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WWF & H&M Group: 10 year Result report [2021]

Mission: Combat biodiversity loss

Nature and biodiversity underpins all life, but is declining rapidly worldwide. The textile industry has a large negative impact on nature and therefore an important role in protecting it.

In 2016, the WWF H&M partnership started a strategic dialogue, where biodiversity became in focus through projects on materials and circularity. Biodiversity was formalized into a formal partnership stream in 2020 aiming to reduce H&M Group’s overall pressures on biodiversity and to strive towards net-gain impacts.

The strategic dialogue was initiated in 2016 to explore and manage H&M Group’s and the textile industry’s broader sustainability challenges and possibilities. It was the result of a years-long dialogue on topics such as material selection, biodiversity and water issues and climate change. The strategic dialogues’ main areas were raw materials, innovations and policy & advocacy. Some of the results include a project to support the growing of sustainable rattan and a policy push in Brussels to vouch for stronger regulations on energy efficiency and renewable energy in the EU.

In 2019 H&M Group launched their new biodiversity ambition; to have a net positive impact on biodiversity throughout the value chain, through moving to a circular approach that reduces the need for raw materials, sourcing sustainable materials and through supporting the protection and restoration of biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

In 2020 the partnership formalized the biodiversity stream with the aim to help reduce H&M Groups overall pressures on biodiversity and nature and strive towards net-gain impacts, in line with science. The partnership will address land and water-use impacts of raw material sourcing and production, increase the overall awareness of the importance and urgency to act on biodiversity and nature loss,  and scale solutions and action within the textile sector with focus on biodiversity protection, maintenance and recovery.

MILESTONES & results

grafik RESULTAT B1-21
grafik RESULTAT B2-2
grafik RESULTAT B3
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grafik RESULTAT B4-2
grafik RESULTAT B1-21
grafik RESULTAT B2-2
grafik RESULTAT B3
grafik RESULTAT B5
grafik RESULTAT B4-2
Strategic Dialogue – Materials

2018 – 2020: Improving H&M Group’s routines when sourcing selected raw materials, such as bamboo and rattan.

2018 – 2020: Strengthening H&M Group’s forest raw material policy, including increasing the share of FSC certified products.

2018 – 2020: A responsible rattan project in Indonesia. Growing rattan keeps forests standing and supports biodiversity, while providing business opportunities for local communities. Rattan from the area was used for goods for a collection in H&M Home stores.

Strategic Dialogue – Innovation

2019 – ongoing: Taking the first steps to develop a definition for climate positive together with IKEA. The purpose is to bring together brands who want a credible, scientific and globally accepted way of becoming a ‘climate positive’ company

2019 – ongoing: Exploring new ways of setting water targets. The work to set water targets adapted to context in H&M Group, later on to be developed to science based targets, was formed here.

Strategic Dialogue – Policy & Advocacy

2017 & 2018: WWF and H&M Group advocated together with other companies, for stronger regulations on energy efficiency and renewable energy in the EU.

2019- 2020: WWF supported the development of H&M Group’s biodiversity ambition, released in September 2020. The ambition takes a holistic approach to manage H&M Group’s impact and dependency on biodiversity. One central part of the ambition involves policy and advocacy to support biodiversity. 

2019 – ongoing: H&M Group actively contributed to the Business for Nature Coalition, where WWF is a founder, and its work on international biodiversity policy as part of the Strategic Advisory Group of companies.

2019 – 2021: H&M Group were part of the task forces for nature-related and climate-related disclosure (TNFD & TNCD), providing input to the work of getting nature and climate integrated in financial disclosure.



2020-2021: The partnership formalizes a new stream with strong focus on biodiversity. H&M Group launches a new long-term ambition to have a net positive impact on biodiversity throughout the value chain.


2020 – ongoing: Development and implementation of H&M Group’s biodiversity ambition. This entails taking action on impacts of raw material sourcing and production, advocating on the urgency to act on nature loss and scale solutions.

2021 – ongoing: A project on regenerative farming in Madhya Pradesh, India, aiming to preserve nature while providing business opportunities to local farmers. The region is important for biodiversity, ranging from pollinators to tigers.

Sensommar röd rudbeckia m amiral

Why should the textile industry take biodiversity action?

  • Biodiversity provides us with food, clean air, medicine and shelter.
  • Since 1970, wildlife vertebrate populations have on average declined with 60+ percent and freshwater species by 80+ percent.
  • The textile industry impacts biodiversity all the way from raw material sourcing, to production and logistics, to consumers using and washing textile products.

Since the fashion industry impacts biodiversity in every step of the value chain, we need to be part of the solution and change the direction we are going.

Jennie Granström, Biodiversity Lead, H&M Group


STORY: Regenerative Agriculture in Satpura Pench, India

The Central India Landscape is home to approximately a fifth of the world’s remaining wild tigers. In the heart of this landscape lies the Satpura-Pench wildlife corridor. This mosaic of agricultural land and forest creates a wildlife corridor that allows vulnerable species like tigers, leopards, sloth bears and red-headed vultures to move between protected areas safely. But this landscape is under threat from infrastructure development and pressures to transform to more intensive, industrial farming practices that could destroy the wildlife corridor. In 2021, WWF and H&M Group started a regenerative farming partnership project to support small holder farmers in this region that would benefit people and nature.




STORY: Bringing nature into financial disclosure

The industry-led initiative Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) aims to get financial decision making and investments take account of nature. H&M Group was part of an informal working group, contributing to the development of the initiative that was launched on 10 June, 2021.


STORY: Supporting conservation work for the Irrawaddy dolphin in Mekong

Unsustainable and illegal fishing practices, hydropower dam constructions and industrial pollution – these are some of the environmental hazards that threaten the survival of the Irrawaddy dolphin in the Mekong River. WWF in Cambodia works to conserve the Irrawaddy, and in recent years, dolphin numbers are stabilising. In 2019, H&M Group supported the conservation work, mainly by financing river guards.


STORY: A strategic dialogue to address industry-wide challenges

In 2016, the WWF H&M partnership started a strategic dialogue to discuss and manage a broader range of H&M Group’s and the textile industry’s sustainability challenges and possibilities. The main work areas were raw materials, innovations and policy and advocacy, which among other things lead to improved material routines for H&M Group and a policy push for stronger energy regulations in the EU.


STORY: Regenerative Wool Production in Eastern Cape Drakensberg Grasslands

South Africa’s Drakensberg grasslands are home to more than 2500 species of plants and endangered birds such as the wattled crane. Fresh water from this area provides crucial clean drinking water for millions of people. It’s also an important landscape for sheep farming. But this landscape is under threat. In 2021, WWF and H&M Group started a regenerative wool production partnership project in South Africa’s Drakensberg grasslands.



STORY: Ambition for biodiversity

In September 2020, H&M Group officially launched its ambition for biodiversity, to which WWF experts had been a sounding board. The ambition sparked the beginning of the partnership’s new focus on biodiversity.


How does the textile industry affect biodiversity?

Biodiversity  is strongly affected by the textile industry; processes such as raw material sourcing,  garment design, production, transportation and customer use are all related to biodiversity and nature. Cotton is one of the most common textile materials. To grow conventional cotton, pesticides are often used, affecting species such as pollinators negatively. In production processes, such as textile dyeing, the use of chemicals can pollute freshwater resources. Transportation by shipping can bring along invasive species, and customers washing garments contribute to pollution and the spread of microplastics in our waters.

Marcus Albers_2 – Foto Saga Sandin – WWF

It is important that businesses start taking action to fight biodiversity loss, as they have a powerful role to play in bending the curve and investing in nature. We salute H&M’s holistic approach to manage their impact and dependence on biodiversity and hope that other companies will follow their example

Marcus albers, Head of Corporate Partnerships at WWF Sweden





how CLIMATE, BIODIVERSITY and water connect

The science is clear, the world needs to reach maximum 1.5 degrees of global heating. Every half a degree matters, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report.



WWF and H&M Group – Partnership results report 2021



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