Procurement and product range composition

Procurement and product range composition

METRO is dedicated to putting its product range together responsibly. Our products should be safe, socially and ecologically sound, and meet our customers’ expectations.

We systematically define the requirements for sustainable supply chain and procurement management. We develop and implement guidelines. By doing so, we act with the future in mind, strengthen our procurement channels and ensure that our product range is sustainable.

... for sustainable procurement

METRO has drawn up a purchasing policy for its own brands. The aim is to source products sustainably. In terms of economic, environmental and social impacts.

... for palm oil

To source its palm oil sustainably, METRO has drawn up a palm oil purchasing policy. The aim is to use only certified sustainable palm oil in all our own brands by 2020.

... for sustainable fish

The new METRO promotes the long-term protection of fish stocks. We have drawn up a group-wide purchasing policy for sustainable fish procurement.

We have signed the BSCI Code of Conduct, which includes a wide range of social and environmental standards. We have appropriate measures in place to implement and uphold them.

The new METRO is actively involved in issues of health and nutrition, especially in relation to food products. We have drawn up guidelines that provide orientation for our sales brands.

METRO aims to ensure all Own Brand shell eggs and liquid egg products sourced 100 % cagefree by the end of 2022. Furthermore, METRO supports the improvement of farming conditions for laying hens by promoting alternative and more sustainable farming systems, e.g. floor and free-range systems.

The new METRO is a member of the European Supply Chain Initiative. The aim is to promote fair business practices along the supply chain and to implement best practices.

Fair and socially equitable working conditions

METRO consistently complies with social standards. Our aim is to identify and prevent violations of socially ethical working conditions. The key labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) are a fixed part of our procurement policy. In addition to this, we are a founding member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). This means we have undertaken to uphold fundamental human rights in the production and supply chain. The BSCI is one of the most efficient systems for ensuring safe, humane working conditions in emerging and developing countries.

Clear principles

The BSCI Code of Conduct comprises eleven principles:

  • The rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining are upheld
  • There is no discrimination
  • Statutory minimum wages and/or industry-standard wages are paid
  • Working hours comply with national legislation
  • The workplace is safe and healthy
  • Child labour is prohibited
  • There is special protection for young workers
  • No forms of precarious employment are used
  • There is no forced labour or disciplinary action
  • The environment is respected
  • There are guidelines to prevent bribery and corruption

Systematic audits

METRO wants to establish fair working conditions among the manufacturers of its own-brand products. Our aim is to conduct an audit of all the producers we work with in risk countries, based on either the BSCI standards or comparable standards. The BSCI has drawn up a list of risk countries. Classification as a risk country is based on various criteria: the experience of local purchasing companies, the United Nations’ human development index and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Since January 2017, only new producers with an acceptable audit report have been allowed to go on our books.

Standards and certificates

In addition to the BSCI standards, METRO accepts other standards and certificates as confirmation that social standards are met.

  • SA8000 (Social Accountability)
  • ICTI (International Council of Toy Industries)
  • ICS (Initiative Clause Sociale)
  • ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative), provided it is conducted in line with the SMETA guidelines (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit)
  • EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition)
  • FLA (Fair Labor Association)

Furthermore, as a first step, METRO accepts the following food-relevant standards/certifications to ensure compliance with social standards.

  • RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)
  • ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council)
  • BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices)

Fire protection and occupational safety training

In addition to our existing audits, we are involved in other activities. Our import company - METRO Sourcing - has implemented fire protection and occupational safety training courses for producers in Bangladesh and other risk countries in conjunction with our cooperative partners. We also want to improve building safety at textile factories in the production countries. To achieve this, we signed a special accord for the textile industry in Bangladesh in 2013. Its aim is to improve fire protection and enhance building safety. The accord was developed in conjunction with business representatives, trade unions and non-governmental organisations.

Deal-breaker process

In 2016, we defined a list of deal-breakers which rule out collaboration with external firms. These factors include child labour, forced labour, insufficient occupational safety - in particular, fire protection - and un ethical conduct. Suppliers and their producers who are found to violate the deal-breaker code are required by METRO to come up with short- and long-term solutions. No new or follow-up orders are placed until remedial action has been taken.