Social engagement

As a retail company, METRO GROUP has close ties with its social environment. We cultivate relationships with many millions of people every day: people who work with or for us at our branches, people who shop at our stores or people with whom we have some other relationship. Our social and environmental responsibility in the places where we are based and interact with people is another thing that we see as a means of adding value, as it goes towards tackling social challenges. At the same time, we support employees who actively participate in our activities by helping them to hone their social skills and allowing them to work on their own initiative. By enabling them to address social issues at work, we raise awareness of METRO GROUP’s close ties with society. This is crucial if we are to survive in the market in the long term. It also helps our employees to identify more strongly with the company.

in € thousand





Category allocation was adjusted

Charitable donations




Community investments




Commercial initiatives








Active involvement in food banks

Our diverse activities aim to foster intercultural dialogue, to lend support to our locations and their local communities, and to provide direct assistance to those in need. We do this, for example, through our active involvement in more than 900 local food banks in Germany and in 14 other countries where we operate. At the national level, we support the national food bank network Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e. V. as its main financial sponsor. This partnership has existed for ten years and in 2016 it was extended until 2020 ahead of time. At the European level, METRO GROUP supports the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA).

We also help local populations in emergency situations such as natural disasters by making donations in kind.

Efforts for refugees

Numerous METRO GROUP employees are personally engaged on behalf of refugees, participating in support activities such as donations of food, clothing, equipment and toys for refugee camps. To provide unbureaucratic assistance and acute emergency relief and to contribute to the integration of refugees, METRO GROUP launched the “We Help” programme in autumn 2015. The Management Board of METRO AG provided €1 million for this. Employees of the group could apply for one-off funding of up to €10,000 each for local projects, provided they were themselves actively involved as volunteers in the project for which the funding was being requested. In this manner, the staff members were supported in their active involvement in their immediate environment – for example in language instruction, multicultural sports programmes or sponsorships for adolescents. In 2015/16, 119 projects and initiatives were supported in six countries, thereby helping approximately 33,000 people.

Thanks to the great success of “We Help”, the Management Board decided to continue the programme in the new Wholesale & Food Specialist Company from 2017. The focus of the programme will be expanded in financial year 2016/17. The funding will then be open to all volunteer work engaged in by staff members.

Additionally, METRO GROUP supported the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the national Red Cross societies with financial donations during the acute emergency in autumn/winter 2015 in order to help in the countries where the needs of the arriving refugees were greatest. The stores of Real and METRO Cash & Carry also provided quick and unbureaucratic assistance at the local level with contributions in kind and logistics services.

Donations and sponsorship

METRO GROUP actively promotes an intact and attractive social environment by means of donations and sponsorship. The donations and sponsorship guidelines define the way in which measures are to be implemented to generate a positive public image and prevent the misuse of donations and sponsorship.



Status – goal achievement


Status – measures


METRO GROUP is expanding its food donation activities to international food bank initiatives from currently 15 METRO Cash & Carry countries to at least 17 countries.

Work in progress

METRO Cash & Carry cooperates with food bank initiatives in 15 out of 25 countries. In the remaining countries, external circumstances such as political and tax-related factors make collaboration difficult.

METRO Cash & Carry is currently in communication with local aid organisations and political representatives in order to also push cooperation in those countries where external circumstances make it difficult.

Ongoing measure

METRO GROUP’s Community Involvment Programme "We Help" was launched at the start of financial year 2015/16. Its purpose is to provide unbureaucratic assistance and acute emergency relief and to contribute to the integration of refugees. The Management Board of METRO AG provided a total of €1 million for this purpose. Group employees can apply for one-off funding of up to €10,000 each for projects that they wish to support. This gives committed employees the opportunity to become actively involved in their immediate environment. By the end of financial year 2015/16, a total of €1 million shall be expended on refugee relief in Europe. We have thus increased the budget for social investment (corporate citizenship) by €1 million.

Goal achieved

The programme is being rolled out and promoted within the group. Online and offline, we want to inspire as many of our employees as possible to become involved.

In the past financial year, we received 119 applications from six countries for projects which provided assistance to approximately 33,000 people.

Measure completed

Due to the great success of the Community Involvement Programme, the Management Board has decided to continue it in financial year 2016/17. In 2017, all subsidiaries of the Wholesale & Food Specialist Company created from the planned demerger of METRO GROUP will have the opportunity to apply for financial support for their personal endeavours. All kinds of voluntary work are welcome.

Work in progress

The new programme is rolled out and promoted within the group. We will encourage as many colleagues as possible, online and offline, to get involved.

Measure launched

The METRO GROUP Marathon has been held in Düsseldorf every year since 2005. One of the reasons of this sponsorship is to foster employee loyalty. Participation not only increases team spirit but also promotes the health of participants. On average, nearly 700 co-workers take part each year. In 2016, this number was expected to be increased to 800; with 775 employees the goal was nearly reached. We will therefore continue to work on increasing the number of participants.

Work in progress

Step up promotion of the METRO GROUP Marathon via the group’s social intranet both within Germany and abroad.

Measure ongoing