METRO is a people’s business, thus an active part of society, contributing to communities all over the world. Led by the firm conviction that we have the responsibility to give back, we constantly push forward the sustainability movement. We do this through partnerships and by being actively involved in social initiatives and environmental projects – worldwide. We are sponsor and donor. We support international emergency aid and charitable initiatives, sports, and cultural events. But most of all, we support our staff. Those, who are behind our activities. We foster their appreciation of the close link between METRO and society and strengthen their social skills and sense of personal responsibility. Because together we can do so much more.

Corporate Citizenship at METRO

Corporate Citizenship has a long tradition at METRO. We are committed to support the communities in which we live and operate. And we know first-hand that “doing the right thing” is equally as important to our employees. It creates a sense of pride and purpose to contribute to society through their work at METRO.

To this end, we foster trustful and often long-term partnerships with organisations with whom we share and expand our set of knowledge and expertise to jointly create impact and value in society. These partnerships are key for a business of our reach and scale. Our involvement as a Corporate Citizen can contribute to global goals – supporting the fight against hunger and the work of the UN World Food Programme for example. Partnerships can be allocated to Group level or support one region, one project at a time. In either case, each partnership and each project are carefully selected because we want to achieve an impact in line with our business purpose and our strategic sustainability goals, for example promoting responsible consumption while rigorously reducing food waste.

We want our employees to understand what our sustainability goals are by experiencing the impact for themselves. In this way, we ensure that every employee sees themselves as part of our sustainability strategy, as part of a committed community who understands the value of their skills and competencies as an empowerment to give back – and as an opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally. In numbers of FY 2019/20 this means: we have made cash contributions of 6.103.561€, we had employees volunteering during paid working time worth 50.000€ and we gave back to society by in-kind contributions through product and/or service donations, projects/partnerships or alike worth 51 m €.

World Food Programme

The UN World Food Programme is the world's largest organization in the fight against hunger around the world, and the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. METRO has been partnering with WFP since 2016, and in specific markets such as Italy as early as 2012, making it one of the longest standing METRO partnerships. METRO supports the work of the WFP towards a world without hunger in different ways, financially but also with expertise, training, and know-how.

The donation-based “School Feeding Programme” by WFP is one example that can be supported by our customers and employees financially. WFP offers free and healthy school meals in developing countries. These are a powerful incentive for parents to send their children to school on a regular basis. And because school meals are often sourced from local farmers, they can improve the economic condition of the wider community as well. To this end, our customers can support the WFP at selected times in fundraising campaigns through the purchase of specific products. Employees can support the work of the WFP financially through various channels, e.g. they can “share their meal” in the canteens or donate via payroll giving.

Furthermore, METRO encourages its employees to contribute with their trade knowledge and expertise in voluntary working groups to support the WFP's work on the ground. METRO AG as well as its tech-unit METRO Digital support WFP’s mission in volunteer consultation projects by sharing expertise to build capacity. In 2017, the tech unit began developing a prototype for a digital point-of-sale solution for WFP. With further development, the solution can help WFP improve its service to communities in need and support small partner stores to run their business. In these stores, people who do not have access to supermarkets due to their life situation, e.g. refugees in camps, can receive food supplies.

METRO and World Food Programme (WFP)

Food banks

In 22 countries we cooperate with food service organizations and social institutions to avoid food waste in our stores, restaurants, and warehouses as they collect leftover, consumable food and distribute it to the needy.

In Germany, we have been working with the foodbank “Die Tafel” for more than 20 years, 14 years as main sponsor. Every day, the local organizations collect food from all our 103 stores in Germany.

METRO is active at European level too, supporting the European Federation of Food Banks (Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires, FEBA.

Find out more on our fight against food waste.

Employee involvement and Volunteer Day

The very own METRO Green Future community unifies employees across the company and aims for sustainability becoming an unquestioned habit for everyone.

The group raises awareness among METRO employees and develops an active dialog to lead towards an ecological way of living and working. The community started to act locally but due to its open character aims for applying changes globally now. Examples of engagement are the participation in CITY CYCLING Düsseldorf (an initiative to incentivize people to travel as many kilometers as possible by bike over a period of 21 days), creating blog articles regarding plastic free living on the Intranet and since 2020 taking the social initiative “Volunteer Day” into the portfolio.

By conducting a “Volunteer Day” at METRO the Green Future Community wants to create responsibility for the environment and the communities we live in amongst the employees of METRO. At the same time this contributes to the UN International Charity Day, created with the aim of raising awareness and mobilizing people around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. So far, METRO employees have volunteered to the youngest and the oldest of society, inviting them to excursions and bringing change and delight into everyday life. Cross-cultural cooking and picnic events have additionally brought many different people to various tables so far.

METRO celebrates International Day of Charity

METRO promotes an intact and attractive social environment. We donate. We act as a sponsor. We provide financial and material resources. Our employees and trainees are also active and involved in numerous projects.

Draws thousands of runners to Düsseldorf each year. We have been involved in the event since 2005 as a title sponsor, demonstrating our close ties with the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital. The marathon is very popular among our employees and shows strong internal engagement with around 600 METRO Runners from up to 13 countries – for example, from the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. In 2020, due to Covid-19 the event was cancelled but many runners took part in a digital run.

Space for art: in spring 2006, the METRO campus in Düsseldorf was transformed into an exhibition space – a place to admire artworks of the METRO Sculpture Park Foundation. In this way, the foundation promotes a productive coexistence of work, trade and art. The foundation also supports young visual artists in Düsseldorf, making their works accessible to a broad public. It operates in cooperation with the state capital Düsseldorf and representatives of the city’s art scene, under the aegis of the district president. Moreover, the foundation awards grants to eligible artists and organises and realises presentations and exhibitions.