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.
“As a global leader on biodiversity, WWF is an invaluable partner to strengthen our ambitions and secure that our targets are science-based. Together we can influence industry players, suppliers and customers to mitigate our impact on climate change and biodiversity and respect the planetary boundaries.
“Climate, biodiversity and water are closely linked and we need to tackle them together to solve the challenges in each area. This is why our partnership with WWF focuses on all three, aiming to find solutions that will lessen our impact on nature and climate.
– Jennie Granström, WWF Partnership Lead at H&M Group
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. This is why we have a responsibility to conserve water, to reuse and recycle wherever possible and to keep it clean for future generations.
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.
From raw materials to garment use, the fashion industry impacts biodiversity on every level. Producing fibres like cotton and wool takes up vast areas of land , reducing the space for nature. Conventional cotton farming uses pesticides and fertilisers and fabric processing pollutes river basins. We are committed to reducing our impact on nature, as well as protecting and restoring biodiversity.
TO BE SUCCESSFUL WE NEED TO TAKE A HOLISTIC VIEW
Water, climate and biodiversity are important earth systems that work together to protect our planet and keep it healthy. Each one is dependent on the others. For example, biodiversity needs clean water to survive. However, the availability and quality of water is affected by the climate emergency. And to mitigate the climate emergency, we need diverse and robust biodiversity. That is why we take a holistic view and work on all three areas with WWF.
We are committed to reducing our impact on water across our value chain on a global and local level.
We’ve been working with WWF on water since the start of our partnership. Some of our joint initiatives include:
- Developing a holistic water strategy to reduce risks in our value chain, keep us operating within the freshwater use planetary boundary, embed water in our decision-making and prioritise working with stakeholders to create value for water.
- Using WWF’s Risk filter to assess water risks in our supply chain, set locally relevant targets and take appropriate action.
- Publishing two guides to share our learning with the wider fashion industry about embedding water in the decision-making process and setting contextual targets, as well as a case study.
We have ambitious goals to reduce our carbon footprint and have been taking collective action on climate with WWF since 2016, including:
- Developing H&M Group’s climate strategy to achieve net-zero 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 encourage the fashion industry and other companies to take action on the climate crisis.
- Policy push to encourage the European Parliament to vote for more renewable energy, more energy efficiency and a climate neutral EU by 2050.
Our ambition is to have a net positive impact on biodiversity across our value chain.
Biodiversity became a stand-alone theme in 2021. Since then our biodiversity work has included:
- 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 that will guide our work on biodiversity by helping us choose more sustainably sourced raw materials, and limiting the impact of production and logistics.
- Supporting smallholder cotton farmers in India to maintain important wildlife corridors, and improve soil health and biodiversity.