On a global scale, about one third of the food ends up as waste - an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes per year. And yet, 821 million people are starving worldwide. For every kilogramme of uneaten bread, 1600 litres of water are wasted. Global food waste accounts for 8 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. At first, that does not sound like a big deal, but if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of CO2 after the US and China. We consider it an ethical, ecological, and economic waste. The reduction of food waste is a core aspect of METRO’s sustainability strategy and our relevant target contributes to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. METRO has therefore committed itself to the Resolution on Food Waste by the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to eliminate 50% of wasted food in its own operations by the year 2025.
Fighting food loss and waste along the supply chain with impact and scale is a tremendous challenge that needs partnerships, innovation and cross-sector collaboration.Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG
METRO has been a partner of the United Nations World Food Programme, which was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, already since 2016. In the course of this partnership, our customers and employees are – among other activities – actively involved in fundraising campaigns in order to work together towards a world without hunger and to redistribute the resource food fairly. We are also committed to further measures to combat food waste:
Food Banks - An Exemplary Distributor
Food banks collect leftover, consumable food and distribute it to the needy. However, donations of meat and fish products in particular are often subject to special health regulations. In France, METRO is helping set up non-profit soup kitchens that meet all the required freshness standards.
37 soup kitchens are supported by METRO in France
16 per cent more meat donations since the campaign launch in France (2015)
8 new partnerships with METRO France last year
In 22 countries we cooperate with food service organizations and social institutions in order to avoid food waste in our stores, restaurants and warehouses.
Startups - Innovation Instead of Hunger
Often small, subtle ideas eradicate great inequalities. METRO AG is committed to UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 to eliminate hunger in the world (SDG2 - Zero Hunger). To this end, we promote innovative business ideas that use smart approaches to reduce global food waste. Our partners:
- Idea: excess food and beverages from our wholesale stores, which can no longer be sold or are no longer acceptable, can be cheaply sold online as well as in the SIRPLUS branches in Berlin
- Mission: cooperation with the entire food industry; worldwide revolution in food production; raising awareness in general
- Idea: reduce food waste as in an ecosystem; utilise the digital marketplace to easily deliver food to food banks, social institutions or animal shelters; better, transparent quantification and monitoring of food waste in real time through data analysis features, enabling targeted process improvement
- Mission: expansion of cooperation to other METRO countries; first talks with the stores in Romania, Italy and Russia
- Idea: offer METRO customers in the hotel and restaurant sector a fully automated solution that uses hardware and software to help reduce and analyse food waste; data overview of weight and cost of food waste; identify sources of waste, eliminate operational inefficiencies, use resources more efficiently
- Mission: Mercure Hotel Berlin City, a METRO customer, has already tested the KITRO solution; in a three-month pilot run, kitchen waste was reduced by 22 per cent; further projects of this kind are planned
- Idea: display excess food via the ‘Too Good To Go’ app in the 2 METRO company restaurants on the Düsseldorf campus, which can be ordered online and picked up for a small fee; already 850,000 registered users throughout Germany
- Mission: reinvent consumer behaviour
- MAKRO Netherlands cooperates with TGTG in all 17 stores and since 2018 almost 59.000 meals have been saved, an equivalent of 146,625 kg of CO2. Our METRO teams in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Poland propose TGTG as a digital solution to their customers to fight food waste in their operations.
Metro Countries - Better Delivery
- Many fresh foods spoil due to climate, heat, improper storage
- METRO has set up properly climate-controlled ‘food collection points’ in rural areas, such as India
- Results: easily perishable food now reaches the stores in 8 hours instead of 36 hours
- And farmers receive ongoing training on topics such as crop protection, post-harvest technology or nutrition management