To ensure compliance with our chemical restrictions we perform regular tests, mainly in third party laboratories. Each year, we conduct more than 40,000 such tests. Test procedures follow a risk assessment that is based on factors such as the type of product and production location.
Should H&M find that a product does not comply with our restrictions, we would take immediate action to ensure the best possible solution taking into consideration people’s health and the environment. Any incidence of non-compliance would trigger a thorough root cause analysis and result in a plan for how to avoid any recurrence.
Chemical training & audits
All H&M suppliers receive intensive training on our chemical restrictions and on chemicals management. Based on a systematic risk assessment, factories with chemical intensive operations – such as dyeing mills, printing facilities and tanneries – receive additional training and support. Each of our production offices located close to our suppliers has a quality assurance team. Each of these teams consists of various experts, including chemical experts. They carry out supplier training, support our suppliers and audit their compliance with our chemical requirements. Chemical audits are conducted in addition to regular product tests and include checking for correct documentation, labelling and quality assurance (for example through test reports) of chemicals used in production. Required documentation might include the existence of the correct Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and declarations from chemical suppliers stating that the use of a specific chemical product does not conflict with H&M’s chemical restrictions. All chemical containers must be properly labelled, easy to identify and associated with a particular MSDS.
In addition to these specific audits, our regular Sustainability Commitment assessments include a set of requirements concerning the safety of chemical handling and storage as well as environmental requirements such as the treatment of wastewater and the handling of hazardous waste.
Read more about environmental requirements for suppliers.