Climate positive value chain by 2040

Magazine for Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Technology

Climate change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Its consequences will affect our entire planet and everyone living on it – making it a key challenge to all industries, including fashion. We have decided to make a bold commitment and show that fashion can be climate positive, by setting the goal of becoming climate positive across our entire value chain by 2040 – at the latest.

Never before has it been more important to act on climate change. We commit to fully eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations. However, in our value chain there will be unavoidable emissions* despite focusing hard on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Therefore, to achieve a climate positive value chain, we will engage in climate resilience** activities strengthening the planet’s ability to recover and resist climate change, to absorb emissions equal to the impact our value chain is responsible for and in addition also more emissions than that. Further, we will also support technological innovations making it possible to absorb greenhouse gases potentially transforming captured greenhouse gases into useful materials.

Becoming climate positive throughout our value chain means reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than what our value chain emits.

Our climate goal

Currently, we are exploring opportunities in these three areas:

1)    Natural carbon sinks

Nature’s existing mechanisms to absorb greenhouse gases. This could be programs that protect valuable biomass, such as rainforests, or investments in more sustainable agriculture.

2)    Technological carbon sinks

Technological innovations to absorb existing greenhouse gases with the aim to turn them into new products and materials.

3)   Reductions outside our value chain

Engagement in activities that reduce greenhouse gases coming from sources unrelated to our value chain.

The H&M group’s climate goal:

  • Climate positive by 2040 throughout the H&M group’s entire value chain.

Milestones and achievements:

  • H&M group commits to a climate neutral supply chain for tier 1–2 by 2030.
  • H&M group has a commitment to use 100% renewable energy in its own operations; the share is 96% today.
  • Our new KPI is based on electricity per square mater and opening hours (using 2016 as a baseline). In 2017, we acceived a decrease of 2.7% in electricity use.
  • H&M group is a proud member of the WWF Climate Savers program — a climate leadership programme that seeks to transform businesses into leaders of the low-carbon economy.

* Unavoidable emissions are the remaining greenhouse gas emissions we create, even after a focused increase in energy efficiency and transition to renewable energy. These could include emissions from fossil-based household electricity when customers wash their clothes.

** Resilience is the planet’s natural long-term system to handle tension in order to keep the climate and ecosystems stable. For an ecosystem, such as a forest, it can be the capacity to endure storms, fires or pollution. For a farmer, resilience can be to tolerate pest outbreaks or climate change. Resilience is the system capacity to withstand stress and changes as well as the ability to develop essential functionality. In the long-term, this means the ability to adapt. More knowledge in, for example, how biodiversity and innovation can strengthen climate resilience is increasingly important in order to mitigate tension and manage the changes already taking place due to climate change.

 Source: H&M group