United Nations Global Compact

Being a participant of the United Nations Global Compact – the world’s largest initiative for corporate responsibility – helps METRO GROUP to firmly embed sustainability in its company strategy. As well as this, it provides the right framework for our long-term commitment to responsible and ethical business practices.

With this Communication on Progress, METRO GROUP is fulfilling its obligation to demonstrate which guidelines and measures it is using to improve its performance in the fields of human rights, working standards, environmental protection and the elimination of corruption and to ensure that the Global Compact’s ten basic principles are adhered to in strategic decision-making and day-to-day work both now and in the future.

Düsseldorf, December 2016

United Nations Global Compact Communication on Progress 2015/16

In the following table, we show examples of commitments and management systems that serve the ten principles, measures that we have taken and results that we achieved in the reporting period 2015/16.

Human Rights and Labour Standards


Commitments and management systems

Measures 2015/16

Achievements 2015/16

Support for human rights

Elimination of human rights abuses

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

Elimination of all forms of forced labour

Abolition of child labour

Elimination of discrimination

METRO GROUP Business Principles

Anti-discrimination guidelines

METRO GROUP guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership

International standards throughout the supply chain (BSCI)

Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

Key labour standards of the ILO (International Labour Organization), embedded in a variety of corporate guidelines

Social standards clause in supplier contracts

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, embedded in a variety of corporate guidelines

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Forced Labour

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Health & Wellness

Producers in defined risk countries (based on the assessment of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)) in which MGB Hong Kong has import goods manufactured and producers that manufacture own brands or own imports in the areas of clothing, shoes, toys and consumer durables for the METRO GROUP sales lines are assisted in implementing the BSCI standard or an equivalent social standards system.

Social dialogue at the local level is an important element in order for METRO GROUP to build up good labour relations. Collective agreements existing in various countries were reinforced. In other countries, collective agreements were reached for the first time or negotiations in this regard are still ongoing.

Systematic continuation of the awareness-raising initiative Inclusion for Growth launched last year for all METRO AG and METRO Cash & Carry employees regarding inclusion and diversity, supported by workshops and an e-learning module.

METRO GROUP has been on the Board of Charta der Vielfalt e. V. since 2013. As a member of the Rhine-Ruhr Diversity Network, METRO GROUP organised a joint event under the motto of “Vielfalt statt Einfalt – Kulturelle Kompetenz für wirtschaftlichen Erfolg” (Diversity, not simplicity – cultural skills for commercial success) on the occasion of Germany’s fourth Diversity Day in June 2016. Some 100 managers from the member companies were invited to experience the importance of this issue for their management tasks in many different ways. On the occasion of its ten-year anniversary, Charta der Vielfalt took a mobile diversity workshop to ten locations in Germany. Diversity management is examined, embedded and further developed from various points of view in the regions via interactive experiences, input from experts and discussions. The initiative aims to advance the recognition, appreciation and inclusion of diversity in corporate culture in Germany. The workshop tour stopped in Düsseldorf following a joint invitation from METRO GROUP and Henkel AG & Co. KGaA.

The aim is for the proportion of women in managerial positions (levels 1 to 3) to be 25 per cent throughout the group in the calendar year 2017. At METRO AG, the target is for women to make up 25 per cent of the first two management levels below the Management Board in the calendar year 2017 as well.

The employee network Women in Trade (WiT) now has some 290 members. It is instrumental in sustainably increasing the proportion of women in managerial positions, promoting internal and external dialogue, and creating better underlying conditions for women within the group.

The employee network PRIDE for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people aims to raise awareness of the topics of sexual orientation and identity. In June 2016, a workshop on sexual orientation and identity launched the network’s ambassador programme.

For details of active involvement in the areas of inclusion and diversity, occupational health and safety, and employer-employee relations, see also the “employees” chapter of the Annual Report 2015/16.

Of the 1,632 audited BSCI-relevant factories, 86 per cent passed the social audit in accordance with BSCI specifications.

In addition to the training programmes offered by BSCI, approximately 600 producers were trained by MGB Hong Kong.

See the social audits key performance indicator relating to own imports by MGB Hong Kong and non-food own brands of the METRO GROUP sales lines

Sales of fair-trade products within the METRO Cash & Carry and Real sales lines in Germany came to just under €12 million. This figure includes items featuring the Fairtrade or the GEPA label.

Based on audits of the METRO principles concerning fair working conditions and social partnership conducted in Turkey, Poland and Austria, the next project was started in the reporting year. It provides for an expanded audit of fair working conditions and social partnership in METRO GROUP’s stores and offices in the various countries. This expanded audit is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and comprises not only the seven global METRO principles concerning fair working conditions and social partnership, but also, for example, employee data protection. The project started in October with Ukraine as the pilot country.

The joint declaration of METRO GROUP and the international union organisation UNI Global Union in December 2013 once again constituted the basis for the further support of the management and local labour representatives in the reporting year, for instance in Pakistan.

In November 2015, representatives of the management of METRO GROUP attended the annual meeting of the UNI METRO Global Union Alliance in Berlin in order to share their assessments concerning the developments within METRO GROUP in the various countries.

Development and implementation of internal guidelines for the creation and maintenance of a healthy and safe work environment.

To make people more aware of the fact that occupational health and safety is the responsibility of all staff members, we participated in the initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO): in April 2016, we held our first international Occupational Health and Safety Day.

Occupational health and safety training courses remain a high priority for us in order that we can prevent accidents. For this reason, we advanced the development of our own training library even further in financial year 2015/16. A training course developed by METRO LOGISTICS on how to operate forklift trucks was modified to make it internationally applicable.

The proportion of women at management levels 1 to 3 was 17.2 per cent on the reporting date, 30 September 2016.

Successful external audit of the employee-related KPIs.

Environmental Protection


Commitments and management systems

Measures 2015/16

Achievements 2015/16

PRINCIPLE 7: Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

PRINCIPLE 8: Promotion of greater environmental responsibility

PRINCIPLE 9: Diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

METRO GROUP environmental policy

Energy management systems in accordance with ISO 50001

METRO GROUP climate protection target: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions per m2 of selling space by 50 per cent from 330 kg CO2e/m2 in 2011 to 165 kg CO2e/m2 in 2030

Buying policy for sustainable sourcing, also specific purchasing guidelines on fish, palm oil and packaging

International standards along the supply chain (GLOBALG.A.P., IFS)

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Deforestation

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Sustainable Refrigeration

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Resolution on Food Waste

Membership in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

Membership in the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)

Company car guideline with incentive system for more fuel-efficient vehicles

Implementing energy-saving measures in all the sales lines with the Energy-Saving Programme and the Energy Awareness Programme

F-Gas Exit Programme: switching over our refrigeration systems to natural refrigerants such as CO2 or ammonia

Assisting consumers with energy efficiency and correct disposal by providing relevant information and guides and also by taking back old electrical appliances at METRO Cash & Carry, Media-Saturn and Real in Germany

Transparent public reporting on climate change and water by participating in the CDP climate change programme and the CDP water programme

Implementing the general buying policy for sustainable procurement and the specific buying guidelines for fish, palm oil and packaging

Range of ecologically and socially certified products

Voluntary commitment to reporting on projects and their aims, measures and KPIs concerning circular economy by 2018 in the context of the Retailers’ Environmental Action Programme (REAP), which is jointly sponsored by the European Commission and European retailers and associations

Greenhouse gas emissions per m2 of selling space reduced by 24 per cent compared to 2011

Energy consumption per m2 of selling space down almost 1 per cent year-on-year

Greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerant losses per m2 of selling space reduced by 21 per cent compared to 2011

See KPIs on the carbon footprint and status of the climate protection target

Water consumption per m2 of selling space increased by more than 2 per cent compared with the previous year

Environmental KPIs successfully audited externally once again

Energy management systems certified or recertified in accordance with ISO 50001 at over 130 locations. Certification of other locations is planned

Renewed BREEAM certification for METRO GROUP headquarters

Opening of the first METRO Cash & Carry green store in Dongguan, China

Charging point infrastructure for electromobility expanded

Implementation of an industry-wide traceability system as a precautionary measure relating to illegal fishing in various countries, and expansion to include new partners

Products certified in accordance with the EU regulation on organic farming accounted for €130 million in sales within the METRO Cash & Carry and Real sales lines in Germany

In Germany, METRO Cash & Carry and Real generated sales of over €86 million with products caught using sustainable fishing practices and aquaculture. These are products bearing the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and EU organic logos. Real generated sales of €367 million with regional products in the last financial year. Sales of products bearing the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) label or the label of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) amounted to just under €13 million

Media-Saturn generated more than €3.2 billion in sales with energy-efficient electrical appliances

Anti-Corruption Measures


Commitments and management systems

Measures 2015/16

Achievements 2015/16

PRINCIPLE 10: Combating corruption

METRO GROUP Business Principles

Anti-corruption guidelines for dealings with business partners and officials

Business partner questionnaires

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, embedded in a variety of corporate guidelines

Supply Chain Initiative (SCI)

Group-wide compliance communications providing staff with information in various formats, including METRO GROUP’s social network platform, in order to ensure compliant conduct and prevent anti-competitive behaviour

Implementation of an internal control system for managing compliance risks within operational processes, including systematic checks, dual control and separation of functions

  • Regular monitoring of internal controls within the operating processes
  • Implementation of internal controls in other processes relating to key compliance issues (e.g. anti-corruption measures)

Due diligence assessments of business partners based on the anti-corruption guidelines by means of business partner questionnaires

Inclusion of an anti-corruption clause in contracts with business partners

External auditing of METRO GROUP’s compliance management system

Examples of internal communication measures:

  • Compliance Talks
  • Compliance presence on METRO GROUP’s social network
  • Campus Hour: information event on the Düsseldorf Campus

Examples of external communication measures:

  • Membership of and active involvement in the Alliance for Integrity, an anti-corruption initiative run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Global Compact network

Training management optimisation for better adaptation of all training in the area of Corporate Legal Affairs & Compliance and to ensure there is a sufficient array of training for the target group, with defined mandatory training seminars

Implementation of anti-corruption training for the relevant target group in accordance with METRO GROUP’s training management

  • In financial year 2015/16, training on the topic of anti-corruption measures was given to more than 90 per cent of the employees and executives in 84 per cent of the targeted business units.
  • Over the same period, training on the topic of anti-corruption measures was given to fewer than 90 per cent of the employees and executives in 16 per cent of the targeted units. Measures to improve these training quotas have already been initiated.
  • Additionally, training for new employees working in risk-based positions (such as purchasers)

Governance of all the METRO GROUP units managed by the Corporate Legal Affairs & Compliance department