value added for its customers. We can do this in a long term perspective if we take their needs into account and reconcile them with other stakeholder groups’ requirements. Our formula for achieving this is: enhancing quality of life in the sense of value added for society and reducing any negative impact on our environment, be it ecological or social. This strategic emphasis on sustainability is being further strengthened by linking the remuneration paid to the Management Board and the global senior management with METRO GROUP’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). This rating is produced by independent experts who pool internal and external stakeholder groups’ requirements to create a representative assessment profile and use this as a basis to analyse the overall impact our business activities have on society. That means they evaluate our sustainability performance. This annual assessment is a management tool for METRO GROUP and a strong motivator for continuously improving our performance. The proposed improvement in sustainability performance defines our strategic target range. The individual sales lines are free to set specific strategic goals and define their contribution to the overall improvement within these parameters. Our commitment to constantly improving our corporate sustainability is visibly bearing fruit. METRO GROUP succeeded in ranking among the most sustainable businesses in 2014. The METRO AG share is listed in both the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index. As well as this, we were included in the FTSE4Good Global and FTSE4Good Europe Index. The FTSE4Good Index Series also lists companies with outstanding performance in the Environmental, Social and Governance categories.



Status – goal achievement


Status – measures


METRO GROUP is systemat­ically making sustainability part of its work.

Work in progress

Integrating sustainability in all (key) business processes by 2016. Step one: identifying key processes and how they are linked to this issue.

Measure ongoing

Enhancing employees’ awareness of sustainable behaviour by 2016. Step one: developing an overall concept for conducting a group-wide sustainability campaign including a sustainability day.

Measure not yet launched

Integrating sustainability into the training programme. Training courses focusing on corporate responsibility will be developed and offered to all staff by 2016. Step one: preparing a general training format.

Measure ongoing

Embedding sustainability in processes and programmes

We are also embedding sustainability in the heart of our company and in our employees’ minds by adjusting processes accordingly. Guidelines and job instructions help us to do this. For instance, an obligation to environmental responsibility is a fixed part of our environmental guidelines. Our commitment to social responsibility can be seen in the guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership. Our Business Principles for employees are currently being revised – among other things, we are further fleshing out the aspects relevant to sustainability. Our aim is to make the target group of our Business Principles even more keenly aware of how important it is to incorporate sustainability into their own behaviour. The new METRO GROUP company car guideline, which came into effect in June 2014, also aims to achieve this. The guideline defines limits and benchmarks for company car CO2 emissions, encouraging the use of environmentally friendly models. In addition to this, the group has stepped up its efforts to promote alternatives to company cars, such as the use of public transport and a scheme whereby employees who decide against a company car can have the money saved paid into their pension pot.

Finally, proactive knowledge sharing via training programmes helps us to embed sustainability in our processes. One example of this is the e-learning module “Sustainability at METRO” developed in the financial year 2013/14 for existing and new employees. It is also possible to raise staff awareness of sustainability by showing how it relates directly to their working environment. For instance, METRO AG’s Corporate Compliance and Corporate Responsibility units conducted a workshop at this year’s compliance conference during which they held a discussion with local Compliance Officers about the interface between their field of work and a range of sustainability issues.

Embedding sustainability

Embedding sustainability (graphic)