In 2017 and 2018, WWF, H&M Group and IKEA jointly pushed for stronger climate policies in the EU. Efforts were successful and showed that organizations stand stronger togheter.
Many companies need sharper EU frameworks to reach their corporate climate goals and to deliver on the Paris Agreement. The private sector has an important role in emphasizing this to us politicians, both on national and international levels.
Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation in Sweden
In 2017, the Minister of Energy in Sweden, Ibrahim Baylan, met with representatives from WWF and H&M Group to know more about H&M Group’s target to become climate positive by 2040. In the meeting, the minister concluded that the H&M targets are more ambitious than the ones of Sweden. This led to a discussion on what H&M Group and WWF could do to push politicians for higher climate ambitions. Baylan suggested a visit to the EU parliament in Brussels to influence politicians to vote for stronger climate policies.
“Together with H&M Group and IKEA we decided to encourage the European Parliament to make the proposed legislative framework for the EU’s Energy union up to 2030 and beyond, the so-called “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, as ambitious as possible”, says Ola Hansén, climate expert at WWF Sweden.
The plan was to get members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who were hesitant on how to vote in the ongoing negotiations, to pick sides for more renewable energy, better energy efficiency and a climate neutral EU by 2050 at the latest.
Invitations to a breakfast seminar were sent to all 700 members of the Parliament with a strong message: “Companies want higher ambitions on energy efficiency and renewable energy”. This was an effective way to get the message across to all MEPs and their staff. In addition, IKEA and H&M had one-to-one meetings with specific members of the Parliament.
In the end, partnership efforts contributed to a great result. The final outcome in the European Parliament was more ambitious than experts initially had forecasted. A true success for the joint intervention where a majority of the MEPs voted in favour for tougher targets on renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate, than initially proposed. The Parliament also pushed member states to go even further when setting the 2030 targets.
As a last push: In May 2018, H&M Group sent a letter to all Energy Ministers in EU to get the Council closer to the more ambitious position of the Parliament. The letter was signed by IKEA and 13 other Scandinavian companies. The process was coordinated by WWF Sweden.
“Our experience was that members of the European Parliament were eager to get our perspectives on why stronger climate frameworks are so important for the private sector. We need sharper policy targets if we are to reach our company’s climate targets”, says Cecilia Brännsten, Head of Environmental Sustainability at H&M Group.
The policy push in Brussels shows how our partnership and our different skills can lead to changes in legislations and regulations
CECILIA BRÄNNSTEN, HEAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, H&M GROUP