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.

At METRO, it is our vision is to deliver sustainable food solutions with superior added economic value for independent entrepreneurs. We embrace our environmental and social responsibility in order to ensure the long-term viability of METRO. When it comes to sustainable retail and food sourcing, METRO follows a clear vision: "We will become sustainable in everything we do." In the following you will find our variety of procurement policies and positions regarding sustainable procurement of METRO.

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.



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. METRO Cash & Carry has further specified this in its Palm Oil Procurement Policy.



Fish and Seafood

METRO promotes the long-term protection of fish stocks. We have drawn up a group-wide purchasing policy for sustainable fish procurement. METRO Cash & Carry has further specified this in its Fish and Seafood  Procurement Policy.

Paper and wood

METRO is campaigning against the deforestation of the rainforest. METRO Cash & Carry's purchasing policy for paper and wood products sets specific goals for the long-term protection of forest resources.

Commitment on cage free eggs for Own Brand assortment

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.

Genetically Modified Organisms

In the last years, the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has become increasingly important as the food assortment impacted by GMO has been enlarged tremendously. On a world scale, consumers as well as experts assess the use of modern biotechnology in food items in completely different ways. METRO GROUP knows these differences and respects the particular perspectives of the different countries and their consumers.


The diversity of species and their habitats is worth preserving, especially as animals and plants provide certain services that are essential for the production of food. For this reason, METRO supports the goals of the International Convention on Biological Diversity and contributes to the protection of biodiversity.


Health and nutrition policy

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.


As a global food company, METRO also sells soya products as well as meat and fish from soy-fed animals. We want to make sure that no soy used for or in the products we trade contributes to deforestation or social ills. That's why we've taken action on soy:

METRO has signed the Deforestation Resolution of the Consumer Goods Forum, which aims to achieve net zero deforestation by 2020.

In September 2017, nearly 50 Brazilian and international NGOs, foundations and research institutes launched the "Cerrado Manifesto" calling for immediate action against deforestation in the Cerrado region of Brazil. Global companies, including METRO AG, responded positively to this call.

METRO AG is a member of the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS); the Roundtable on Responsible Soy is a civil society organization committed to responsible production, processing and trade in soybeans worldwide. Members are the key representatives of the soybean value chain and members of civil society from around the world.

European Supply Chain Initiative

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.

Code of Conduct for Business Partners

The METRO Code of Conduct for Business Partners defines our fundamental principles in the areas of the environment, social affairs and business ethics. We expect our partners to fulfil this code in their daily cooperation with us.

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. We are a founding member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). In addition to the BSCI standards, under certain requirements METRO also accepts other standards and certificates as confirmation that social standards are met. Please see more in the overview document for downloading.

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 and no-name products, focusing on non-food products for now. 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:

  • experience of local purchasing companies
  • United Nations’ human development index
  • Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Since January 2017, new producers under the scope of our policy have been allowed to go on our books if they proof for an valid, acceptable and good audit report. For BSCI this means the audit result needs to be A, B or C. Since January 2019, all producers under the scope of our policy need to provide for such valid, acceptable and good audit report.

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)
  • RBA (Responsible Business Association (formerly 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.

Our goods and services have to tick all the right boxes by offering quality, safety, and sound social and environmental ethics – from their production and procurement to their useful lives and their disposal. With this in mind, we want to make the whole value chain sustainable and transparent.

For example, METRO takes a transparent approach to its procurement of products and its usage of resources. We ensure this by maintaining direct relationships with our business partners. We have also developed a cross-industry, international traceability solution together with cooperation partners and the standardisation organisation GS1 Germany.

Transparent supply chain for fish and meat

METRO is dedicated to taking a sustainable approach to sensitive product groups. This means, for instance, that customers of METRO Cash & Carry can find out where and how the fish they are buying was caught – quickly and easily using a smartphone app. In the future, it will also be possible to call up detailed data on numerous meat products, such as their origins, processing, quality and sustainability. This innovative solution is special because everyone from the producer to the vendor is involved. They each enter their product information in their own decentralised databases which are merged online. It is then possible to find specific product details via a search engine thanks to unique product identification.

The new traceability solution is based on international GS1 standards. This means it will be possible to add other product groups and databases in the future. All market players throughout the supply chain can take part, wherever they are in the world. METRO is considered exemplary in the battle against illegal fishing thanks to its use of modern traceability systems.

METRO wants to minimise waste - food and solid waste. It is important to us to think in life cycles and promote innovative manufacturing and recycling technologies. We advise our customers on how to dispose of products and packaging. This means raising awareness of conserving resources, providing information about avoiding waste, and incentivising and enabling correct disposal. Our involvement in the Retailers' Environmental Action Programme (REAP) is one example of our activities in this field. REAP is a joint platform of major European retailers and the European Commission (Directorate-General for Environment). It enables them to share their experiences and present exemplary environmental and resource management projects.

Logo Save FoodOne third of all food is either wasted or lost - an amount that would be enough to meet global food needs. Together with our partners along the value chain from industry, politics, civil society and our customers we aim to drive innovations, promote dialogue and kick off debates in order to generate solutions. This "from field to fork" approach is shared by many of our partners in this challenge, e.g. SAVE FOOD Initiative.

Sustainability Tree

How sustainable is METRO acting and in which areas does it want to further expand its commitment to the environment in the coming years? How large was the company's CO2 footprint in the past fiscal year and how much energy was already generated from renewable energies? Here we provide you with all information on our goals and key figures.