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

  • Key labour standards of the ILO (International Labour Organization), embedded in a variety of corporate guidelines
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, embedded in a variety of corporate guidelines
  • International standards throughout the supply chain (amfori BSCI, Sedex SMETA, RSPO etc.)
  • METRO Business Principles
  • Code of Conduct for Business Partners
  • METRO Human Rights Guidelines in its own business operations and entire supply chain
  • METRO Anti-discrimination tenet
  • Policy social standards for all own brand suppliers producing in risk countries
  • Social standards clause in supplier contracts
  • The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
  • METRO guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership
  • The Consumer Goods Forum Resolution on Forced Labour
  • The Consumer Goods Forum Resolution on Health & Wellness
  • The colour-coding highlights the corresponding measures and achievements
  • Items with this bullet point do not have any corresponding passages

Measures 2019/20

  • Continuous auditing of non-food, near-food and food producers according to Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (Amfori BSCI), sedex audit according to SMETA or equivalent social standard systems. In accordance with a risk approach, this applies to all producers in defined risk countries (according to Amfori BSCI assessment) in METRO Sourcing International (MSI) and METRO Food Sourcing (MFS) have imported goods manufactured, as well as to all producers who produce private label or own-import articles for our sales divisions. The national companies were trained in the roll-out for near-food and food suppliers (valid since June 1, 2019) and are to be gradually integrated into the process over the next 1-2 years.
  • Training of suppliers in the reporting year on aspects of the implementation of fair working conditions and human rights. This was especially important during the Covid-19 crisis, as it allowed us to compensate for the absence of Amfori BSCI and Sedex audits by taking bridging measures: we offered support to producers with questionnaires, instructions and discussions, fulfilling our duty of care to give weight to respect for human rights even without audits.
  • Training for employees in key positions, especially on the subject of forced labor. The training content is based on our commitments to the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Human Rights Charter, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights, as well as the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
  • Participation in the benchmarking process of the Social Standards Compliance Initiative of the Consumer Goods Forum.
  • METRO is still a member of the agreement on fire protection and building security in Bangladesh.
  • Auditing of the METRO national companies for compliance with the guidelines on fair working conditions and social partnership (FWC & SP).
  • Developing of various occupational safety measures.
  • Various events organized by the employee network “Women in Trade (WiT)”, which are designed to help increase the proportion of women in management positions on a sustainable basis, promote internal and external dialog and create better conditions for women in the Group. 6 WiT country networks are active in France, Portugal, Japan, Pakistan, Germany and Bulgaria. The number of network members at the Düsseldorf location is now around 600.
  • In the process of revising the strategy and due the positive development in terms of achieving the goal of increasing the share of women in management positions at METRO AG and METRO Wholesale, we have shortened the target achievement date of the current gender targets set by the Management Board on 26 July 2017 to 30 September 2020 (originally: 30 June 2022) and set new targets for September 2025. Until September 2025, METRO AG aims to have 25% women in the 1st management level below the Management Board and 40% in the 2nd management level below the Management Board. In addition, we have again voluntarily set ourselves a target for the proportion of women in management positions in our wholesale business. Until September 2025 the proportion of women in management positions on levels 1 to 3 (including store managers) should be 30% worldwide.
  • The METRO PRIDE employee network for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersexuals aims to raise awareness of the issues of sexual orientation and identity. In the fiscal year, the network was involved, among other things, in the initiative to amend the guideline “Hemotherapy for more non-discriminatory blood donation in Germany”.
  • Involvement in the LEAD (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) network, where METRO is a member since 2016. The non-profit network on European level is working for more women in the retail and consumer goods industry and to promote them in their careers in order to increase the proportion of women in management positions in these industries.
  • METRO offers all employees e-training on the topic of “Diversity & Inclusion”. During the fiscal year, 888 participants completed the training. The aim of the training is to ensure a common understanding of diversity & inclusion in general and at METRO. In addition, the eTraining highlights the importance of the topic in the business environment within METRO.
  • METRO organizes a discussion round, on the occasion of the German Diversity Day, in the METRO internal MORE Stage format.
  • METRO maintains a constant exchange with works councils and unions, nationally and internationally. Plenary meetings are held once a year with a training event for all employee representatives of the Euro Forum and up to three times a year with the steering committee of the METRO Euro Forum, our European Works Council and management representatives. There is also a regular social dialogue with the international trade union organization UNI Global Commerce at a global level, where, among other things, the commitment to fair working conditions and social partnership is discussed.

Achievements 2019/20

  • By 30 September 2020, 675 of 863 active private label non-food producers and 60 of 109 corresponding food/near-food producers had been audited. Of these, 99% (665) of non-food producers and 100% (60) of food/near-food producers passed the audit.
  • In the reporting year METRO Sourcing International, trained 100 producers with 208 participants on the subject of human rights and fair working conditions. On the occasion of the Covid-19 pandemic, an additional 192 questionnaires and personal interviews were sent out and evaluated on the subject of economic, but also social challenges in connection with the pandemic, and appropriate measures, like extended payment terms, were agreed.
  • Training course for employees in key positions, especially on the subject of forced labor: since the start of the project in fiscal year 2017/18, the national companies in Turkey, Pakistan, Ukraine and Bulgaria have taken part, and in fiscal year 2019/20 Spain, Serbia, Croatia and Myanmar.
  • As of September 30, 2020, the factories reported in the agreement on fire protection and building security in Bangladesh that produce for METRO Sourcing International and/or METRO national companies have completed 95% of their points for improvement.
  • Since fiscal year 2016/17, detailed audits on compliance with METRO’s FWC & SP principles have taken place at 15 national companies (head offices, stores and distribution centers) (Pakistan, Bulgaria, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, India, Slovakia, Moldova, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Portugal and France). This audit based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and, in addition to the 7 global METRO FWC & SP Principles, also covers, among other things, employee data protection and the quality of employee involvement and communication. Due to Covid-19, no on-site audits were carried out in the reporting period. Instead, the audit procedure was changed and a survey on the FWC & SP Principles was conducted from May to July 2020. Thereafter, limited audits were conducted at 5 selected METRO companies. The aim was to assess the current status of implementation of the FWC & SP Principles in key units and to make recommendations for improving the FWC & SP process.
  • Approval of the new METRO Group-wide Operational Safety Management System (OSMS) OSMS guidelines (approved by Management Board on 8 September 2020) and the OSMS manual (publication at the end of calendar year 2020). The guideline structures the safety environment of METRO in accordance with ISO 45001 requirements (“Occupational Safety Management Systems”). It was developed to establish global guidelines and processes for operational safety management in the company and provides an overarching structure, basic text and common terms with core definitions. It serves as a framework to enable METRO units to effectively manage operational safety. The handbook will support the units in developing and implementing an effective OSMS. It provides practical tools for processes and procedures involved in the development, implementation and maturation of operational safety management systems and provides information on how the operational safety management system can be used to improve the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of the unit.
  • additional services to increase occupational safety:
    • Training and information campaigns to reduce safety incidents
    • Implementation of the annual health and safety
    • Certification of METRO Ukraine according to ISO 45001
    • Developing a procedure for managing contractors in Makro Belgium
    • Establishing the “golden safety rules” in METRO France
  • The proportion of women at management levels 1-3 METRO-wide was 25% at the reporting date on September 30, 2020. Ms. Andrea Euenheim has been a member of the Management Board since November 2019, which means that the target of having at least one woman on the Management Board as of June 30, 2022, has already been reached ahead of schedule. In addition, the target for June 30, 2022, of a 35% share of women at the 2nd management level below the Executive Board was already achieved at September 30, 2020, with a proportion of 36%.
  • Various activities of the employee network WiT:
    • Implementation of the annual WiT conference with 80 participants in different workshops and discussion formats
    • Monthly digital Lunch & Learn Meetings with up to 20 participants
    • 24 participants in the training “The Brand ICH”
  • Various activities of the employee network METRO PRIDE:
    • 2 METRO employees are represented on the TOP 100 OUT EXECUTIVES list 2019, 1 METRO employee takes second place on the TOP 20 FUTURE LEADER list 2019 This is a joint project of the PROUT AT WORK Foundation and UHLALA GmbH. The project aims to make LGBT+ visible as role models.
    • METRO, together with PROUT-AT-WORK and 12 other companies, publishes a position paper on easing discriminatory restrictions on blood donations for homosexuals, bisexual men and trans*People.
    • METRO is founding partner of We stay Pride. The LGBT+ Employer Excellence Program of the UHLALA Group supports companies in living diversity all year round. The 12-month program bundles the offers and brands of the UHLALA Group for member companies and helps to firmly anchor LGBT+ diversity in the corporate culture. The program makes it possible to make diversity and successes within and outside the partner companies tangible and visible.
  • Olaf Koch, CEO METRO AG, signed the CEO Pledge of the LEAD network. With his signature METRO commits itself to promote gender equality and inclusion in the retail and consumer goods industry (CPG).
  • The colour-coding highlights the corresponding measures and achievements
  • Items with this bullet point do not have any corresponding passages