Memberships & collaborations

Memberships & collaborations

Many of the challenges we face today are of a complex nature. Collaborating with others is one key to tackle these. Being member to a range of selected organisations and iniatives helps us to facilitate collaboration, learn and enhance the credibility of our sustainability work.

Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI)

H&M  became a Foundation Stage Member of Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) 2014. ETI is leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGO’s that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.  As a member of ETI we also agree to adopt the ETI Base Code and we see great opportunities of collaboration with peers and stakeholders to collectively address concerns and issues in our supply chain.

The sustainable Development Goals Fund

The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is a new development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, to support sustainable development activities through joint programmes on country level implemented by UN agencies and other stakeholders. To better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development, the SDG Fund has established a Private Sector Advisory Group, formed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. These leaders are helping the SDG Fund to build a roadmap for how public-private alliances can provide large-scale solutions for achieving the new SDGs. The Advisory Group is committed to identifying areas of common interest and deciphering the best methods of UN-Private Sector engagement.

Business Call to Action

Launched in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global membership platform that encourages private sector companies to develop innovative business models that combine profitability with development impact, in support of the sustainable development goals. Business Call to Action is supported by five key donor governments and is based at the United Nations Development Programme. H&M joined the BCtA with a commitment that is part of its larger goal to make continuous and lasting improvement for the garment industry in Bangladesh (learn more here).

Sida and Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Dvelopment

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government. Its mission is to reduce poverty in the world. Sida sees private organisations as important partners in achieving fair and sustainable development. In 2014 Sida and H&M signed a memorandum of understanding to support decent jobs and sustainable developing opportunities with respect for human rights. H&M is also a member of Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development. This network is coordinated by Sida and consists of companies and expert organizations exchanging experiences and initiating new collaborative projects.  

ILO

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity.H&M and ILO have been working together since 2001.  n 2014 we further strengthened our engagement to promote industrial relations and respect for international labour standards in Asia and Africa.

Solidaridad

H&M and Solidaridad have been working together in several projects, from cotton fields to dyeing mills and sewing factories. In 2014 this resulted in a multi-annual partnership. Our aim is to further improve social and environmental conditions in the supply chain and finding better ways to support sustainability in the fashion industry. For example, we have developed and launched the cleaner production program “Better Mill Initiative (BMI)” in China. The BMI supports dyeing and printing mills around cleaner production in textile wet processing. Learn more about Solidaridad and BMI 

WWF

In early 2013 we launched a new water strategy and entered a three year water partnership with conservation organisation WWF. This strategy has been called a game changer in the fashion industry, as it takes the entire supply chain into account and goes far beyond the factory lines. In March 2016, we partnered with the WWF again, in a five years partnership. The focus is still on water stewardship, but also including climate action and a strategic dialogue related to H&M and the textile industry’s broader sustainability challenges.

Brand collaboration, ACT

Together with more than ten other brands, we have aligned our shared visions that all workers in the industry should earn fair living wages. We have recognised the need for even more industry collaboration to make this a reality in a joint set of what we called the Enabling Principles. During 2015, we moved this forward into a formal collaboration together with the global union IndustriALL called ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation). The purpose is to make concrete progress towards fair living wages in garment producing countries. This requires a responsible, competitive textile industry that invests in its workforce. ACT brands are working together with IndustriALL on a shared vision and strategy to improve wages in the textile industry through industry level collective bargaining supported by world class manufacturing standards andresponsible buying practices. 

UN Global Compact (UNGC)

H&M is an active signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. The Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles concerning human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Read more.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)

As a group of sustainability leaders in the apparel sector, including H&M, the coalition works on a collaborative approach to improve the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products. Read more.

Better Cotton Initiative

H&M is actively involved in the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The BCI is a long-term multi-stakeholder initiative that develops and promotes good farm practices, allowing more cotton to be grown while reducing water and chemical use and protecting both working conditions and biodiversity. Read more about Better Cotton Initiative.

Fair Wage Network

Wages in our supply chain are a key focus in our sustainability work. Wage structures in global supply chains are often complex. In order to gain better knowledge over these wage structures and seek for joint solutions with other partners, H&M joined the Fair Wage Network. The initiative works to bring together fashion brands, garment producers, NGOs, worker representatives and researchers to promote fair wages around the world. Find out more here.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

H&M has been a member of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) for several years. BSR is a global network of more than 250 member companies, which aims to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Read more.

Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange (formerly Organic Exchange) is a non-profit organisation that is committed to expanding organic agriculture, with a specific focus on increasing the production and use of organically grown fibres such as cotton.

Buyers Forum Bangladesh

This forum was initiated in 2006 by H&M together with GAP Inc. and a number of other companies. The forum is co-ordinated with the help of IFC-SEDF, a part of the World Bank Group. Today it functions as a forum for around 20 brands to discuss topics such as workers’ rights issues and grey areas in local labour laws, and seeks to build consensus to address these issues with one voice. The Forum addressed the issue of minimum wages through a joint letter to the Bangladesh government.

 

Other initiatives include developing a common health and safety checklist for factories to ensure compliance with buyers’ requirements. This is instead of factories having to possibly adopt different requirements from different buyers.

Better Factories Cambodia

We have supported the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia (ILO-BFC) programme since 2005. The programme combines assessments of working conditions with advisory and training services. It addresses the core needs of workers, unions, government and the international buyers who participate in the programme through a fee-based subscription system.

 

Participation in the programme is mandatory for all export garment factories in Cambodia. H&M was one of the first international buyers to participate in the programme and use its assessment, advisory and training services. Read more about Better Factories Cambodia.

Better Work

The International Labour Organization (ILO) started the Better Work programme with the aim of bringing employees and employers together to find solutions to workers’ issues and ensure a sustainable labour market. The programme is based on the Better Factories Cambodia model and currently covers Vietnam, Jordan and Lesotho, with the intention of rolling it out in more and more countries in Asia and the Pacific region.

 

In 2009, the Better Work Vietnam programme was initiated in the Ho Chi Minh City area and there are plans to expand it to Indonesia. Both countries are home to H&M suppliers and we welcome their inclusion.

Brands Ethical Working Group India

This is a group of around 25 brands that sources garments from India. The Forum meets every three months and H&M is an active member and chairs some of the sub-groups, including the group focusing on production in the informal sector e.g. home workers.

Among others, the group uses its joint influence to address the issue of sumangali schemes at industry level. It also provides a platform to share knowledge about issues of special national concern, such as home working or the implementation of new minimum wages in the Bangalore area.

CEO Water Mandate

In June 2008, we signed the CEO Water Mandate, a voluntary initiative from the UN Global Compact. The mandate commits H&M to improve both our own and our suppliers’ water efficiency, improve wastewater quality and report transparently on our progress. During 2010 H&M also joined the Water Disclosure Working Group (WDWG), set up within the UN CEO Water Mandate. Read more about H&M and water.

Leather Working Group

Leather products have a relatively high environmental impact, for instance due to the use of polluting chemicals in the tanning process. In 2009, we joined the Leather Working Group, which promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the footwear leather industry.

Clean Shipping Project

The Clean Shipping Project aims to improve the environmental performance of the shipping industry. We have been part of the Clean Shipping Network for a number of years and continue to work on developing the Clean Shipping Index and promoting its use amongst our carriers. Read more about transport.

 

Transparency International Sweden

H&M is a corporate supporter member of Transparency International Sweden (TI Sweden) since 2013. Transparency International Sweden is an independent non-for-profit organisation that, together with a hundred national chapters worldwide, is part of the global coalition Transparency International, which combats corruption in all forms.

 

 

Circular Economy 100

H&M is part of Circular Economy 100 as a corporate member to help accelerate the transition to a circular economy. From a sustainable perspective the transition from a linear to a circular economy is necessary. A circular economy requires innovation of material and product reuse, as well as related business models. By using materials more effectively, economic growth will eventually be detached from the use of natural resources and ecosystems. In such an economy, the lower use of raw materials allows to create more value. The Circular Economy 100 is a pre-competitive innovation programme organised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, of which H&M is a global partner.

 

Stakeholder Voices

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