H&M Releases Its 2012 Sustainability Report

One of the first and largest fashion companies in the world to make its supplier factory list public

STOCKHOLM, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, H&M published its eleventh Conscious Actions Sustainability Report. Highlights from the 2012 report include:

  • H&M is one of the first and largest fashion companies in the world to make its supplier factory list public.
  • H&M is the first fashion retailer in the world to launch a global garment recycling initiative by collecting unwanted clothing to reprocess them for new use.
  • H&M is the number one user of organic cotton in the world for the second consecutive year.
  • H&M raised the support for higher wages and yearly wage reviews for garment workers during a personal meeting between the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M.
  • H&M entered into a cutting edge, global water stewardship with WWF formulating a game-changing supply chain conscious water conservation strategy.

"We are proud of the achievements we have made during the year. H&M is transparent about the progress we make and the report is an important reflection of our efforts. Our customers should feel confident that everything they purchase from H&M is designed, manufactured and handled with responsibility for people and the environment," says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M.

Alongside the launch of the Sustainability Report, H&M publically released its supplier factory list, one of the first and largest fashion companies in the world to do so. The list covers around 95% of the total production volume. Behind this is a long record of preparatory work to build strong, strategic bonds with our suppliers, allowing us to disclose their names, their factories and their locations without major concerns about the ongoing competition for the best available production capacity in our industry. By publishing the list, H&M wants to contribute to a more transparent and ultimately more sustainable fashion industry. The list is available at hm.com/supplierlist.

H&M is the first fashion retailer to, on a global scale, offer our customer the opportunity to return old clothes, from any brand and in any condition, to our stores. This initiative is foremost an environmental project. H&M wants to reduce the amount of fashion that ends up in landfills and give these clothes a new future. In the long run H&M wants to make new clothes out of them and close the textile loop.

For the second year in a row H&M is the biggest user of certified organic cotton in the world. As well as making major investments in Better Cotton, we plan to further increase our use of organic cotton and gradually increase our use of recycled cotton. We are currently on track to use only sustainable cotton, with 11.4% of our cotton now coming from these sources.

"Being one of the biggest fashion companies puts high demand on our sustainability work and we take this responsibility seriously. There are a number of things that stand out such as being the biggest user of organic cotton in the world, being the first fashion retailer to launch a garment recycling initiative globally and promoting transparency by disclosing our supplier factory list," says Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

Key figures from our Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2012

  • 11.4% of cotton used came from more sustainable sources (7.8% certified organic cotton, 3.6% Better Cotton).
  • Around 150,000 cotton farmers were trained on better farming techniques through the Better Cotton Initiative.
  • The use of recycled polyester was equivalent to 7.9 million plastic bottles.
  • 450 million liters of water were saved in the production of denim and other water- intense products by applying water-saving production techniques.
  • 74% of our managers and 50% of the board members are women.
  • We reduced electricity use in our stores by 15% per square meter compared to 2007, targeting 20% reductions by 2020.
  • 570,821 garment workers in Bangladesh received training on their rights, through short films, since 2008.
  • More than 100,000 workers and middle managers in H&M supplier factories received additional training on fire safety.
  • The compliance with the H&M Code of Conduct amongst the supplier factories continued to improve, with sustainability performance scores (ICoC) increasing from 79.3% (Dec. 2011) to 81.7% (November 2012).
  • H&M invested about SEK 42 million (approx. USD 6.3 million / EUR 5 million) into communities in India and Bangladesh as well as the H&M Conscious Foundation.

This Thursday on March 21, H&M will also launch their Conscious Collection made from organic cotton, biodegradable Tencel fabric and recycled polyester – bringing eco-friendly glamorous styles for men, women, and children in all stores. The pieces are a part of a collection full of optimism for Spring – with romantic styles alongside sporty shapes and tropical prints. On April 4, they will launch their Conscious Exclusive collection in around 140 stores worldwide. The Conscious Exclusive collection is a party wear collection for women and men also made from more sustainable materials. For more information on these collections please go to:

The report and a summary of its highlights are available to read and download at hm.com/consciousactions2012.

Contact person:
Camilla Emilsson Falk, Head of Media Relations,
Phone: +46 8 796 3995 Email: camilla.emilsson-falk@hm.com

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company's business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has approximately 2,800 stores in 48 markets, including franchise markets. In 2012, sales including VAT were SEK 140,948 million and the number of employees is more than 104,000. For further information, visit hm.com.

SOURCE: H&M

For further information:

http://www.hm.com