The past financial year was a remarkable year. In many respects, but especially with regard to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We witness how the entire economic and social landscape is being disrupted, be it by economic and social constraints, uncertainty and concern about the future, but also by new ways of working together and mutual support.
Against the background of unimagined economic challenges for our business and thus for all the people who work with and for us, it is more important than ever for us to keep an eye on the well-being of our customers and partners as well as social interaction with one another. It is a question of maintaining a balance between what is so urgently needed economically – continuing the business with great commitment, supporting our customers and stimulating the economy again – and what is expected of us as a responsible company from a social and environmental point of view. Like a magnifying glass, the pandemic has brought to light a wide range of circumstances which, under massive pressure, are now clearly showing their impact: whether it is disrupted supply chains, the effects of climate change and the threat to biodiversity as a risk to a secure supply of resources in the future, as well as the particular importance of trade as a supplier and the benefits of digital solutions for our customers or the way we work together.
Times like these hold great opportunities in addition to all the challenges. May those be opportunities to pause for a moment, to make people aware of what they take for granted and what they have missed out on or to rethink and adapt concepts. More than ever, we need to set an example for responsible behavior towards the planet and for a caring coexistence. It is ultimately and above all, a chance for a new approach – an approach towards an improvement of the “new normal”. Because now is the time: time for more sustainability.
In this report we are proud to present the fruits of initiatives that we have long fostered and nurtured. To this end, we present new projects that were started or continued in the last financial year despite or even in view of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. METRO succeeds in all of this together with our roughly 98,000 very engaged employees as well as our customers and all other partners in our value chain. The Sustainability Agenda 2030 and the principles of the United Nations Global Compact provide us with the global framework. Based on our sustainability approach METRO SUSTAINABLE, our sustainability strategy translates this into our operational business. Our focus areas range from sustainable procurement and product assortment on our shelves up to the debate about innovative products for more conscious consumption. We work on a wide range of climate protection measures and more diversity among our employees and join forces with our partners along the supply chain in our efforts to protect human rights and combat food waste.
This is how we work on our sustainable business model and on making the “new normal” more sustainable: united in responsibility and aware of the possibilities that change brings.
The Management Board of METRO AG