Corporate Responsibility

Environment

 
 

METRO aims to improve its environmental performance in several ways. Our priorities: optimize the energy consumption of our buildings, manage our waste, enhance the energy efficiency of our merchandise transport and optimize our packaging and printed materials. Read our Environmental Policy (PDF).

 

Climate change

METRO has been working on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions intensity for several years.

Our teams invest efforts in the sectors that are most critical for our company:

  • Building energy consumption
  • Refrigerants
  • Waste
  • Merchandise transport
stores aisle

Main sources of GHG emissions
(2019)

 
Scope 1 - Refrigerant leaks : 37%, Merchandise transport : 2%. Scope 2 - Building energy consumption : 24%. Scope 3 - Waste elimination : 22%, Merchandise transport : 14%, Business travel : 1%

Scope 1

 

Refrigerant leaks

 

Merchandise transport (by METRO vehicles, between distribution centres and stores and for e-commerce)

Scope 2

 

Building energy consumption (electricity and natural gas)

Scope 3

 

Waste elimination

 

Merchandise transport (by third parties)

 

Business travel

Carbon footprint

METRO reports its GHG emissions every year. In 2020, it submitted its 13th carbon footprint to CDP, an international organization that assembles a large database on the environmental performance of companies.

In 2019, we recorded a nearly 7% reduction in our GHG emissions intensity compared to the previous year.

Corporate and franchised stores – Québec and Ontario (2019)

2019   Intensity: 22,29 kg CO2 eq./sq. ft.

 
 

2018   Intensity: 23,88 kg CO2 eq./sq. ft.

 
 

2017   Intensity: 25,63 kg CO2 eq./sq. ft.

 
 

2016   Intensity: 25,31 kg CO2 eq./sq. ft.

 
 

2015   Intensity: 25,85 kg CO2 eq./sq. ft.

 
 

logo CDP         

See our responses on the CDP website
(free registration required)

Metro store front

Optimization measures

Since 2016, we have been reviewing our practices and equipment to optimize energy consumption in our stores.

  • The optimization of our current systems has led to average in-store energy savings of nearly 10% compared to their original performances.
  • We integrated new building standards for our stores, including LED lighting and CO2 refrigeration systems. These measures lead to a 25% reduction in our average energy consumption compared to 2010.

More information on our energy efficiency measures for transport and the optimization of the energy consumption of our buildings is available in our 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF)

 

Waste

Our waste management program aims to reduce the environmental impacts of eliminating residual materials, including GHG emissions, and facilitate their valorization.

Most of METRO’s waste is generated by its network of stores. Nearly one third of the materials are organic, and a special program was therefore implemented to reduce food waste.

2020 at a glance

Waste recovered (tonnes)

Corporate and franchised stores – Québec and Ontario

29%   Organic material

32,638 t
 
 

57%   Cardboard

65,442 t
 
 

14%   Other materials

16,501 t
 
 

100%114,581 t

Further details are available in our 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF)

Zero waste

METRO aims for zero waste to landfill (90% diversion rate) for the corporate and franchised stores in Québec and Ontario enrolled in recovery programs.

Diversion rate

The waste diversion rate represents the portion of waste that is not sent to landfills.

2020

67%
 
 

2019

66%
 
 

2018

65%
 
 

2017

67%
 
 

2016

64%
 
 

Over the next few years, we will continue to work in collaboration with our in-store teams to improve our performance and reach our full potential.

 

Food waste

METRO is committed to reducing the food waste generated by its activities by half by 2025 compared to 2016 in an effort to tackle two major challenges for society:

  • Food insecurity
  • Environmental impacts generated by the landfilling of organic waste
vegetables

Approach

We take a three-pronged approach:
1.

Reduction at the source

We implemented measures to ensure products are sold and consumed by our customers rather than thrown out or donated. For example, we introduced discount programs for fresh and consumable products that are close to their expiry date.

2.

Donation of unsold items

Through the One More Bite program, METRO provides unsold quality products to its partners: Food Banks of Québec, Second Harvest and Feed Ontario. Between 2016 and 2020, close to 14 million kilograms of food were recovered in our participating stores and redistributed to those in need.

3.

Valorization of food residues

We make the most of recovery channels to give food residues a second life. For example, we send residues to processors (for animal feed and industrial uses) and industries that produce compost and biogas.

 

Packaging and printed materials

Since the early 2010s, we have launched a range of initiatives to optimize our packaging and printed materials and reduce their environmental footprint.

With the launch of our Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy in 2019, we implemented measures to reduce the use of resources, limit product losses and generate less waste while contributing to the global movement to reduce single-use plastics.

See our Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy (PDF)

Principles

Our Packaging and Printed Materials Management Policy is based on four principles:

Reduce the use of packaging and printed materials icon

Reduce the use of packaging and printed materials

Reduce at the source and avoid over-packaging

Encourage reuse

Implement optimal design icon

Implement optimal design

Reduce the mass or volume of packaging and printed materials

Use the right quantities of materials

Select ecoresponsible materials icon

Select ecoresponsible materials

Give preference to recycled materials

Use virgin materials from sustainable sources

Facilitate recovery and recycling icon

Facilitate recovery and recycling

Give preference to recyclable materials

Communicate instructions for recovery

In addition to these optimization principles, we apply a series of measures to support the implementation of the policy, including vigilance regarding materials and substances that are controversial or of concern.

We lean towards not using them in our packaging and printed materials, or seek to progressively phase them out as alternatives become available. With this in mind, by August 2021, all METRO food and drugstore banners will have completed the transition to bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS)-free cash register paper rolls.

Commitments

In addition to applying the principles set out in the policy, METRO is committed to taking action on priority packaging and printed materials based on their environmental impacts and volumes.

shopping bags

Packaging in stores

We are focused on reducing the number of single-use plastic shopping bags, as well as overpackaging and single-use plastics in our food stores’ fresh sections.

Better packaging for better recycling

Private brands

The program to optimize the packaging of our private brand food products is driven by five elements: packaging weight and recyclability, the use of postconsumer material, communication of sorting instructions to consumers and support for suppliers.

See the training module and the eco-design guide

Promotional material

Our efforts aim to reduce the amount of paper used in our flyers in our food and pharmacy banners, as well as temporary in-store promotional signage made of fibre.

Single-use materials in our administrative sites

We aim to eliminate single-use materials, such as plastic water bottles, as well as disposable straws, stir sticks, tableware and utensils in our cafeterias.