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WWF and H&M Group

 Pioneering water stewardship and climate action for fashion

The partnership between WWF and H&M Group is founded on a joint vision for a sustainable future for people and nature. The purpose is to address key environmental impacts in the H&M Group’s value chain, with a special focus on water and climate. Our work also aims to lead and inspire other companies within the fashion industry but also beyond, towards solutions that keep within the boundaries of our planet.

About the partnership

H&M Group and WWF entered a partnership in 2011, focusing on water stewardship. The partnership was the first of its kind, as it took the whole supply chain into account and went far beyond the factory lines. The aim was to raise awareness, to improve responsible water use throughout H&M Group’s entire supply chain and to inspire other companies to take action toward more responsible water management.

In 2016, the partnership expanded to also include climate action and a strategic dialogue related to H&M Group’s and the fashion industry’s broader sustainability challenges and opportunities – marking one more important step towards a more sustainable fashion industry. In April 2017, H&M Group announced a new climate strategy that had been developed in collaboration with WWF and also entered into WWF’s global programme Climate Savers.

Why we have partnered

The textile industry is an important focus area for WWF as raw materials and processing locations are often based in some of the world’s most water stressed and polluted river basins. The textile supply chains are also often based in countries where a high share of fossil energy is used.

By working together, combining expertise and leadership and taking a holistic approach on water, climate and strategic decisions, H&M Group and WWF have the potential to accomplish real change – within H&M Group’s organization and beyond. As H&M Group is a leading player in the fashion industry, they have the position to influence suppliers, customers and other brands in their industry to become more sustainable. Further, the partnership wants to showcase to other companies, within the textile sector and beyond, that focusing on more sustainable practices is both feasible and valuable for business.

Karl-Johan Persson –  Photo: H&MGroup

”Thanks to our size and to our committed colleagues, H&M Group is fit to lead the change towards a more sustainable fashion future. However, this is not a task that we can manage on our own; collaboration, new-ways of working and joint industry goals are key for accelerating the changes and results needed.”

Karl-Johan Persson, CEO H&M Group

How we work together

Water

Due to the textile industry’s freshwater challenges WWF and H&M Group has since the start of the partnership in 2011 been working together to improve water management in some of the worlds most stressed river basins. We have done this by working with water stewardship. 

Water stewardship is a five-step model creating incentives to act on water use through engagement, better management and governance to protect the resources, species and nature. The water stewardship journey involves learning, acting, doing and improving.

Since 2011, WWF and H&M Group have been working according to WWF’s model for water stewardship using the five-step approach, targeting suppliers, staff, consumers, governments and other stakeholders. The work has involved developing H&M Group’s and their value chain’s water management as well as focusing on collective action and influence governance on the ground in countries such as China, Bangladesh and Turkey. The partnership has also included support for WWF’s water conservation projects in the Yangtze River basin. As H&M Group continues to develop the organization’s water practices, the main focus of the partnership is now on expanding the collective action and influence governance for a more sustainable textile industry across the globe, together with other companies, policymakers and civil society.

H&M Group both uses and contributes in the development of the WWF Water Risk Filter, an online tool that enable users to explore, assess, and respond to water risks. H&M Group regularly assess the water related aspects of their value chain of apparel & textile production including dyeing and washing processes through the Water Risk Filter. The overall water risk indicated by basin and company, for each of the business partners facilities of H&M Group, steer and guide to specific actions according to H&M Group’s holistic water strategy to address the challenges.

Milestones and results

  • Collective action plans for water risk mitigation are being set for all H&M Group production offices in water risk areas.
  • Advocacy & communication for SDG 6; the partnership calls global fashion brands to join a movement for defining textile industry best practice on water stewardship, globally.
  • Supported development of new function within the WWF Water Risk Filter that enables companies to quickly develop contextual water stewardship responses to their water related risks any basin.
  • Water awareness training for 75000 staff (from production office employees as well as sales and design functions).
  • Cleaner production program trained 2,636 workers in 270 production units across Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, India and Turkey.
  •  Developed Cleaner Production Guidelines for the textile industry in Turkey.
  • Water and chemical management standards were improved in over 500 suppliers, in the H&M Group value chain.
  • Connected 100 % of the direct suppliers and fabric mills involved in making 60 % of H&M Group’s products to supplier assessment systems through Higg FEM.
  •  Established a ground-breaking industrial park project in China, aiming to bring social, economic and ecological benefits to participating suppliers and the surrounding ecosystem. Long term, the project will serve as a model for similar industrial park areas.
  • Indicators for basin health monitoring was developed for Taihu basin in the Yangtze river, contributing to the survival of the endangered river porpoise and more sustainable practices used by farmers in the river basin.
  • Engaged policy makers for more sustainable water management in Bangladesh, with particular focus on creating and supporting a water governance work stream within the platform of 2030 Water Research Group.

Video: Making a change through water stewardship

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How we work together

Climate action

In 2016, WWF and H&M Group expanded the partnership to include taking climate action. This means reducing the emissions from H&M Group and its value chain, as well as to inspire other companies within the textile sector and beyond.

In April 2017, H&M Group launched its new climate strategy, developed in collaboration with WWF. The overarching target is to become climate positive by 2040 throughout H&M group’s entire value chain. Simply put, this means that H&M Group by 2040 will have reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than it is responsible for. At the same date in April 2017, H&M Group also entered WWFs global climate program, Climate Savers. As a member, H&M Group will work to achieve the intermediate climate goals and work to inspire other companies in their industry about their ambitions and achievements.

How to become Climate Positive?

H&M Group and WWF are together working towards the goal of making H&M Group’s entire value chain climate positive by 2040, this is how:

  1. Energy efficiency –Reducing the demand for energy across H&M Group’s value chain
  2. Renewable energy – Ensuring the energy used comes from renewable and sustainable sources
  3. Climate resilience – Addressing unavoidable emissions through activities helping the planet to recover and resist climate change, as wells as innovations making it possible to capture greenhouse gases.

Milestones and results

  • Policy Push in Brussels with the aim to encourage the European Parliament to vote for more renewable energy, more energy efficiency and a climate neutral EU by 2050 at the latest. The final outcome was more ambitious than experts initially had forecasted. A true success for our joint intervention.
  •  H&M Group’s climate goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. This sets a ground for climate targets in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.
  • SCALE – A programme in Cambodia where we are developing sustainable biomass solutions for the Cambodian textile sector and at the same time preserving biodiversity.
  • Clean Tech Programme in India investigates supplier climate action. Focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • We are one roof, project to examine the rooftop solar potential at H&M Group suppliers. The project runs in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
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How we work together

strategy dialogue

The strategic dialogue aims to support H&M Group in the journey to become more sustainable, moving toward circularity and leading change in the industry. It explores H&M Group’s and the textile industry’s broader sustainability challenges and possibilities, aiming to bring sustainable and science-based solutions to both H&M Group and the fashion industry. WWF and H&M Group have identified three areas of collaboration to tackle major challenges in the industry: Raw materials, Innovations, and Policy & advocacy.

Raw materials

Defining, choosing and sourcing raw materials in a sustainable way is a major challenge for the entire textile industry. A lot of commonly used materials require a high use of freshwater, energy, pesticides and fertilizers, with negative impacts on people, nature and biodiversity. H&M Group has set out the goal to only use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030 at the latest. The strategy dialogue’s work with raw materials is an important part in reaching that goal.

Innovations

The strategic dialogue also functions as an incubator for strategic and innovative approaches, aiming to tackle industry challenges in pioneering ways. Examples on project initiated are science-based targets for water, and SCALE, the landscape finance project in Cambodia.

Policy and advocacy

The partnership’s work with policy and advocacy aims to bring about change through policy and advocacy. Amongst other things, during 2017 and 2018, WWF and H&M Group have, together with other companies, advocated for stronger regulations on energy efficiency and renewable energy within the EU.

Milestones and results

  • Improving H&M Group’s routines when sourcing selected raw materials.
  • Strengthening H&M Group’s forest raw material policy, including increasing FSC certified products.
  • Pilot project on reponsible rattan production in Indonesia initiated.
  • Goal of H&M Group: to use 100 percent recycled, or other sustainably sourced materials, by 2030 at the latest.
  • Joint project on issues around circularity and business models.
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About H&M Group

H&M Group is one of the world’s leading fashion retailer, with around 4,900 stores in 72 markets across the globe. H&M Group consists of eight defined brands — H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M Home, ARKET and Afound. Together the brands offer customers a wealth of styles and trends within fashion, beauty, accessories and homewares as well as modern, healthy food. H&M Group’s sustainability vision is for the H&M Group to lead the change towards a sustainable fashion industry based on a fully circular approach and renewable energy.

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Contact

katrina

Katrina Johansson

Manager Corporate Partnerships

+46 8 624 74 00

+46 72 225 14 48

katrina.johansson@wwf.se

Senast ändrad: 2019-09-19

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