H&M Group and WWF share the vision of a sustainable future for people and nature. Our partnership focuses on water, climate and biodiversity to address the key environmental impacts of our value chain and beyond. By working together, we aim to lead the fashion industry to operating in ways that keep our planet safe.
Our work with WWF
Over ten years ago, H&M Group and WWF embarked on an ambitious collaboration to create a more sustainable fashion industry. The idea behind the partnership is to address the most pressing environmental impacts of H&M Group’s whole value chain as well as taking global leadership to champion wider action across the global fashion business.
Initially, the partnership focused on water, as it is a core resource for the fashion industry. Over the years, this focus has expanded to include climate and biodiversity. This holistic approach reflects the range of impacts of our industry, as well as WWF’s remit.
Focus area: Water
We are committed to reducing our impact on water across our value chain on a global and local level.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest users of water and one of the biggest polluters. From growing cotton to dyeing fabric and washing clothes, fashion takes its toll. We have a responsibility to conserve water, to reuse and recycle wherever possible and to keep it clean for future generations.
We’ve been working with WWF on water since the start of our partnership in 2011. Some of our joint initiatives include:
- Developing a water strategy to reduce risks in our value chain and to shift to cleaner production practices through water stewardship.
- Taking collective water action for more sustainable and cleaner textile production industry in Turkey and China.
- Implementing WWF’s Water Risk Filter tool to help set local and global water targets for our production offices.
Focus area: Climate
Our ambition is to halve our emissions every decade and to become climate positive by 2040.
Making fibres, processing materials, dyeing and fabricating requires a lot of energy. As does the washing, recycling and disposal of clothing once it’s been sold to our customers. With the impacts of the climate crisis already being felt, we need to reduce emissions from our value chain and beyond, as well as inspiring other companies to do the same.
Taking action for the climate became part of our collaboration with WWF in 2016 and since then our work has included:
- Developing a new climate strategy for H&M Group with the goal of becoming climate positive through reducing emissions, renewable energy and climate resilience.
- Launching a supplier programme in India to remove obstacles to investing in low carbon technology.
- Joining WWF’s global climate leadership program, Climate Savers, to lead the fashion industry and other companies to take action on the climate crisis.
- Supporting the SCALE programme in Cambodia to develop sustainable biomass solutions for the local textile sector.
- Policy push to encourage the European Parliament to vote for more renewable energy, more energy efficiency and a climate neutral EU by 2050.
Focus area: Biodiversity
Our ambition is to have a net positive impact on biodiversity across our value chain.
From raw materials through fabric/yarn production to transportation and garment use, the fashion industry impacts biodiversity on every level.
Producing materials like cotton, wool and cashmere takes up vast areas of land and reduces the space available for nature. Plus, conventional cotton farming uses pesticides and fertilisers, negatively impacting wildlife while fabric processing pollutes river basins harming freshwater ecosystems. We are committed to preventing and reducing our impact on nature as well as protecting and restoring biodiversity and ecosystems.
After years of working on biodiversity through our water and climate streams, we officially added it as a stand-alone theme in 2021. Our biodiversity work includes:
- Protecting and restoring biodiversity in specific landscapes where H&M sources raw materials (under development)
- Engaging government leaders through platforms such as Business for Nature to put in place the policy frameworks we need to protect biodiversity
- Helping shape new Science Based Targets for nature, which give businesses a clear way to take action to protect biodiversity.
- Promoting responsible rattan production in Borneo, Indonesia by training and connecting local communities to our supply chain. Rattan from this project featured in a 2020 H&M Home collection.
Read more about our partnership on WWF’s website.