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H&M Expands Partnership With WWF

Swedish retailer H&M has expanded its existing partnership with conservation organization WWF for five more years.

The new agreement, announced Tuesday, builds on the duo’s water stewardship policy from 2013 to also include climate action and a “strategic dialog” related to the retailer’s broader sustainability challenges.

“Together, we are taking a holistic and science-based approach that aims to break new ground within sustainability and fashion. After working closely together with H&M for the past three years, we know they are committed to being good stewards of shared resources and eager to contribute to shifting the industry towards more sustainable models,” Mariann Eriksson, marketing director for WWF, said in a press release.

The previous partnership led to improved water awareness among H&M staff and suppliers, in addition to bringing stakeholders from business, civil society and politics together to contribute to more sustainable water management in river basins in China and Bangladesh.

The new agreement will take the previous commitments up a notch by focusing more on specific river basins in China. Furthermore, WWF and H&M will work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in “prioritized parts” of the retailer’s value chain by working with suppliers, customers and policy makers toward a low carbon future.

These efforts also align with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

“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,” Pierre Börjesson, H&M’s sustainability business expert in climate and water, noted. “The partnership will showcase to other companies that taking on sustainable business practices is fundamental for future business success.”