News Article

H&M Group and WWF extend partnership

A decade ago, H&M Group and WWF embarked on an ambitious collaboration to help create a more sustainable fashion industry. As people around the world turn off their lights for Earth Hour on Saturday, we’re revealing our renewed partnership, set to run for five more years.

We are losing biodiversity at a faster pace than it can restore itself. We are working with WWF to prevent and reduce our overall impact on nature and its ecosystems.

When H&M Group joined forces with WWF ten years ago, the collaboration was unique in the way that scope went beyond factory walls. The idea was to address the environmental impacts of H&M Group’s whole value chain, as well as to champion wider action across the global fashion business.

Focus on water – and biodiversity

Because water is a key ingredient in textile production, and a lot of our raw material and processing locations are based in some of the world’s most important river basins, our cooperation initially focused on water stewardship. In 2016, it expanded to include climate action as well as a strategic dialogue on the fashion industry’s broader sustainability challenges, which worked like a project incubator and made room for issues other than water and climate.

For the next five years, there will be an increased focus on biodiversity, replacing the strategic dialogue. With wildlife populations declining on average by 68% since 1970, we need to reduce harmful practices and start creating positive impacts. Working with WWF, we will be developing our overall biodiversity ambition and engaging in projects close to our value chain to conserve and restore biodiversity in key landscapes.

Biodiversity loss is catastrophic for the planet and as a global company we have an impact in many sensitive areas. Working with WWF we can ensure that we are heading in the right direction and taking the right decisions, drawing on their experience and expertise.

Kim Hellström, Strategy Lead Climate & Water at H&M Group

We are excited about this next phase of the partnership. H&M Group has committed to further ambitious action to reduce its value chain’s negative impacts on climate, water and the new important area of biodiversity. Together we will work to find scalable and sustainable solutions for H&M Group and the fashion industry.

Daniel Robertsson, Director of Civic, Public and Private Sector Engagement at WWF Sweden

Multi-layered impact

Over the past decade the partnership has reached many milestones. We’ve developed a water strategy to reduce risks in our value chain and to shift to cleaner production practices. We’ve taken collective water action for more sustainable and cleaner textile production industry in Turkey and China.  We’ve contributed to projects on the ground, like this one in Borneo, which aims to protect biodiversity, strengthen local communities and promote responsible sourcing. And we’ve successfully collaborated with policy makers for stronger EU renewable energy targets.

Sustainability truly is an ongoing journey. Constant improvements are key and there is no end goal. Even though we must be proud of our achievements over the years, we must also recognize and manage new and urgent challenges together.

Kim Hellström, Strategy Lead Climate & Water at H&M Group

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity means the variety of life on Earth. It includes all the different plants, animals and microorganisms, the genetic information they contain and the ecosystems they form. Biodiversity is necessary to sustain key functions of the natural ecosystems that support our well-being, livelihoods and our economies. It provides us with the supply of clean water and food, and other essential environmental goods such as pollination, buffering from natural disasters and providing resilience against the impacts of climate change.

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