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 2018/19” (further “Report”) for the period October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 of METRO AG, Düsseldorf (further “METRO”), published online at http://www.metroag.de/cr-report-2018-19/.
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 disclosed in the section ‘Social audits’, certifications on manufacturing facilities of suppliers were conducted by external certification firms mandated by METRO to ensure compliance with the environmental, social and health standards of the amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) or equivalent standards. The appropriateness and accuracy of the conclusions from the audit/certification work performed was not part of our limited assurance procedures.
The management board of METRO is responsible for the preparation of the Report and the determination and presentation of the sustainability information in accordance with the Reporting Criteria. METRO applies the principles and standard disclosures of the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), 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 management board includes the selection and application of appropriate methods to prepare the Report and the use of assumptions and estimates for individual disclosures, which are reasonable under the given circumstances. Furthermore, the responsibility includes designing, implementing and maintaining internal controls deemed relevant for the preparation of the Report 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).
It is our responsibility to express a conclusion based on our work performed as a limited assurance engagement for the Report.
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 us to plan and perform the assurance engagement to allow us to conclude with limited assurance that no matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the Report was not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria. We do not 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:
- Interviews of group-level employees responsible for the materiality analysis in order to get an understanding of the process for identifying material topics and respective reporting boundaries for METRO.
- A risk assessment, including a media research, of relevant information about the sustainability performance of METRO in the reporting period.
- Evaluation of the design and implementation of systems and processes for the collection, processing and monitoring of disclosures on environmental, employee and social matters, human rights, corruption and bribery, including data consolidation.
- Inquiries of personnel at group level who are responsible for determining disclosures on concepts, due diligence processes, results and risks, the implementation of internal controls and the consolidation of disclosures.
- Evaluation of selected internal and external documents.
- An analytical review including trend analyses of the quantitative data submitted by all sites for consolidation at Group level.
- Assessment of local data collection and reporting processes and reliability of reported data via a sampling survey at METRO AG, METRO Energy Management, METRO LOGISTICS, MCC France, MCC Bulgaria (via videoconference).
- Assessment of the overall presentation of the disclosures.
Based on the procedures performed and the evidence received, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the sustainability information in the Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2018/19 of METRO, published online at http://www.metroag.de/cr-report-2018-19/ for the period October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019, is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.
Restriction of Use/Clause on General Engagement Terms
This report is issued for purposes of the Management Board of METRO AG, Düsseldorf, only. We assume no responsibility with regard to any third parties.
Our assignment for the Management Board of METRO AG, Düsseldorf, and professional liability is governed by the General Engagement Terms for Wirtschaftsprüfer and Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften (Allgemeine Auftragsbedingungen für Wirtschaftsprüfer und Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften) in the version dated January 1, 2017 (https://www.kpmg.de/bescheinigungen/lib/aab_english.pdf). By reading and using the information contained in this report, each recipient confirms notice of provisions of the General Engagement Terms (including the limitation of our liability for negligence to EUR 4 Mio as stipulated in No. 9) and accepts the validity of the General Engagement Terms with respect to us.
Frankfurt am Main, December 11, 2019
[Original German version signed by:]
[German Public Auditor]
[German Public Auditor]
1 Our engagement applied to the German version of the Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2018/19. This text is a translation of the Independent Assurance Report issued in the German language, whereas the German text is authoritative.