Global context

Knowing about the interconnectedness of things

METRO is part of an economic, social and environmental fabric. Global challenges, emerging risks and respective opportunities as well as internationally accepted guidelines that characterize our economic, social and ecological environment are therefore also relevant to our business activities.

Global challenges

The global challenges which our society is facing also have an impact on METRO and its segments. After all, providing high-quality products and services to customers all over the world is our core business. The basis for this is an intact environment and the availability of resources as well as disruption-free and socially compliant supply chains.

To anticipate impacts of such challenges at an early stage and to remain capable of sustaining our business, we identify and monitor emerging risks in the field of environmental and social risks and the influence of extreme weather conditions due to climate change as well as macroeconomic, societal and political risks with regards to disruption of supply chains and food supplies but also linked opportunities through our materiality analysis.

Cascading global challenges and emerging risks into efficient handling, METRO’s sustainability management is closely linked to our opportunity and risk management through formalised reporting and assessment of sustainability-related opportunities and risks. This enables the Management Board to systematically identify, evaluate and control deviations from the sustainability goals and the associated opportunities and risks.

Growing global population

Global population growth is one of the biggest challenges as it impacts resource consumption, the climate as well as the food availability and nutrition situation. According to forecasts by the United Nations, approximately 9.7 billion people will live on earth by 2050. In order to meet their needs, agriculture will have to produce nearly 50% more food, animal feed and biofuels in 2050 than in 2012.

Also, with increasing prosperity, eating habits change as well. There will be an increase in the need for meat, for example, a production particularly resource-intensive.

9.7billion people

in 2050, 7.7 in 2019

(Source: United Nations)

83in millions or 1.08%

annual increase of people

 (Source: United Nations)

Increase in the global population by 2050
Increase in the global population by 2050
Required increase in harvest yields by 2050
Required increase in harvest yields by 2050
Due to growing prosperity and hence a rising need for animal proteins and energy (University of Minnesota)

Growing consumption of resources

required to cover our resource consumption

Growing consumption of resources

We already today consume considerably more resources per annum than our planet can provide sustainably. If this consumption rate continued unabated, by 2050 we will need 3 planets like the earth to meet the demand for resources. The pressure on the earth’s sustainability is mounting.

In the long run, METRO can only safeguard the foundations of its business if it manages to separate conventional growth in pure economic terms from the resource requirements. Instead, sustainable growth focuses on qualitative growth through sustainable value creation. Sustainable business for us therefore means improving our ‘foodprint’ while minimising our footprint. In this manner, we generate added value for our customers and strive to give our contribution to mastering global challenges in society as a whole. We are working towards meeting those challenges by living up to our sustainability approach METRO SUSTAINABLE and by acting upon our 8 strategic sustainability focus areas we strive to drive operational excellence in a sustainable way.

Global framework

We are guided by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These we consider our global yet concrete framework when it comes to sustainable action.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Our 3 ESG priorities support the SDGs, particularly

  • Goal 2 (Zero Hunger)
  • Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)
  • Goal 13 (Climate Action) and
  • Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)

and play a part in achieving them.

Our wide range of activities and the interrelationship between individual projects and the individual SDGs lead to the effect that our sustainability activities contribute to the 17 goals of the global agenda.

By taking this framework into account, we emphasise our conduct as a responsible company with global and local operations. METRO sees itself as value-generating part of society and as such plays an active part in achieving sustainable development on an economic, social and environmental level.

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