The science is clear – global temperature rise must be kept to 1.5°C – and as a global fashion company we have to act.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world and science shows that we need to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C to secure a liveable future for our planet.1
At H&M Group, our goal is to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our value chain by 56% by 2030 and by at least 90% by 2040 (against a 2019 baseline).2 We will also balance out the remaining 10% of unavoidable emissions to reach net-zero by 2040 through carbon dioxide removals. These goals were verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) in September 2022.3
The bigger picture
The different areas of our sustainability work are linked and our work in one area will benefit another. As we cut our GHG emissions we will reduce our impact on water resources, help protect biodiversity and support human rights such as health, livelihoods, land rights and access to water.
However, focusing solely on our impact will not be enough. We need to take action beyond our value chain through investing in climate and nature projects, such as LEAF Coalition that provides financial support to protect tropical forests.
Taking climate action
To guide our work, we have created a four-step action framework that minimises our negative impact and maximises our positive contribution.
- Measure & disclose
To ensure our actions have the greatest effect, we need to know where we’re starting from. We closely monitor the GHG emissions across our value chain and share this information to be transparent and open about our progress. More information about how we report our emissions is available here.
Making fibres, processing materials and dyeing fabrics use a lot of energy and about 70% of a garment’s climate impact happens during manufacturing. Our priority is to reduce our emissions 56% by 2030.2
- Energy efficiency
Reduce energy use across our value chain, including our own operations, logistics and supply chain.
- Renewable energy
Source 100% renewable electricity for our operations and work with partners and suppliers to increase their use of renewable electricity, heat and steam.
Invest in, and scale, more circular and regenerative systems across our business. From our products, supply chains through to customer journeys.
- Production efficiency
Use data and AI to adjust our assortment levels and match supply to demand.
- Remove & protect
To achieve net-zero by 2040, we need to reduce emissions in our value chain and to balance out any unavoidable emissions by removing CO2 from the air and storing it away.
Working together is the only way we can create rapid change at the scale needed. We advocate for policy that limits temperature rise to 1.5°C and support legislation that accelerates the decarbonisation of our value chain.
How we're reaching net-zero
- Supporting our suppliers to save energy and switch to renewables
We have set up funding to support our suppliers to take energy efficiency measures and switch to greener energy. As of January 2023, the Green Fashion Initiative has supported 17 projects that have the potential to reduce emissions in our supply chain by 190,000 tonnes CO2e. Of this, 50,000 tonnes are attributable to H&M Group.
- Phasing out coal
In 2022, 70 of our suppliers used on-site coal boilers, down from 91 in 2021. This is due to our push to phase out coal and electrify steam, changes in our supplier base and local policies.
- Greener electricity in Europe
We’ve signed virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the UK, Sweden, and Spain to source enough green electricity for almost all our operations in Europe.
- Energy efficiency at our suppliers
We conducted 51 on-site evaluations at our suppliers and identified potential energy efficiency improvements of almost 20% in tier 1 facilities and over 25% in tier 2. These assessments have led to planned energy efficiency measures.
- RE100 member company
RE100 brings together businesses that are committed to sourcing 100% electricity from renewable energy sources to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by creating demand for renewable electricity, and to encourage governments to increase their ambition to deliver renewable energy.
Remove & protect
- Carbon dioxide removal
The options for permanent carbon dioxide removal are limited today. By investing now, we can help scale the technology so that more organisations have access to these solutions in the future. In 2022, we signed a multi-year deal with Climeworks for direct air capture and storage.
- Protecting carbon sinks
Our partnership with LEAF Coalition works towards protecting tropical forests, an important existing carbon sink. Helping to end tropical deforestation, support sustainable development and protect biodiversity.
- Promoting policy
As members of the steering committee of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action under the UNFCCC, we encourage trade associations and other industry groups to support policies aligned with the Paris Agreement.
- Unlocking finance for decarbonisation
We are a lead funder of the Apparel Impact Initiative’s Fashion Climate Fund, which aims to unlock funds to decarbonise fashion industry supply chains.
- Holistic partnership
We have worked with WWF for many years. The partnership covers climate, water and biodiversity. Find out more here.
Financing emission reductions
Our green investments direct funding towards initiatives like these that will help us reduce emissions and reach our goals. The return on these investments is measure in GHG emissions reduction, not in financial gain.
- Our Green Fashion Initiative makes funding available to supplier factories to invest in the technologies and processes needed to reduce energy demand and replace fossil fuels.
- The Fashion Climate Fund by Apparel Impact Institute drives collective action to tackle supply chain GHG emissions. We are a lead funder.
- Our Sustainable Supplier Facility – in partnership with Guidehouse, other brands and investors, we share the financial responsibility of funding suppliers to decarbonise.
- We have signed long-term virtual power purchase agreements in UK, Sweden and Spain to cover electricity consumption in our operations in most European markets. By entering into purchase agreements like these, we are helping to increase the amount of renewable electricity available.
The role of biomass energy
Factories in the textile supply chain often rely on thermal energy generated by burning fossil fuels. Our priority is to work with our suppliers to move away from this practice by electrifying their factories and, at the same time, switching to renewable electricity. However, a lack of access to renewable sources and unreliable local electricity grids can slow down this transition. Therefore, certain types of biomass can act as a stop-gap solution.
The sustainability risks of different biomass feedstocks can vary greatly. We help our suppliers to select the biomass fuel type with the lowest possible risk. This support builds on the biomass tools and guidelines from the Institute of Sustainable Communities.
Moving away from climate positive
We’ve moved away from using the term climate positive as it is vague and lacks scientific support. Now, our long-term ambition is to reach net-zero as defined by the SBTi. This standard helps translate the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C into corporate targets. Net-zero standard focuses on reducing GHG emissions as much as possible before balancing out any emissions that cannot be avoided using permanent carbon dioxide removals.
We publish our Sustainability Disclosure annually. In this document, we set out our goals and the progress we’ve made in the previous year. Find the latest version here. More up to date information can be included on this page.