H&M Group Advancing Nature-Positive & Net-Zero Action

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_H&M Group
Image courtesy of H&M Group

In the face of the escalating climate and nature crises, achieving a future that is nature-positive and net-zero has become more crucial than ever. The fashion industry has a vital role to play in this endeavour. To accomplish the necessary progress at the required speed and scale, joint action involving all sectors of the industry and the entire value chain is essential.

Comprising one third of the global fashion industry, The Fashion Pact is dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change, restoring biodiversity, and safeguarding the oceans. This initiative brings together CEOs and senior leaders from suppliers to retailers to accelerate collaborative efforts. In its next phase, The Fashion Pact aims to delve deeper into the value chain.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group, has been appointed as the new Co-Chair of the initiative's Steering Committee. With a background in sustainability and production, Helmersson succeeds François-Henri Pinault, the co-founder of The Fashion Pact and Chairman and CEO of Kering.

Pinault will continue to serve on the Steering Committee following the completion of his three-year term. Helmersson will work closely with Paul Polman, the co-founder of The Fashion Pact, corporate leader, and global advocate for sustainable business, who has been re-elected as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for another three years.

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The Fashion Pact aims to accelerate and expand the industry's transition to renewable energy, the preservation of biodiversity, and the adoption of sustainable sourcing practices.

The initiative now sets its sights on driving greater progress throughout the value chain. It advocates for a comprehensive approach involving the entire industry to improve fashion's environmental impact, with a specific emphasis on reducing scope 3 emissions. Rapidly and extensively decarbonising the fashion supply chain, where the majority of emissions are generated, is crucial for brands and stakeholders across the sector to achieve their science-based targets.

The group's ongoing efforts, building upon its progress since its establishment in 2020, include:

  • Advancing renewable electricity adoption through the pioneering Collective Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (CVPPA) in the fashion industry. This groundbreaking project will contribute over 100,000 MWh annually to the grid, generating new renewable electricity.

  • Establishing an industry-wide biodiversity baseline that enables companies to assess their impact on nature and develop biodiversity strategies. As a result, more than half of The Fashion Pact members have formulated actionable strategies to address biodiversity conservation.

  • Enhancing sourcing pathways and integrating sustainable materials directly into supply chains, thereby promoting more sustainable practices and materials within the industry.

Helena Helmersson, the CEO of H&M Group, expressed her pride and humility in assuming the position of co-chair of The Fashion Pact. She emphasised the importance of collective efforts in steering the fashion industry towards a sustainable future.

Recognising the pressing climate challenges we face today, she stressed the need for collaborative action to address issues that individual companies cannot tackle alone. Helmersson highlighted the significance of building upon the substantial progress achieved thus far and intensifying efforts to reduce emissions and promote decarbonisation throughout the entire value chain.

She emphasised the transformative potential of united action, underscoring that genuine change can only be achieved through collaboration. Helmersson acknowledged The Fashion Pact's unique ability to leverage collective power and accelerate collective actions within the industry.

Paul Polman, the Co-Chair of The Fashion Pact, highlighted the growing momentum within the fashion industry among leaders who are committed to ensuring their companies are not part of the problem.

He emphasised the significant advantages of decarbonising business models and the willingness of these leaders to collaborate with others to drive the necessary changes for our societies and the planet.

Polman acknowledged that while the fashion sector still has a considerable distance to cover, the challenges cannot be overcome by any single CEO or business in isolation. He underscored the unique value of The Fashion Pact, providing an unprecedented platform for partnership and scalability. Polman emphasised the need to harness the collective courage and determination within this remarkable group, enabling all stakeholders to accelerate their progress collectively.

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Source: H&M Group

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