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Climate Protection by METRO
Driven by Conviction, Community and Collaboration.
We are food experts with more than 55 years of experience, operating in 31 countries across the world, and employing around 87,000 people. Here we show you how we tackle climate change.
Climate protection target
Climate neutrality by 2040
In 2021, we already tightened our existing climate target: By 2040, we want to make our global business operations carbon neutral, mainly through our own initiatives. In financial year 2021/22, we have extended our climate protection target for 2040 to include emissions from our own logistics (transport and FSD). We also want to completely avoid and neutralise these emissions by 2040. With the 36.6% savings we have achieved so far compared to the baseline year 2011, we are on the right track. From October 2021 to September 2022, METRO generated 242 kg of CO2-equivalents per square metre of selling and delivery space. This compares to 241 kg in the same period last year.
METRO is driving forward an ambitious package of measures supported by investments in technology and innovation. In line with best practice, we are aiming to work on obtaining SBTi valudation for our 2040 climate neutrality target in the future.
To become climate neutral, METRO is investing in:
- Energy efficiency and renewable energies
- Switching to natural refrigerants in cooling
- the phase-our of fossil heat
- the expansion of photovoltaic systems
- the electrification of the company car fleet
- Zero emission model in new store construction.
In order to set an example for climate protection at the METRO Campus Düsseldorf and to make our contribution to the climate neutrality of the city of Düsseldorf, we signed the climate protection agreement ‘Düsseldorfer Klimapakt mit der Wirtschaft’ (Düsseldorf Climate Pact with Business) in financial year 2021/22, making us an official climate partner of the state capital Düsseldorf.
In 2019, METRO expanded the climate target to the supply chain and as the first German wholesale company set a recognised science-based target for itself. In it, METRO AG undertakes to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions by 60% per square metre of selling and delivery space by 2030 compared to 2011. A reduction of 33.5% has been achieved in this area since 2011. Furthermore, METRO AG is committed to reducing absolute Scope 3 CO2 emissions (supply chain) by 15% by 2030 compared to 2018. Our goals for Scope 1 and Scope 2 are thus in line with the reductions required to keep global warming well below 2 °C by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.
More information about METRO's climate action can be found in our Non-financial Statement
More information on METRO’s Climate protection target, our carbon footprint and our KPIs can be found here.
More information on METRO’s carbon footprint methodology can be found in the following PDF.
METRO conserves natural resources, for example in its use of refrigerants and paper, its facilities management, and the running of its logistics fleet. The METRO environmental guidelines form the basis for our actions.
Report on Low-Carbon Solutions in the Consumer Goods Sector
The consumer goods sector consisting of manufacturers, transporters and distributors is one of the largest sectors of economic activity today. Present in our daily lives with household products and food, it represents about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions across the whole value chain. This report showcases concrete examples of how the consumer goods sector is implementing low-carbon solutions. Solutions related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and technological innovation. In order to reduce their environmental footprint.
The METRO Water Policy outlines the overall strategy to protect water as a resource, the related METRO Water Action Plan puts the policy into implementation with actions including supply chain initiatives and detailed targets on water stewardship for our own operations.
Water protection target
METRO set a new water savings target in financial year 2021/22: By 2030, specific water consumption in its own business operations is expected to be reduced by 10% per square metre of net operating area compared to the base year 2020/21.
Since the greatest impact for water is also in the supply chain, we use the CDP Supply Chain Programme to recognise potential opportunities and risks with our suppliers at an early stage.
With regards to CDP reportings, METRO is also participating and rated in the areas of water protection. In the case of water, METRO was able to maintain a B rating in 2022. You can access our 2022 CDP Water submission under the download link.
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
Amount of solid waste and recycling rate
(in kg per m2 of selling and delivery space and in %)
The graphic shows the amount of solid waste (excl. food waste) generated in relation to the space used for sales and delivery operations. The recycling rate is calculated as the amount of solid waste destined for recycling, energy recovery and composting in relation to the amount of total waste. In 2021/22, the volume of solid waste (excl. food waste) at METRO in absolute terms, 182,554.231 t, marks an increase by 9.1% from the previous year. This can be broken down as follows:
- Waste for composting (1,957.18 t)
- Waste for energy recovery (10,020.41 t)
- Waste for landfill (16,676.75 t)
- Waste for recycling (101,502.2 t)
- Waste for special waste treatment, such as hazardous waste (1,068.74 t)
- Waste for unknown disposal (515.09 t)
- Waste without selected disposal route (50,813.90 t)
When we calculate the recycling rate, we do not take hazardous waste into account because we cannot systematically record the way in which it is treated (recycled or disposed of) in all of the countries in which we operate. However, based on information from several countries, most of the hazardous waste is also recycled. In reality, the recycling rate is therefore higher.
Read more about
- minimizing waste
- minimizing food waste
- optimization in packaging
Reduction of CO2 in own operations
In September 2017, METRO AG joined the Electric Vehicle 100 (EV100) initiative with other international companies. The aim of this initiative is to promote electric mobility. The initiative was founded by the Climate Group, an international association of regions and companies committed to an active climate policy. By joining the EV100 initiative, METRO has committed itself to advancing the expansion of charging infrastructure, including the parking lots of local METRO stores to 1,000 charging points till 2030. The wholesale specialist also promotes electric mobility in its own fleet of vehicles to reach nearly 100% availability of electrical or high-quality hybrid vehicles by 2030.
METRO’s approach towards deforestation-free supply chains
One of the drivers of climate change is deforestation – the loss of natural forest and vegetation as a result of conversion to agricultural or other non-forest land use for instance. Additionally, deforestation is often linked to other ecological and social issues like biodiversity loss and a breach of social standards of local people, if the original inhabitants of the forests are forced to leave their homes.
Deforestation is an important topic for the food sector as it is mainly driven by the production of soy, palm oil, meat, cocoa as well as paper and wood.METRO trades products that are made of or contain these commodities. As a wholesaler and as a part of the supply chain of products we source, we want to transform the way how these commodities are sourced, and we want to take action to end deforestation. This also contributes to the sustainability of our customers’ business as we enable our customers to make more sustainable choices when they buy with us.
We acknowledge the global frameworks of the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Global Compact, and our approach towards deforestation-free supply chains builds on collaboration in the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 17. We have set commitments individually in dedicated sourcing policies on soy, palm oil, paper & wood and on meat, and we work on best practices in cocoa, but we believe that because of the complexity and interdependency of supply chains, only common, collaborative initiatives can lead to sustainable effects and that only then our lever is equally effective. This is why we collaborate with other actors along the supply chains of commodities like soy, palm oil, meat, cocoa, paper and wood, as well as with other wholesalers and retailers, and representatives of governments and NGOs.
Important elements of our collaborative initiatives are our memberships, actions and commitments around zero deforestation within the Consumer Goods Forum and its Coalition of Action, the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) of the World Economic Forum, the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), the Soy Transparency Coalition (STC), the Retail Cocoa Collaboration (RCC), the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC), and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as well as our Statement of Support for the Cerrado Manifesto and certification systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC ©) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). By means of these networks, best practices can be shared, and greater transparency of supply chains is supported.
Action is needed on various levels within the relevant supply chains: working with farmers, producers, traders, suppliers, and manufacturers to enable them to meet the requirements are important steps to reach deforestation free supply chains, and so are certification schemes. But we also need to constantly look at the specific landscape areas where those actors operate and at the environmental, social, economic, and governmental circumstances of that area, otherwise actions will not bring the wished-for long-term success.
In order to check if what we do is meeting the expectations of the market, we openly disclose our activities, for example in the CDP Forest questionnaire and within the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition, in addition we learn from the assessment of independent third parties and talks with NGOs.
On this page you will find the 4 Metro policies on sustainable sourcing that are relevant to deforestation: soy, palm, paper & wood, and meat. To implement these policies, we work in collaboration with our suppliers and their supply chains, both as an individual company, and, as stated, in various collaborations, especially in the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition.
METRO also participates in CDP Forests index. In 2 evaluated categories in the area of forests, METRO is better than the industry average (palm oil and soy): palm oil was rated B, paper and soy B-, cattle C. See our CDP Forests 2022 submission below.
Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has created the Forest Positive Coalition of Action (FPC), led by 21 companies with a collective market value of around US$2 trillion, to leverage collective action and accelerate systemic efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains, while supporting sustainable forest management, conservation, and restoration.
METRO is an active member in the Forest Positive Coalition of Action, participating in 3 of the 4 working groups of the coalition: palm, soy, and beef.
The Forest Positive Coalition was launched to leverage the collective action of its member companies to use their collective influence to drive and accelerate efforts to remove deforestation, forest conversion and degradation, from not only their own commodity supply chains, but across their suppliers’ entire supply base. The Coalition believes that its collective reach will enable members to make progress on four goals: 1. Accelerate efforts to remove commodity-driven deforestation from individual supply chains; 2. Set higher expectations for traders to act across their entire supply base; 3. Drive transformational change in key commodity landscapes; 4. Define measurable outcomes on which all members agree to track and report individually and collectively.
Coalition members recognize that being a forest positive business means making systemic efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains, while supporting sustainable forest management and restoration, to ensure the business is positively impacting the world’s forests, supporting the rights of workers and local communities, and improving their livelihoods.
The Coalition is supported by the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) and Proforest, both of which provide key logistical, and implementation support. The Coalition also works with the CGF’s Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour (HRC) to align the Coalition’s Theory of Change, Roadmaps, and strategies with the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles against forced labour.
More information on the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition of Action and roadmaps per working group can be found here.
As member of the Forest Positive Coalition of Action, METRO reports on actions to end deforestation and conversion in our soy, palm, beef, and paper & wood supply chains. These actions include:
- Regular reporting against key KPIs to foster transparency and accountability. Most recent reporting per commodity can be found below.
- Supplier and Trader Engagement: Supplier Engagement is one of our key pillars to work towards zero deforestation and conversion free within our supply chain across the different commodities. Our primarily focus is own brand suppliers and understanding our own supply base including footprint, origins, and risk of deforestation or conversion. Furthermore, through different initiatives as the Forest Positive Coalition, and in collaboration with NGOS’s, we also engage with A-brand suppliers.
- Landscape Initiatives: To complement our effort beyond our supply chain, and recognizing the importance of multi-stakeholder work, we are committed to support initiatives delivering forest positive development at landscape level. sSince 2021 METRO has engaged financially with 2 Landscapes Projects in key sourcing origins. With the objective to address deforestation and land use, and improving smallholder livelihoods. The initiatives are:
Initiative Raw material Partner Low-carbon regenerative agricultural production systems in the Cerrado biome Soy & Beef Conservation International Stopping Deforestation and Advancing Sustainability in West Kalimantan Palm oil Rainforest Alliance
- Government Engagement and advocacy: As a European food wholesaler, we have also taken a stand on the European Commision’s new regulation to minimize EU-Driven deforestation. Read more here.
Following our Metro Soy Procurement Policy (2019), we work on zero deforestation and conversion free within our soy supply chains by 2025 latest. For this, we engage with our suppliers, focusing on own brand (private label) products with both soy as a main ingredient or as animal feed.
As member of the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Soy Working Group we produced a roadmap with tangible actions to reach zero deforestation and conversion free supply chains. Please find here our Soy Procurement Policy, as well as an overview of our most recent reporting status on the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition KPI’s.
Following our METRO Palm Oil Procurement Policy, we work towards sustainable palm oil in products in our supply chain. For METRO Germany for instance, all palm oil in our local own brand food products has been 100% RSPO certified ‘segregated’, meaning zero deforestation, since 2018. Together with our Dutch supplier of frozen French fries, Farm Frites, we also reached 100% RSPO certified segregated palm oil.
Together with several other manufacturers and retailers, we currently work on more transparency in the palm oil supply chain within the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC), facilitated by experts 3Keel.
We publicly report on the progress made against our palm oil commitment in the annual ACOP report of the RSPO, showing the overall palm oil volumes and the share of certification. This information is also published here.
Please find here our Palm Procurement Policy, as well as an overview of our most recent reporting status on the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition KPI’s for the Palm Working Group.
Paper & Wood
Paper and wood products are also drivers of deforestation and conversion. Therefore, since 2012, METRO committed to more sustainable products from paper and wood via our Paper and Wood Procurement Policy. Through this Policy, we aim to ensure that 100% of our own-brand products made from wood or wood fibre originate from legal and responsibly managed forests by the end of 2023. Products made from virgin fibre have to be certified in accordance with a third-party forest certification scheme: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC). METRO is also committed to reduce the environmental impact of its Own Brand packaging products during the whole product life cycle. This accounts for our primary and secondary packaging where we aim for a 100% FSC® / PEFC certification or at minimum 70% recycled content.
Through these commitments we want to ensure that the material is harvested in compliance with applicable legislation in force in the country of harvest; that the forest has been managed in compliance with the principles of sustainable forest management- which balance social, economic and ecological needs; and that traditional and civil rights of indigenous people, local communities and workers who benefit from the forest management and production are respected and protected. Furthermore, we aim to ensure that ecosystems, biodiversity and ecological processes are maintained or restored, especially with regard to forests of high conservation value, and a that a proper management plan and a corresponding monitoring process are implemented and documented.
Please find here our Paper and Wood Procurement Policy, as well as an overview of our most recent reporting status on the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition KPI’s for the Paper & Wood Working Group.
Within the scope of our Meat Procurement Policy, Beef has a special focus to ensure that it does not contribute to deforestation or forest conversion. We will align our actions with the Forest Positive Coalition goals.