Corporate Social Responsibility
METRO China’s sustainable development principal
From the day METRO entered the China market, METRO has committed itself to be a responsible corporate citizen by contributing to sustainable development. In performing responsible procurement, environment-friendly operation, low-carbon supply chain, care for workforce and social engagement, we have gradually developed the sustainable development strategy across the economic, environmental and social spectrums. We not only place attention on the growth of operation performance and its impact on the environment but also stress the harmonious ties between us, employees and our business partners.
METRO provides specialized training for farmers, helping them reduce the use of pesticides and agricultural chemicals in agricultural production; offers eco-friendly products, to steer customers toward environment-friendly consumption; makes heavy investment in comprehensive energy-saving revamp, implementing solar power generation projects; launches new refrigerant renovation program well ahead of peers, minimizing carbon emissions; emphasizes the care for our female employees and career development of the newly-recruited; leads China in opening the "Food Bank", delivering our care and concern to impoverished children and actively preparing for the building of METRO Hope Schools; reaches out in real time in the event of natural disasters.
Other than this, we also…
Forge sustainable supply chain
As one of the largest food traders in the world, METRO is entrusted to ensure the safety and sustainability of food supply for future generations. To fulfill this mission, METRO underlines the optimization and innovation on every segment along the food value chain, with Star Farm being one of the milestones.
Beginning at farming bases, water and soil quality goes through stringent inspection, employ eco-friendly production methods, rationally apply fertilizer, physically kill pests, optimize irrigation schemes, and reduce material consumption in packaging. We adopt innovative solutions like vacuum packaging and unbroken cold chain, and strive to minimize waste disposal; the integrated distribution system reduces the usage frequency of warehouse vehicles, while the optimized transportation routes realize the "shortest time span, least resources, and lowest carbon emissions" in logistics management; improved order system and storage equipment cut down on the food loss and spoilage at stores.
METRO spares no effort to extend these effective measures to the professional clients. By providing HACCP training for restaurants and canteens, METRO is joining hands with partners with an aim to enhance food safety awareness among consumers.
Promoting local economic boom
METRO's business growth is closely related to the local economy. METRO has forged a close-knitted bond with Chinese manufacturers and local market through its unique B2B operation concepts, providing a reliable one-stop purchase route for small-sized enterprises. Such a business model has fueled the boom of domestic consumption, while METRO’s transparent invoicing mechanism effectively reins in black market trade. While expanding online sales, METRO is supporting local social infrastructure construction with the 3,000km-long Shanghai-Chengdu cold chain being one of the typical examples.
METRO has helped melon growers in Xinjiang to obtain IFS and Global GAP certifications, making their products comply with export standards, and shipping fresh seafood from Liaoning to the hotels and restaurants in Germany…Relying on METRO Group’s trading network across 33 countries worldwide, Chinese businesses have gone global in great strides, achieving increased profits.
Engaging in local community building programs
METRO has been actively engaging with local communities by encouraging its workforce to participate in community activities. In 2010, METRO China, together with the Working Committee for the Care of the Next Generation, Chinese Multi-intelligence Education Association and Red Cross Youth Health Guidance Center, launched the "Safe Food, Happy Life" campaign targeting adolescents and teenagers, delivering a lively and interesting food safety class to over 1,500 children in China.
METRO has left its footprints in 39 large and medium-sized cities across China, lending its helping hand in times of emergency. In 2010, METRO Kunming Store employees delivered 10,000 bottles of purified drinking water to the drought-stricken areas of Yunnan; in the wake of 2008 devastating Wenchuan earthquake, METRO organized a company-wide fund-raising initiative, soliciting relief tents and supporting the reconstruction of the epicenter. METRO stores in Chengdu also initiated the voluntary blood-donating activity among employees and their relatives.
Strong sense of corporate social responsibility
Noted for its strong sense of corporate social responsibility, METRO China not only acts as a reliable taxpayer and employer but also supports local eco-system construction, education development and community events.
Role model of food safety
In 2007, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and local authorities, METRO China spearheaded the project "Agri Food Sourcing Bases". In the framework of the project, METRO has developed the "Star Farm", an agricultural product sourcing base in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, which serves as a model in a bid to modernize agricultural production, improve food safety as well as advancing the farmers' living standards. At "Star Farm", METRO offers training to local farmers in standard processing and transparent management to control food quality from farm to fork.
Concern about environmental conservation
METRO China applies numerous innovations to reduce energy consumption and enhance environmental protection through implementing environmentally-friendly measures. We have adopted energy-saving illumination systems and outdoor street lamps at our parking lots are powered by solar energy; We use sliding glass covers in our frozen food departments and save up to one-sixth of the energy used by deep-freeze equipment; We also use ground-source heat pump air conditioning systems in our new wholesale centers. As a pioneer in the country, METRO also promotes environmental awareness. As early as 1996 when METRO opened its first store in China, it insisted on the paid use of carry-out plastic bags as the gesture of encouraging customers to utilize reusable shopping bags; on June 5, 2009, METRO China officially announced the ban of selling plastic bags in 54 stores across the country, reinforcing its leadership role in advocating eco-protection and sustainable consumption in China's trade arena.