Sustainable consumption

The specific product mixes of our sales lines are designed in such a way that they optimally meet the wide range of needs of our private and professional customers. These products and services must not just meet quality and safety requirements. Increasingly, they must also fulfil critical social and environmental requirements – from production and procurement to usage and disposal. For this reason, we focus firmly on measures that enable us to influence these product features. Our guidelines for sustainable purchasing provide the basis for this. The aim is to procure products based on environmental, social and economic considerations. Moreover, direct relationships with our business partners ensure transparency with regard to the resources used and the procurement of products, as does our harmonised international traceability system. This system is open to all market participants and was developed in cooperation with other retailers, well-known partners and the standardisation organisation GS1 Germany. It enables us to gather relevant data electronically – for example, about products and suppliers – and store it on a single software platform. This makes access to this information much easier and more reliable, both for customers and for other users.

Furthermore, we offer our customers greater transparency by using product labels that indicate our compliance with certain sustainability standards. We also label our own brands accordingly. In addition, we provide complementary, specially prepared information in our stores such as flyers and customer brochures and engage in dialogue with our customers. By doing so, we support and encourage responsible consumption by our customers.

Our sales lines’ assortments include fair trade products as well as foods that bear the European organic symbol. In financial year 2015/16, METRO Cash & Carry and Real generated sales of nearly €12 million in Germany from fair trade products. That figure includes all articles bearing a Fairtrade or GEPA label. In the same period, our sales lines generated a total of €130 million in Germany-wide sales of products certified in accordance with the EU regulation on organic farming. Our stores also offer products from sustainable fishing and aquaculture such as products carrying the seal of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or the EU organic label. In financial year 2015/16, METRO Cash & Carry and Real generated sales of more than €86 million (previous year: €80 million) from their sustainable fish assortment in Germany. The Real sales line generated sales of nearly €367 million from regional products during the past financial year. The sales line increasingly offers its customers products from sustainable forestry. Sales of products bearing either the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) or the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) label amounted to more than €13 million. Media-Saturn generated sales of more than €3 billion from energy-efficient electronic devices across the group. Given our customers’ increasing interest in more sustainable products and the resulting potential for our business, we continue to work on increasing the share of more sustainable products in our assortment. Specifically, Real, for example, has decided to raise the share of more sustainable products in its assortment to 30 per cent by 2019. To achieve this, Real will focus on regional products, fruit and vegetables from permaculture as well as projects in the animal welfare area.

Even responsible consumption involves the use and consumption of resources and we are committed to minimising the resulting waste. We place great importance on promoting innovative manufacturing and recycling technologies and on thinking in terms of cycles. Since products and packaging find themselves in the hands of consumers when they reach the end of their useful lives, we also advise customers about disposal: at selected locations, we provide our customers with information about resources, encourage them to avoid waste and create incentives and opportunities for correct disposal. In this manner, we do our part to ensure that waste materials can once again be used as raw materials.



Status of goal achievement


Status of measures


METRO GROUP initiates and supports the development of an international, intersectoral and product-spanning technical solution for traceability.

In progress

Following successful implementation of the traceability solution PRO TRACE for fish and meat product categories at METRO Cash & Carry Germany, we started to introduce the solution to other countries at the beginning of 2015.

At present, the project involves ten countries as well as our international trading offices; Hungary, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Turkey have already successfully launched the pilot phase. Another four countries are currently making preparations for the pilot phase. Additional countries as well as other interested suppliers from selected assortment areas will be included in the project at the international level in 2017.

METRO Cash & Carry Germany has successfully completed the pilot project in the fruit and vegetable category.

Measure ongoing