Global challenges

The global challenges which our society is facing also have an impact on METRO and its segments. After all, our core business is providing high-quality products and services to customers the world over. The basis for this is an intact environment and the availability of resources.

Growing global population

Global population growth is one of the biggest challenges as it impacts resource consumption, the climate and the food situation. According to forecasts by the United Nations, approximately 9.7 billion people will live on earth by 2050. In order to meet their needs, agriculture would have to produce nearly 50% more food, animal feed and biofuels in 2050 than in 2012. Because with increasing prosperity, eating habits change as well. There will be an increase in the need for meat, for example, the production of which is particularly resource-intensive.

9.7 billion people
in 2050
(Source: United Nations)
82 Annual increase of
people in millions
(Source: United Nations)

Increase in the global population by 2050

Increase in world population (graphic)

Required increase in harvest yields by 2050

Increase in harvest quantities (graphic)

Growing consumption of resources

Increasing resource consumption (graphic)

(Sources:  Global Footprint NetworkWWF)

We already consume considerably more resources per annum than our planet can provide sustainably. If this consumption rate continued unabated, by 2050 we would need 3 planets like the earth to meet the demand for resources. The pressure on the earth’s sustainability is mounting.

In the long run, METRO can only safeguard the foundations of its business if it manages to separate growth from the resource requirements. Sustainable business for us therefore means improving our ‘foodprint’ while minimising our footprint.

We are working towards this by:

  • improving our procurement processes in terms of environmental and social criteria,
  • making our products and services more sustainable and offering efficient solutions to simplify our customers’ business activities,
  • optimising our own processes to use natural resources efficiently and responsibly in line with the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ principle, and to avoid (food) waste, and
  • raising awareness of these interrelationships among our employees (e.g. sustainability day), business partners (e.g. CDP supply chain programme water) and customers (e.g. roundtable METRO France).

In this manner, we generate added value for our customers and help master global challenges in society as a whole. METRO offers the framework for this with its corporate strategy and its sustainability approach METRO Sustainable. The sales lines implement their specific approaches at the operational level.