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Since 2011, WWF and H&M have been working according to WWF’s model for water stewardship using a 4-step approach, targeting suppliers, staff, consumers, governments and other stakeholders. The work has involved developing H&M’s and their value chain’s water management (steps 1-3) as well as focusing on collective action (step 4) on the ground in countries such as China and Bangladesh. The partnership has also included support for WWF’s water conservation projects in the Yangtze River basin.
As of 2016, the partnership's main focus is on expanding the collective action (step 4) with other companies, policy makers and civil society at chosen river basins in China. H&M also continues to develop the organization’s water practices (steps 1-3).
The 4 steps in our work include:
1. Water awareness amongst staff, suppliers, and the general public with focused and targeted communications activities.
2. Measuring impacts to capture high quality data, to allow H&M to understand water risk and performance across all its operations and supply chain.
3. Internal action:
On climate, WWF and H&M work to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in prioritized parts of H&M’s value chain by engaging suppliers, customers and policy makers. In 2016, WWF supported H&M in developing a new climate strategy and to setting long-term and short-term goals for its climate work.
In April 2017, H&M presented the new climate strategy and also announced its entry to Climate Savers, WWF's global climate programme for business. A short-term climate target for H&M is to reduce emissions in operational operations by 2020 and a long-term goal is to become climate-positive throughout the value chain by 2040.
With "climate positive", H&M means that the company will reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than their value chain generates. In order to reach this goal, H&M will focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. To address the unavoidable emissions, H&M and WWF will look at measures to strengthen the planet’s ability to recover and resist climate change, as well as supporting technological innovations to absorb greenhouse gases.
Read more about climate partnership and the goals in WWF's press release on climate savers.org.
Between 2016-2020, the creation of a strategic dialogue aims to support H&M in the journey to become more sustainable, moving toward circularity and leading change in the industry.
The strategic dialogue will explore H&M’s and the textile industry’s broader sustainability challenges and possibilities. This could involve topics like a renewable materials or circular fashion models, aiming to bring sustainable and science based solutions to both H&M and the fashion industry.
This partnership enables H&M to explore future possibilities and address two of our main sustainability challenges, climate and water, in a constructive way. Simultaneously we’re aiming to influence our industry to move in the same direction. The partnership will showcase to other companies that taking on sustainable business practices is fundamental for future business success.
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