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METRO ist ein internationales As such, METRO has a significant global presence. However, this presence extends far beyond store doors; the activities that METRO induces along its value chain can have significant impacts. Their activities have implications for environmental and social sustainability, but they also contribute to economic benefits for hundreds of suppliers and thousands of customers. Understanding the breadth of METRO’s global influence required a holistic approach – how can we compare the economic value generated by suppliers and customers with the impacts on human and ecosystem health and well-being from harmful emissions, resource use and potentially exploitative labor? And how can we do so for all impacts from farm to plate? From the rearing and planting of agricultural resources, through the entire process of converting them to products that METRO sells, the activities of operating METRO’s stores, down to the impacts of the businesses that METRO supplies – those in the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and catering) and Traders (reseller) sectors?


This challenge was met with a Sustainability Accounting assessment of the value chain of METRO’s product assortment – a measurement of economic, social and environmental impacts conducted in the language business best understands – that of monetary value. This enabled METRO to compare many different types of impacts on a common footing. The results of the study indicated that for every €3 of economic value created by METRO, there is an associated €1 of negative impacts on society and the environment from the use of natural and social capital. Viewed as a net result, METRO’s activities across the value chain bring slightly less than €1 of net positive impacts for each €1 of turnover. Stated simply – METRO’s global contribution is net positive. This study was prepared using the guidance of the Natural Capital Protocol and the draft version of the Social & Human Capital Protocol. The results of such an assessment are not intended to be interpreted in the same way as financial results; they do not represent a cost or liability to METRO in the conventional sense. Rather, they are a novel and more holistic way of estimating a business’ influence on the economy, environment and ultimately society.


Our project was recognized as a “Leading Practice Example” in the food sector by RobecoSAM and contributed to METRO winning the title of Industry Leader in the “Food and Staples Retailing” category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, for the 4th year in a row. This project built on our previous work with METRO, which again contributed to METRO being crowned Industry Leader by the DJSI.

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