H&M Partners With WWF To Reduce Water Impact and Help Endangered Species

H&M Partners With WWF To Reduce Water Impact and Help Endangered Species

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Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 2:00pm



The Swedish clothing retailer H&M began a partnership last year with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to improve the company’s water stewardship. The partnership, part of WWF’s Water Stewardship initiative, will last three years. The company, which has 3,100 stores and 104,000 employees worldwide, had already worked with WWF for several years before launching the official partnership. Part of the partnership will include internal and external actions. Internal actions include raising water awareness among H&M’s staff, suppliers and consumers, and measuring impacts so that H&M better understands water risk and performance across its supply chain and operations. External actions include setting targets for reducing water impact and effective stakeholder engagement.   

Water is an important part of the garment industry, which needs water to grow cotton and manufacture fabrics. About 2.7 billion people, around 40 percent of the world’s population, live in river basins where water scarcity occurs during at least one month a year, according to WWF’s 2012 Living Planet Report. The report predicts that by 2050 over 40 percent of the world’s population will live under severe water stress. Many places around the world are already experiencing severe drought, including California, which is in the midst of the third consecutive year of drought. As a result, Governor Jerry Brown has issued a State of Emergency proclamation. The drought is impacting the statewide snowpack water content, necessary for the state’s vast agricultural regions, which is only about 29 percent of the normal average for this time of year. This year is projected to be the driest on record for California.

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Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a Central California based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. Armed with a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She firmly believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. She has been named one of the 75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter by Mashable.com. 

CATEGORY: Environment