At H&M Group, we have since many years had a dedicated team addressing the climate issues with the ambition of reducing our impact both within and outside our own operations and driving change in the industry. As a global company and employer, we want to be part of the solution — not the problem.
Together with external experts and scientists, we have set goals for our climate work. H&M Group has committed to becoming climate positive throughout its entire value chain by 2040 at the latest. That means we will reduce more greenhouse gas (GHC) emissions than our value chain emits — all the way from cotton farms to the customers’ washing machines and the recycling baskets.
To become climate positive, we need to change how our products are made and enjoyed. About 70 % of a garment's climate impact arises during the manufacturing process itself. Making fibres, processing materials, dyeing and fabricating requires a lot of energy. We make tough demands on our suppliers, and we also help them to switch from fossil-based to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. For example, we are currently implementing energy efficiency programs throughout our supply chain in close cooperation with our business partners.
We also work on putting pressure on and collaborating with governments and authorities. This is a way to create positive changes beyond our industry. However, it is sometimes needed just to make it legal for factories to install, for example, solar panels on the roofs of the factories. All this work together with fully eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations will make us achieve a climate-neutral supply chain (tier 1+2) by 2030 at the latest. We have extensive programs for reducing negative water impacts throughout its value chain, working together with WWF and even though the footprint that our transport has on climate is relatively small along the supply chain, representing around 3 % of all emissions — largely due to the fact that we use trains and boats as much as possible to transport our products from factory to store. We want to drive positive change towards greener solutions in commercial transports but also engage and educate our customers — around 20 % of a garment's total impact on the climate happens in the user-phase. So it does matter how we look after our garments.
But to reach all the way and become climate positive, we need to find new solutions. We are exploring new techniques that potentially could absorb greenhouse gases and turn it into new fabrics and products. We are constantly exploring new ways of making our products, such as making fabrics out of citrus peel and old fishnets. This is an important part of our goal to only use recycled or sustainably sourced material by 2030, and we will continue work hard on every action that makes us reduce our footprint and reach our goal to become climate positive. No single player — innovator, non-profit, brand, business, financial institution, government, society, academia, or individual can solve our global challenges alone. But together we can make it happen.
Examples of H&M Group’s climate work
- Climate positive by 2040 throughout H&M Group’s entire value chain.
- Climate Neutral supply chain by 2030 for tier 1–2 by 2030.
- The following goals have since 2019 been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which is a collaboration between the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) defining and promoting best practice in science-based target settings. H&M Group commits to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 40% before 2030, with 2017 as a baseline. To reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased raw materials, fabric production and garments by 59% per product before 2030, with 2017 as a baseline. To increase annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 95% in 2017 to 100% by 2030.
- Our new KPI is based on electricity per square meter and opening hours (using 2017 as baseline). In 2018, we achieved a decrease of 8.2 % in electricity use.
- H&M Group is a proud member of the WWF Climate Savers program — a climate leadership program that seeks to transform businesses into leaders of the low-carbon economy.
- H&M Group is not only a signatory of UNFCCC Fashion for Climate Actions but also in the steering group to make sure the industry is tackling the climate crisis.
- H&M Group ranked as top 10 of the companies in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. The fact that H&M Group once again qualified among the top 10 % of global sustainability leaders is a strong fact-based recognition of our ambitions and efforts.
Our Climate Strategy
Our strategy towards climate positive 2040 is based on three pillars.
• Energy Efficiency, in which where we aim to be leaders within our industry through investments in our own operations and by developing and training our business partners.
• Renewable Energy, since it's absolute key for any industry to be able to reduce their CO2 emissions. We are aiming towards 100 % renewable electricity in our own operation and by incentivising and supporting our suppliers to do the same.
• Climate Resilience, in which we focus on different types of carbon sinks, such as innovative materials taking up more CO2 than the production process emits, but also the uptake of carbon in natural carbon sinks such as forestry and agriculture.