Management approach

Statements on how we deal with issues that have been identified as material according to the German Commercial Code (HGB) and which are therefore also considered material according to GRI can be found in the Non-Financial Statement (NFS) of the Annual Report 2019/20 and are not dealt with separately here. These include explanations of human resources strategy and development, the implementation of fair and safe working conditions in compliance with human rights within the business, the promotion of diversity and inclusion, information on the implementation of compliance and the protection of personal data, as well as statements on customer satisfaction and innovation management. In addition, the NFE contains information on topics that have an overlap with our 8 sustainable focus areas (Food Waste, Organic and Responsible Products, Conscious Proteins, Raw Material Sourcing, Packaging and Plastic, Climate Action, Human Rights and Diversity and Inclusion), including Human rights and fair working conditions in the value chain, diversity and equal opportunities, supplier development, sustainable economic development, energy consumption in our own operations and food waste in our own operations. These aspects are addressed within the 8 topics and are addressed below.

A detailed overview of where statements on management approaches are made with regard to the key topics can be found in the GRI Content Index.

Under METRO SUSTAINABLE we consider 8 strategic focus topics under which we subsume our activities related to our main topics The key focus areas include Food Waste, Organic and Responsible Products, Conscious Proteins, Raw Material Sourcing, Packaging and Plastic, Climate Action, Human Rights and Diversity and Inclusion. Those cover all aspects along the value chain that are important from a sustainability perspective – from sustainable sourcing and sustainable business operations to sustainable products and sustainable consumption, disposal or recycling up to the responsible interaction with people at the individual stages. We manage those focus areas because, we as wholesalers in the food sector, have influence on them with the ultimate goal of supporting our customers in transforming their own businesses towards sustainable business.

To make sure we conduct our core business successfully and satisfy the needs of our customers, we need energy and natural resources today as well as tomorrow. By taking a responsible approach to our use of finite resources such as fossil fuels and other raw materials, we can directly influence the cost of our business activities, anticipate future environmental regulations and make a contribution to the protection of the climate and resources.

Resource protection is also a key factor in the supply chain, particularly in the area of responsible sourcing and product range composition. As a retail company, we depend on resources being available in the long term. Because on the one hand the resources are directly the product we sell, on the other hand the raw materials are needed for the production of the products we offer and their packaging. To be able to protect resources, it is crucial to know their origin and the circumstances under which they were gained. Therefore, we are committed to transparent sourcing along the entire value chain, with the aim of generating added value for our customers through traceability. By introducing traceability and ensuring that our products are sourced responsibly, we are able to supply our customers with high-quality products, appropriate services and goods that are produced in the most socially responsible, environmentally sound and resource-friendly manner possible.

Supply chain (graphic)

In doing so, we are also strengthening local producer structures and regional development. Additionally, we pass our expertise in the fields of resource management, procurement and product range composition on to our partners, independent entrepreneurs, in order to generate long-term business perspectives and a competitive edge for them and for us. This is how we secure our future and promote sustainable procurement processes and responsible consumption.

In the area of human rights, we are committed to respecting all human rights as formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (UN) and in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This obligation refers to both our own employees and our business partners in our value chain. By ensuring decent living and working conditions, we want to take over responsibility in the supply chain. We respect, protect and support our employees. We enable them to integrate sustainability systematically into their everyday work and decisions. This is how we create a sustainable, attractive working environment that enables our employees to develop good working relationships with suppliers and offer our customers optimum, sustainable solutions that meet their needs.

In this way, we demonstrate how sustainable action is indispensable for future-proof business.