International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), have launched a joint partnership to boost the use of clean, renewable energy in the garment sector, while also slashing greenhouse gas emissions, it has been officially announced.
Renewable energy already powers 96% of H&M’s own global operations. H&M products are manufactured by around 790 independent suppliers, indirectly creating jobs for around 1.6 million people, of whom about 65% are women.
H&M will partner with IFC to guide its strategic tier-1 as well as tier-2 suppliers in China, India and Bangladesh to adopt renewable energy solutions, thereby improving environmental sustainability within the H&M global supply chain.
H&M and IFC will develop a platform to implement practical renewable energy solutions on the ground to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through adoption of clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power. This approach will be initially adopted in three countries of high importance to H&M and replicated later in other markets.
“H&M has an ambition to work with a climate neutral supply chain (Tier-1 and Tier-2) by 2030 and we see IFC as an important partner in this journey. IFC’s vast experience working with renewable energy and climate related topics in several developing countries will be very valuable in driving this agenda together with our business partners. We believe that this partnership will not only have a positive climate impact on H&M’s supply chain but also on the fashion industry as a whole” H&M’s Sustainability Business Expert for Climate Change and Water Stewardship Pierre Börjesson said.
“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for the environment, but importantly, this project will create a low-carbon roadmap that shows how it makes good financial sense for firms too,” said Milagros Rivas Saiz, Global Head Advisory at IFC.
IFC Senior Energy Specialist Jeremy Levin added “In several countries distributed solar power can be cheaper than grid-provided power, and is far less costly for those suppliers who have to rely on expensive diesel generator sets to meet their power needs. This roadmap will provide direction on how to capture these savings.”