Human rights and labour standards

PRINCIPLE 1: Support for human rights

PRINCIPLE 2: Elimination of human rights abuses

PRINCIPLE 3: Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

PRINCIPLE 4: Elimination of all forms of forced labour

PRINCIPLE 5: Abolition of child labour

PRINCIPLE 6: Elimination of discrimination

Commitments and management systems


Measures 2016/17


Achievements 2016/17

METRO Business Principles

Anti-discrimination guidelines

METRO guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership

International standards throughout the supply chain (BSCI)

The 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

Code of Conduct for Business Partners


The producers in defined risk countries (according to the assessment of the Business Social Compliance Initiative [BSCI]) in which METRO own brands or own imports in non-food areas are manufactured, are supported in implementing the BSCI standard or an equivalent system of social standards.

Auditing of the country organisations for compliance with guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership. Project to run until 2020 with the aim of auditing 6/7 country organisations annually.

Social dialogue at the local level is an important element in order for METRO 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 for all METRO AG and METRO Cash & Carry employees regarding inclusion and diversity, supported by workshops and an e-learning module.

METRO is a member of Charta der Vielfalt e. V. As a member of the Rhine-Ruhr Diversity Network, METRO 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 fifth Diversity Day. Some 100 managers from the member companies were invited to experience the importance of this issue for their management tasks in many different ways.

By 30 June 2022, the proportion of women within METRO AG is to reach at least 20% in the first management level below the Management Board, and at least 35% in the second level below the Management Board.

The employee network Women in Trade (WiT) 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. WiT has opened 2 foreign branches. Through local activities, the country networks in France and Portugal contribute to the common goal. There are now around 475 network members in the Düsseldorf location.

The employee network METRO PRIDE for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people aims to raise awareness of the topics of sexual orientation and identity.

Since 2017, METRO AG has additionally been a member of PROUT AT WORK.

Since 2016, METRO AG has additionally been a member of the international LEAD Network.

For details of active involvement in the areas of inclusion and diversity, occupational health and safety, and employer-employee relations, see also the employees in the Annual Report 2016/17.


Of the 1,218 audited BSCI-relevant factories, 89% passed the social audit in accordance with BSCI specifications.

In addition to the training programmes offered by BSCI, approximately 450 producers were trained by MGB Hong Kong.

See key figure for social audits related to METRO own brands or own imports in the non-food areas.

Sales of fair-trade products within the METRO Cash & Carry and Real sales lines in Germany came to just under €16 million. This figure includes items featuring the Fairtrade or the GEPA label.

To fulfil our due diligence, we launched a project to audit country organisations with regard to adherence to the principles of fair labour conditions and social partnership. In the framework of the project, our stores, offices and distribution centres in the METRO countries are audited. This expanded auditing is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and – along with the 7 global principles of METRO concerning fair labour conditions and social partnership – encompasses issues including employee data protection and the quality of integration of, and communication with, employees. The auditing process is designed to ensure that our companies are not involved, either directly or indirectly, in human rights violations. Our goal is to audit all METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry organisations worldwide by 2020. We want to identify possible weaknesses and develop countermeasures. The audits were launched in 2014 in the METRO Cash & Carry countries Turkey, Poland and Austria. In October 2016, the second pilot was conducted in the Ukraine. In 2017, additional audits took place in the METRO Cash & Carry countries Pakistan, Bulgaria, China, Japan, Hungary, Italy and Serbia.

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

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 2016/17. 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 21.6% on the reporting date, 30 September 2017.

Successful external audit of the employee-related KPIs