H&M Group is rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at not only promoting sustainability in its own supply chain but also those of other companies.
A few weeks ago, the Swedish retailer announced it was joining forces with E.on, Scania and Siemens to form the Pathways Coalition. Its goal? To achieve fossil-free commercial heavy transport by 2050. A study commissioned by the companies found that decarbonizing heavy transport within the timeframe of the Paris Agreement was achievable through smarter logistics, electrification of vehicles or biofuels. The only thing missing was active collaboration.
“H&M Group has set an ambitious goal of becoming climate positive until 2040,” Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M Group, said in a statement. “The report shows that in order to achieve this climate goal and be able to implement smart, efficient and sustainable transport solutions, cooperation with key players in the value chain is absolutely vital.”
H&M is also supporting Maersk, one of its strategic transport partners—not to mention one of the biggest transport providers on the planet—to promote Marsk Eco Delivery, a sustainable shipping scheme that uses a biofuel blend, derived from sources such as waste cooking oil, to produce immediate carbon-emissions reductions.
“We are very much aware of our responsibility to prioritize sustainability and to explore every viable opportunity to cut our carbon footprint,” said Mats Samuelsson, senior vice president of global logistics at H&M Group. “We have supported Maersk Eco Delivery from the beginning, as the service has the potential to make a substantial part of our supply chain carbon-neutral.”
On Wednesday, the retailer said it will be offering access to its global supply chain as a “service to external companies.” The program, called Treadler, will enable its clients to leverage H&M Group’s expertise, long-term supplier partnerships and strategic sustainability work in order to “overcome initial business barriers and accelerate sustainable change.” H&M does not own any of its factories but it has relationships with more than 800 suppliers—largely across Asia and Europe—to manage its high rate of product turnover. In some cases, it will commit to “buy out” 100 percent of a factory’s outputs five years at a time.
Treadler will begin on a small scale and provide custom-tailored services that cover all aspects of the supply chain, including product development, sourcing, production and logistics.
“We see the opportunity to utilize the full potential of H&M Group’s extensive investments and progressive sustainability work by catering to clients’ needs and contributing to driving long-term growth for H&M Group, while driving change in our industry,” said Gustaf Asp, managing director at Treadler. “In discussions with other companies, we have experienced a demand for these kinds of services.”