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 our entire 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 efforts are science-based. Together we can influence industry players, suppliers, customers and the broader community 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
Making fashion uses lots of freshwater and causes pollution. And with lots of different suppliers spread over a wide area, we need to find solutions that address these challenges on a local and global level. By bringing together companies, policy makers and communities we can drive change and share water resources in a more equitable and sustainable way.
Making fibres, processing materials, dyeing and garment manufacturing requires a lot of energy. As does the washing and drying 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 and policy makers 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 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 aim to have a positive impact on water, targeting solutions and working with stakeholders to address the different challenges we see across our value chain. 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.
- We supported WWF to produce two reports to encourage the fashion industry to take a more holistic approach to water issues. Eau Courant discusses the impact of the apparel and textile industry on water, while Avant-Garde looks at the risks facing the industry.
At H&M Group, we have ambitious goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 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 Business Network, to encourage the fashion industry and other companies to take action on the climate crisis and learn from what others are doing.
- Policy push to encourage European Institutions to vote for more renewable energy and better energy efficiency and a climate neutral EU by 2050.
- Together with WWF, we have called on Members of the EU Parliament and the Council of the EU to adopt ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives for 2030.
- Holding training sessions for our suppliers and other textile companies to learn more about the Science Based Target Initiative.
Our ambition is to contribute to the global goals for nature across our value chain. Biodiversity became a stand-alone theme in our partnership with WWF in 2021. Since then our biodiversity work has included:
- Engaging government leaders through platforms like Business for Nature to call for policy frameworks to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.
- Providing input to Science Based Targets Network‘s nature target setting method..
- Supporting smallholder cotton farmers in India to adopt regenerative agriculture practices to improve soil health and biodiversity.
- Developing an app that helps supplier factories in Cambodia verify that the wood used for steam production comes from approved sources.
- Working with communal smallholders and large commercial sheep farmers in South Africa on regenerative wool production practices.
- Supporting the development of the WWF Biodiversity Risk Filter – a tool to help companies understand their biodiversity impacts and dependencies.
We publish our Sustainability Disclosure annually. In this document, we set out our goals and the progress we’ve made in the previous year. Find the latest version here. More up to date information can be included on this page.