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

METRO Business Principles

METRO Human Rights Policy in its own business operations and entire value chain

Anti-discrimination tenet

METRO guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership

Code of Conduct for Business Partners

International standards throughout the supply chain (amfori BSCI, Sedex SMETA, RSPO etc.)

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh 2.0

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

Policy social standards for all own brand suppliers producing in risk countries

Measures 2018/19

The producers in defined risk countries (according to the assessment of the amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative [BSCI]) in which METRO own brands or own imports in non-food areas are manufactured, are supported in implementing the amfori BSCI standard or an equivalent system of social standards. As of 1 June 2019 the same requirements were also introduced analogously for all own-brand food and near-food producers. METRO Wholesale country organisations are requested to develop country specific roadmaps for implementation.

Auditing of the METRO wholesale country organisations for compliance with guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership. The project is designed to run until 2020 with the aim of auditing all METRO wholesale country organisations and continuous improvement. In financial year 2019/20 further audits are planned.

Occupational Health and Safety measures

Social dialogue at the local level is an important element in order for METRO to build up good labour relations.

METRO offers an e-learning on the topic of diversity and inclusion for all employees, with the aim of ensuring a common understanding of diversity and inclusion in general and explaning the business impact of diversity and inclusion of and on METRO in particular.

For the first time Diversity & Inclusion Days of METRO AG and METRONOM on campus in Düsseldorf to make diversity and inclusion in business context more tangible for employees. 350 participants discussed the 5 dimensions of diversity and inclusion. The days should berepeated in 2020.

Participation in the benchmarking process of the Social Standards Compliance Initiative of the Consumer Goods Forum.

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. According to the Supervisory Board's objectives, at least 1 female METRO AG Management Board member should be positioned by June 2022. With the current composition of 4 persons, this corresponds to a quota of 25%.

In 2018, METRO launched the Women Leadership Programme (WLP). Following the successful completion of a pilot programme in June 2018, the programme for METRO AG, METRO Wholesale and service companies was successfully rolled out in 2019.

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 7 foreign branches. Through local activities, the country networks in France, Portugal, Japan, Pakistan, Germany, Bulgaria and Poland contribute to the common goal. There are now around 650 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 been a member of PROUT AT WORK.
METRO AG and METRONOM have been exhibitors at the LGBT+ Sticks & Stones career fair since 2018.
Furthermore, since 2018 METRONOM is partner of "Unicorn in Tech". The format brings LGBT+ and the Tech Community together and reaches more than 3,900 members worldwide.

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

METRO AG and METRO-NOM are co-signees of the United Nations "Free & Equal Standards of Conduct for Businesses" since 2018. The aim of these Standards of Conduct is to guarantee the freedom and equality of all employees and ensure that they don’t experience discrimination of any kind – at the company itself, in associated collectives or by suppliers.

For details of active involvement in the areas of diversity and inclusion, occupational health and safety, and employer-employee relations, see also the ‘employees’ chapter of the Annual Report 2018/2019.

Achievements 2018/19

Of the 1.077 audited own brand non-food producers 99% passed the audit.

In addition to the training programmes offered by amfori BSCI, 70 producers with 126 participants were trained by METRO Sourcing and METRO Turkey.

In order to comply with our due diligence, the 2018 with amfori BSCI co-created training on the subject of human rights / forced labour was piloted at METRO Turkey and METRO Pakistan and further rolled out in METRO Ukraine and METRO Bulgaria. The content of this training takes into consideration our commitment to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, International Bill of Human Rights, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights as well as the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

As part of the audit of compliance with the principles of fair working conditions and social partnership, both the head offices and three METRO stores and a distribution centre are visited with a special focus on occupational safety. Risks and deficiencies are recorded in the report and are to be remedied as quickly as possible.

Sales of fair-trade products within the sales line METRO in Germany came to approx. € 2,3 million. This figure includes items featuring the Fairtrade or the GEPA label.

To fulfil our due diligence, in 2016 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 international METRO wholesale country organisations (stores, head offices and METRO distribution centres) 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. As these METRO guidelines explicitly include the employees of third-party contractors on our company grounds, these employees are also included in our audits. 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 Wholesale organisations worldwide by 2020 in order to identify weaknesses, develop countermeasures and ultimately translate these into a sustainable process, as well as to create sustained awareness of these issues. The first audits were carried out in 2014 in the METRO countries Turkey, Poland and Austria with the assistance of the Group Internal Audit department. In October 2016, a pilot was conducted in the Ukraine. The full project was launched in 2017. Until end of FY 2018/19 audits have been conducted in METRO countries Pakistan, Bulgaria, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, India, Slovakia, Moldova, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Kazachstan, Portugal and France.

As of 30 September 2019, the factories reported in the Bangladesh Accord that produce for METRO Sourcing and/or Wholesale subsidiaries have completed 93% of their findings for improvement.

The principles of fair labour conditions and social partnership include the freedom of association and the recognition of the right to collective bargaining. In the scope of the audit on the adherence to the principles of fair labour conditions and social partnership, anonymised discussions were held with labour representatives/trade union members, our own employees and employees of third-party suppliers in order to determine how the principle of the freedom of association is being implemented in the respective country, and whether and to what extent a structured and regular social dialogue is taking place. Furthermore, 3 to 4 meetings of the European Works Councils are held annually to facilitate exchange between various countries and General Management.

Furthermore the European workers councils meet 3-4 times a year to foster exchange between countries and the maangement board.

Membership with Sedex since June 2019

To make people more aware of the fact that occupational health and safety is the responsibility of all employees, we have taken part since 2016 in the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO), with various employee activities. A number of countries conducted activities related to these events at a later time.

The proportion of women at management levels 1 to 3 was 24.2% on the reporting date, 30 September 2019.