Metro’s Hans-Jürgen Matern on CSR: ‘It’s all about the customer’

In many corporations, social responsibility has been integrated in the core business. Metro Group is one such firm.

Speaking with Devex Director of Global Research and Analysis Pete Troilo at the 2012 European Development Days, Metro Group Vice President Hans-Jürgen Matern recalled how the retailing firm started implementing its corporate social responsibility efforts, including partnering with aid groups. The Metro Group has partnerships with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and WWF.

“It starts as it starts anywhere — in a fight,” Matern told Troilo. “They say to us what they are expecting from us. And we said we are running a business and not for changing the world. But in the meantime, we see that in their arguments, there’s an interesting part in their argumentation, which we don’t have in our argumentation so we look a bit in-depth and we find out that working with them can help us to improve our business.”

Matern added that partnerships are “a must” for the Metro Group as they allow the company to have a holistic approach to production which is what its customers demand.

Watch the conversation between Troilo and Matern, part of a series of interviews we video-taped with global development leaders in October in Brussels, Belgium.

Check out our complete coverage of European Development Days 2012.  

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