The climate crisis poses a major challenge to all industries, including fashion. We take our responsibility to stay within the planetary boundaries very seriously.
For many years, the H&M Group has had a dedicated team working with climate-related issues. Our ambition is to reduce our impact within and outside our own operations while 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. 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 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 happens in manufacturing. Making fibres, processing materials, dyeing and fabricating requires a lot of energy. We make tough demands on our suppliers to save energy, and we help them to switch to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Quick progress can only be made if everyone works together and has the incentive to change. It is why we collaborate with governments while pressing them to set policies that encourage a shift to a low-emission economy. This is a way to create positive changes beyond our industry. But sometimes its needed for simple steps, for example to legalise the installation of solar panels on factory roofs.
We are working with the following organisations:
- WWF Climate Savers — a climate leadership programme that seeks to transform businesses into leaders of the low-carbon economy.
- UNFCCC Fashion Charter for Climate Actions — we are a signatory and on the steering group which is urging the fashion industry to tackle the climate crisis.
To become climate positive, we need to find new solutions. We are investing in promising new technologies and exploring new techniques that potentially could absorb greenhouse gases to make new fabrics and products. We are constantly exploring new ways of manufacturing our products, such as making fabrics from citrus peel and old fishing nets. This is an important part of our goal to only use recycled or sustainably sourced material by 2030, and we will continue working hard on every action that helps us reduce our footprint and reach our goal.
Our climate goals
- Climate positive by 2040 throughout H&M Group’s entire value chain.
- Climate neutral supply chain for our manufacturing and processing factories owned or subcontracted by our suppliers as well as our suppliers’ own suppliers (i.e. fabric mills, fibre processors, spinners or tanneries) by 2030.
- Reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 40% before 2030 (baseline 2017).
- Reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased raw materials, fabric production and garments by 59% per product before 2030 (baseline 2017).
- Increase annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 95% in 2017 to 100% by 2030.
How we’ll get there
Our strategy to become climate positive by 2040 is based on four priorities:
- Energy efficiency: We aim to be leaders in our industry through investments in our own operations and by developing, training and supporting our business partners.
- Renewable energy: We aim to use 100% renewable electricity in our own operation and incentivise and support our suppliers to do the same.
- Circularity: We are working to build circularity into every stage of our value chain — from design and production to customer use, reuse and recycling — moving towards a fully circular business.
- Climate Resilience: Besides accepted carbon sinks, such as forestry and agriculture, we are investigating different types of technological carbon sinks, such as innovative materials taking up more CO2 than the production process emits.
This is a brief summary of our work to tackle the climate crisis. Find much more detail and data in our 2020 Sustainability Performance Report.