Limited Assurance Report of the Independent Auditor regarding Sustainability Information1
To the Management Board of METRO AG, Düsseldorf
We have performed an independent limited assurance engagement on the sustainability information published in the “Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2016/17” (further “Report”) for the business year 2016/17 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017) of METRO AG, Düsseldorf (further “METRO”), published online at www.metroag.de/cr-progress-2016-17.
It was not part of our engagement to review product and service related information, references to external websites and information sources, as well as future-related statements in the Report. As shown in the section social audits for own imports, certifications on manufacturing facilities of suppliers in 2016/17 were conducted by external certification firms mandated by METRO to ensure compliance with the environmental, social and health standards of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The reasonableness and accuracy of the conclusions from the performed audit / certification work was not part of our limited assurance procedures.
The legal representatives of METRO are responsible for the preparation of the Report and the determination and presentation of the information in accordance with the Reporting Criteria. METRO applies the principles and standard disclosures of the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Scope 1 and 2) and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard of World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development, supported by internal guidelines (further: Reporting Criteria).
This responsibility of the legal representatives includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the reported information and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual sustainability disclosures which are reasonable under the given circumstances.
Furthermore, the responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining systems and processes relevant for the preparation of the information in a way that is free of intended or unintended – material misstatements.
Independence and quality assurance on the part of the auditing firm
We are independent from the Company in accordance with the requirements of independence and quality assurance set out in legal provisions and professional pronouncements and have fulfilled our additional professional obligations in accordance with these requirements. Our audit firm applies the legal provisions and professional pronouncements for quality assurance, in particular the professional code for German Public Auditors and Chartered Accountants (in Germany) and the quality assurance standard of the German Institute of Public Auditors (Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer, IDW) regarding quality assurance requirements in audit practice (IDW QS 1), both in accordance with the International Standards on Quality Control, published by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion based on our work performed within a limited assurance engagement on the abovementioned information.
We conducted our work in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): “Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information” and the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3410: “Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements” of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). These standards require that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that above mentioned sustainability information published online at www.metroag.de/cr-progress-2016-17, for the period from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017, has not been prepared, in all material respects with the aforementioned Reporting Criteria. We do not, however, issue a separate conclusion for each sustainability disclosure. In a limited assurance engagement, the evidence gathering procedures are more limited than in a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore less assurance is obtained than in a reasonable assurance engagement. The choice of audit procedures is subject to the auditor’s own judgement.
Within the scope of our work, we performed amongst others the following procedures:
- Interviewing employees at Group level in order to gain an understanding of the process for determining material sustainability topics and the respective boundaries of METRO.
- A risk analysis, including a media search, to identify relevant sustainability aspects for METRO in the reporting period.
- Evaluation of the design and implementation of systems and processes for the collection, processing and controls of the selected sustainability performance indicators, including the consolidation of the data and the documentation of these activities.
- Interviews with relevant staff at Group level responsible for providing the data and information, carrying out internal control procedures and consolidating the data and information, including the explanations to the reported information.
- Visits to METRO AG, Düsseldorf, METRO Energy Management, METRO LOGISTICS Germany GmbH and METRO ADVERTISING GmbH, MAKRO Cash and Carry Polska S.A., Warszawa, (Poland), and real,- SB-Warenhaus GmbH, Mönchengladbach to assess local data collection and reporting processes and the reliability of the reported data.
- Visits to two stores of Real and METRO Cash & Carry to assess local data collection and reporting processes and the reliability of the reported occupational safety data.
- Evaluation of internal and external documentation to determine whether the qualitative and quantitative information is supported by sufficient evidence and is presented correctly and balanced.
- Analytical review of the data and trend explanations submitted by all sales divisions for consolidation at Group level.
- Evaluation of the overall presentation of the quantitative and qualitative information on the sustainability performance in scope of our assurance engagement.
Based on the procedures performed and the evidence received to obtain limited assurance, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the sustainability information in the Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2016/17 of METRO, published online at www.metroag.de/cr-progress-2016-17 for the business year 2016/2017, is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.
Purpose of the assurance report
This assurance report is issued based on an assurance engagement agreed upon with METRO. The assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance is conducted on behalf of METRO and the assurance report is solely for information purposes of METRO on the results of the assurance engagement.
This assurance report must not be used as a basis for (financial) decision-making by third parties of any kind. We have responsibility only towards METRO. We do not assume any responsibility towards third parties.
Düsseldorf, December 13, 2017 KPMG AG
[Original German version signed by:]
[German Public Auditor]
[German Public Auditor]
1 Our engagement applied to the German version of the Report 2016/17. This text is a translation of the Independent Assurance Report issued in German language, whereas the German text is authoritative.