News article

The Fashion Pact to scale joint action towards a nature-positive and net-zero future with appointment of Helena Helmersson as new Co-Chair

  • Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group, has been appointed Co-Chair of the global CEO-led industry initiative, succeeding The Fashion Pact’s co-founder, Kering’s Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault
  • The Fashion Pact is calling for a collaborative, ‘whole industry’ approach to rapidly cut emissions across the entire value chain as the initiative aims to contribute to solving industry-wide challenges
  • Helmersson, Co-Chair Paul Polman and Executive Director & Secretary General Eva von Alvensleben, alongside CEO members, will continue to build on The Fashion Pact’s strong progress to deliver its goals and ambitions around climate, biodiversity and oceans

Achieving a nature-positive and net-zero future is more critical than ever, amid the escalating climate and nature crisis, and the fashion industry has a crucial role to play. The speed and scale of progress required can only be achieved through joint action, involving all segments of the industry and the entire value chain.

The Fashion Pact represents one third of the global fashion industry and is committed to mitigating the impact of climate change, restoring biodiversity, and protecting the oceans. The initiative brings together CEOs and senior leaders to accelerate joint action, from suppliers to retailers, and in its next phase, it will go deeper into the value chain.

Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group, has been appointed as new Co-Chair of the initiative’s Steering Committee. With a background in sustainability and production, Helmersson is succeeding The Fashion Pact’s co-founder, Kering’s Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault who remains on the Steering Committee after completing his three-year mandate. Helmersson will be working closely with The Fashion Pact’s co-founder, corporate leader and global advocate for sustainable business, Paul Polman, who has been re-elected as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for another three years.

Aiming to accelerate and scale the industry’s transition to renewable energy, the protection of biodiversity, and use of sustainable sourcing, The Fashion Pact is now targeting greater progress throughout the value chain. It is calling for a ‘whole industry’ approach to improving fashion’s environmental impact with an increased focus on scope 3 emission reductions. Decarbonizing fashion’s supply chain – where the biggest share of emissions occur – at pace and scale will be critical for brands and players across the sector to achieve their science-based targets.

These efforts will build on the group’s progress* since it was founded in 2020, including:

  1. Accelerating renewable electricity adoption by creating a first-of-its kind Collective Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (CVPPA) in the fashion industry. This project will add over 100,000 MWh per year of new renewable electricity generation to the grid.
  2. Setting an industry biodiversity baseline for companies to measure their impact on nature and enabling the creation of biodiversity strategies. This has resulted in over half of The Fashion Pact members developing actionable strategies.
  3. Improving sourcing pathways and integrating more sustainable materials directly into supply chains.

I am proud and humbled to take on the role as co-chair of The Fashion Pact and to collectively move our industry closer to a sustainable future. In today’s urgent climate context, we need to work together to tackle challenges that one company alone can’t solve. Now is the time to build on the great progress that has been achieved so far and accelerate emission reduction and decarbonisation activity deeper down the value chain. It is only by coming together we can create real change, and The Fashion Pact’s unique collective power has the ability to accelerate our actions together”.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group

There is now a real momentum within fashion among leaders who don’t want their companies to be the problem, who see the immense benefits of decarbonising their business models, and who are ready to work with others to drive the changes our societies and planet need. Yes this sector has a long way to go, but no single CEO or business can tackle these issues alone and The Fashion Pact offers unprecedented partnership and scale. The task now is to channel the collective courage within this impressive group so that we can all move faster”.

Paul Polman, Co-Chair of The Fashion Pact

I am delighted to hand over to an experienced leader like Helena Helmersson with a unique perspective on sustainability in the fashion supply chain. Together, we have made significant progress since 2019, when President Macron asked me to bring together the global fashion industry – from creating a Collective Virtual Power Purchase Agreement to accelerate renewable electricity adoption, to creating shared tools and guidance on delivering positive biodiversity outcomes. I look forward to continuing to work with all fellow members to build on our achievements and drive meaningful change towards a nature-positive, net-zero future”.

François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering

Over the past three years, The Fashion Pact has set the foundations for never seen before knowledge sharing, capacity building and CEO-led joint actions across renewable energy, low impact and regenerative cotton farming practices as well as joint commodity projects. I look forward to integrating Helena Helmersson’s unique perspective and expertise into our collective actions aimed at triggering large-scale change”.

Eva von Alvensleben, Executive Director & Secretary General of The Fashion Pact

Notes to editors

* The Fashion Pact’s progress to date

Since its foundation in 2020, The Fashion Pact has already made significant achievements by:

  • Setting up the fashion and textile industry to work jointly by gathering a third of the sector within a single organisation – a first in the industry – and building the right conditions for group action. Through working groups, webinars and best practice sharing sessions, the initiative ensures a baseline understanding of common challenges in order to identify the best possible way forward.
  • Creating a baseline for fashion companies to develop biodiversity strategies through the provision of science-based tools under the Global Environment Facility-funded project “Transforming the Fashion Sector with Nature” in partnership with Conservation International. Concrete outcomes notably include the creation of:
    • A biodiversity strategy tool navigator – an interactive website to guide fashion brands through the various stages of developing a biodiversity strategy aligned with the Science-Based Target Network. This includes traceability, risks and impacts, target setting, implementation plans, reporting and transparency.
    • A biodiversity benchmark to help brands individually understand where they are, set up baseline, and continue to measure progress.
    • Deep dive analysis reports on commodities with high production impacts to support scientific advancement of metrics and methods and to provide insights to companies looking to set science-based targets for nature and to identify opportunities to strengthen actions and investments for biodiversity and nature-positive outcomes.
  • Designing joint projects tackling tipping points in the industry that have the power to unlock system change. Those actions include:
    • Increasing the availability of renewable energy in own operations and supply chain, for instance by creating a Collective Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (CVPPA), aimed at accelerating renewable electricity adoption by investing in new clean energy infrastructure, beginning in Europe.
    • Helping support farmers transition to better production methods in order to increase the eventual availability of lower impact materials on the market, for instance by designing a system allowing brands to incentivise cotton farmers to implement low climate-impact and regenerative farming practices.
    • Improving sourcing pathways and integrating more sustainable materials directly into supply chains by supporting joint action commodity projects aiming to support on-the-ground platforms for key materials such as leather in Brazil and cashmere in Mongolia.
    • Developing paper-based alternatives to plastic polybags.
    • Identifying joint actions to reduce supply chain impacts through direct supplier collaboration.