Sustainable consumption

Our sales lines aim to generate added value for their customers. Their specific ranges of products and services are composed in such a way that they meet even the most diverse needs of private and commercial customers optimally. Products and services must not only conform to the highest standards of safety and quality; it is also becoming increasingly important that they are socially and environmentally sound – from their production and procurement to usage and ultimately disposal. We therefore rigorously focus on measures with which we can influence these aspects and create a high degree of transparency throughout the entire value chain.

Sustainable and transparent procurement

We aim to procure products which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The basis for this is our sustainable purchasing policy for all products.



Status – goal achievement


Status – measures


By 2015, we will have defined processes with which to assess the sustainability impact of the METRO GROUP sales lines’ own-brand products. By continuously implementing our general METRO GROUP purchasing policy on sustainable procurement, we will work on all product categories relevant to aspects of sustainability.

Goal achieved

Assessment of the social impacts of METRO Cash & Carry’s own-brand portfolio and its effects on the environment along the supply chain has been completed. The assessment was performed at the levels of raw materials, products and product groups and follows the standard international assessment criteria for social and ecological impacts.

The purpose of this process was to establish basic requirements and to make supply chain and procurement management more sustainable in the relevant categories. We accomplished this with our guidelines.

Assessing the product portfolio, defining minimum standards and establishing specific KPIs enables METRO Cash & Carry to fulfil the requirements for a more sustainable assortment.

Measure completed

We also ensure transparency with respect to the resources used and the procurement of products by means of direct relations with our business partners. Our international traceability solution in all different segments, which we developed in conjunction with other retailers, high-profile partners and the standardisation organisation GS1 Germany, likewise contributes to this. It allows us to collect relevant data – regarding products and suppliers, for instance – electronically and merge it via a software platform. This makes access to this information considerably easier and more reliable for customers and other users. It also ensures that our commercial customers can in turn provide their customers with information about the origin and nature of the goods they sell.



Status – goal achievement


Status – measures


METRO GROUP is initiating and supporting the development of an international, multi-industry and product-spanning technical traceability solution.

Work in progress

Following successful implementation of the traceability solution PRO TRACE for fish and meat product categories at METRO Cash & Carry Germany, it was also launched in other countries in early 2015. At present the project is involving ten countries and the international trading offices; Hungary, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Turkey have already successfully entered the pilot phase. Another four countries are preparing the piloting. Additional countries as well as other interested suppliers from selected areas of the product range 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 vegetables category.

Measure ongoing

In order to provide better customer guidance, we also use labels that certify products according to specific sustainability standards. Our own brands are likewise labelled accordingly. We additionally provide information in our stores and talk to our customers, thereby supporting and promoting responsible consumption among our customers.

Sustainable product range

Our sales lines’ product ranges include fair-trade articles and food products that bear the European organic symbol. In financial year 2015/16, sales of fair-trade products at METRO Cash & Carry and Real in Germany totalled almost €12 million. This figure includes products that bear the Fairtrade or GEPA label. During the same period, our sales lines achieved Germany-wide sales totalling €130 million with products which are certified in accordance with the EU regulation on organic farming. Our range also includes products caught using sustainable fishing practices and aquaculture. We define these as products bearing the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo or the EU organic logo. In financial year 2015/16, METRO Cash & Carry and Real generated sales of over €86 million in Germany with their sustainable fish range (previous year: €81 million with these standards). Real generated sales of €367 million with regional products in the past financial year. The sales line is increasingly offering its customers products from sustainably managed forestry. Revenues generated with products bearing the label of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) exceeded €13 million. Media-Saturn generated group-wide revenues of over €3 billion with energy-efficient electrical appliances. Due to our customers’ increased interest in more sustainable products and the potential this offers our business, we keep working on enlarging the proportion of more sustainable products in our portfolio. Specifically, Real adopted a CSR purchasing guideline with the aim of generating 30 per cent of its revenue from the sale of sustainable products by 2019. The focus is being placed on regional products, fruit and vegetables from permaculture production and projects in the area of animal welfare.

Key performance indicators on Sustainable consumption can be found in chapter Key performance indicators and goals.

Reducing and avoiding waste

Responsible consumption involves the use and consumption of goods too. We therefore see it as our duty to keep the resulting waste to a minimum. We attach importance to promoting innovative production and recycling technologies and to thinking in cycles. As our products and packaging are in our customers’ possession when they reach the end of their useful life, we advise our customers on the best way to dispose of them: at selected branches, we raise our customers’ awareness of resources, inform them about ways to avoid waste and create incentives and options for disposing of products properly. In this way, we play our part in ensuring that waste is transformed back into raw materials.

This is exemplified by our involvement in the Retailers’ Environmental Action Programme (REAP). The purpose of this joint platform of large European retail companies and the European Commission (Directorate-General for Environment) is to promote the exchange of experience and the presentation of exemplary projects in the field of environmental and resource management. The METRO GROUP sales lines are involved in the current REAP mandate, which runs from 2016 until 2018 and is devoted to the issue of circular economy, with various goals and measures designed to contribute to achieving a circular economy. These include:

  • Establishing collection points for used cooking fats and oils for reuse as energy sources
  • Not providing free plastic bags, in order to reduce the use of resources
  • Developing a customer guidance system for products which can be recommended in terms of sustainability in order to support conscious purchase decisions

An overview of all the goals is available on the European Commission’s website.