Sustainability management

METRO GROUP views itself as a member of society that contributes to social value creation. Our company’s responsibility to align economic goals with social requirements and the demands of customers, employees, investors and partners extends beyond compliance with legal stipulations. We must respect the limits placed on us by the environment. By taking this approach, we act today for the good of tomorrow. Accordingly, our business activities are designed to create added value while reducing negative effects. This makes all aspects of our business sustainable.

We become sustainable in all that we do …

Areas of responsibility

for our employees, …

… by respecting, protecting and helping them to grow professionally at all times, and by building trusting relationships with them. And by enabling them to systematically make sustainability a part of their work. This is how we create an attractive working environment which enables our employees to offer our customers sustainable solutions that optimally serve their needs.

Commitment to our employees

for the environment, …

… by using resources responsibly in our own operations and avoiding waste. This is how we minimise our effect on the climate and protect the environment. And by contributing to the long-term availability of resources through sustainable procurement and assortment design. This is how we help to create a sound foundation for the retail of tomorrow.

Sustainable operations and sustainable procurement and assortment

for the people who work for us, …

... through fair and responsible business practices and by providing fair living and working conditions. This is how we demonstrate responsibility in the supply chain.

Sustainable procurement and assortment

for our consumers, …

... by providing them with safe, quality products around the world through sustainable procurement and assortment design. And with products that are produced, processed and recycled in a socially responsible, environmentally sound and resource-friendly manner. This is how we secure our future and promote sustainable consumption.

Sustainable consumption

for society, …

... by aligning our business with the needs of society through a stakeholder dialogue based on mutual trust and by contributing to our local communities wherever we operate. This is how we work on solutions to global challenges and contribute to sustainable development.

Social engagement

Embedding sustainability

The strategic integration of sustainability into our core business operations is an essential aspect of our work to carry out our sustainability vision. We use a number of channels to ensure that this happens. These channels include our Sustainability Board and its committees as well as modifications of relevant business processes and decision-making procedures along with systematic communication with our employees. The goal of this is that all individuals acknowledge the significance of sustainability with respect to both themselves and their professional environment, and that they conduct themselves accordingly. The issue can be encouraged from the top down, but it must be carried out by everyone.

For more information about sustainability-related employee communication, see our online METRO GROUP Corporate Responsibility Report 2015/16 at For general information about the topic of employees, see the chapter “employees” in this METRO GROUP Annual Report.

Embedding Sustainability (organigram)



Status of goal achievement


Status of measures


METRO GROUP is systematically making sustainability part of its work.

In progress

In a first step, sustainability was integrated into all the key business processes by 2016 by identifying the key processes and their link to the topic on the basis of a materiality analysis.

In a second step, we will continuously implement the topic within our business processes, for example through guidelines.

Measure ongoing

Sharpen employees’ understanding of sustainable behaviour.
Developed a sustainability campaign.

  • Developed and distributed internal and external communication materials on the topic of “METRO and sustainability”.
  • Conducted workshops on the topic of sustainability within METRO GROUP, particularly in the Cash & Carry country organisations.
  • Also successfully organised several sustainability events such as a Sustainability Day at headquarters and in 13 countries.

Included a dedicated question on sustainability in the annual employee opinion survey, METRO Voice. The survey is conducted at METRO Cash & Carry and in the service companies.

Measure ongoing

Integration of the topic of sustainability into existing training programmes completed and in progress.

Establishment of a programme for management development for the specific purpose of boosting sustainability awareness.

Measure ongoing

Degree of goal achievement

Measure not yet started
Measure started
Measure ongoing
Measure concluded

New goal implemented
In progress
Goal reached
Goal not reached

Sustainability management

Sustainability management is designed to facilitate the integration of sustainability into our core business operations and to consider the interdependencies between economic, environmental and social aspects in an efficient, solution-driven manner. It is closely tied to risk and opportunity management at METRO GROUP. In this process, the company’s management is supported in its work to systematically identify, assess and manage possible deviations from the sustainability goals – that is, risks and opportunities.

For more information about risk and opportunity management, see the chapter “risk and opportunity report“ in the combined management report.

As a corporate body of METRO GROUP, the Sustainability Board ensures that the strategic objectives regarding the group’s sustainability performance are defined and that fundamental issues are reflected in corresponding goals.

The roundtable on corporate responsibility serves as the interface between the strategic and operational aspects of sustainability. This body lays the groundwork for decisions taken by the Sustainability Board and helps to carry them out.

On the operational level, the sales lines are charged with defining specific goals and programmes, putting them into practice in their daily business operations and ensuring that the objectives are reached. They report their progress to the Sustainability Board through the roundtable.

Our stakeholders evaluate the sustainability measures carried out by METRO GROUP, for example, through ratings. These evaluations provide important motivation to us and serve as a management tool because they demonstrate the progress of and potential to improve our activities.

In financial year 2015/16, METRO GROUP again qualified for inclusion in the group of global retail companies with the most sustainable business practices. The company is listed as the leading company in its sector in the internationally renowned sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability World and Europe. METRO GROUP had already been named Industry Leader in the category of Food & Staples Retailing in 2015. The group’s total score increased to 84 points from 77 points in financial year 2014/15, reflecting another improvement in METRO GROUP’s sustainability performance.

Assessment of relevant sustainability indices and rankings





Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World/Europe

84 Industry Group Leader
Food & Staples Retailing

0 to 100


Oekom Corporate Rating

C+ Prime Status

D– to A+


CDP Climate Scoring

A– Sector Leader Consumer Staples
(DACH Region) Index Leader MDAX

F to A


CDP Water Scoring


F to A


FTSE4Good Global/Europe Index


0 to 5


Sustainability Board (organigram)