H&M continues its commitment to creating a more conscious business by releasing their 13th annual sustainability report, an overview on how the company is doing in reaching its goals of creating a more environmentally sound business and measuring up to human rights and workplace equality ideals.
In 2014, H&M remained the industry’s top user of organic cotton and used the equivalent of 40 million PET bottles to create garments crafted from recycled polyester. The retailer also outlined a plan to commit to using renewable electricity where it is available by the end of this year. They are hoping that the share of renewable energy they use will leap to 80% (from 27% in 2014) in H&M-related locations, including warehouses, stores and corporate offices by the end of 2015.
H&M also boasts a very high ratio of female staff, noting that 78% of its staff are women, and that women make up 72% of the managerial positions. H&M is also putting a focus on animal rights, launching a plan which they hope will lead them to using 100% certified down by the end of the year, with the same goals for sourcing wool by 2017. They have also set a goal to use certified organic cotton or recycled cotton 100% of the time by 2020. In 2014, they note that out of their total cotton use, 21.2% was sustainable.
H&M is also committed to furthering the conditions of the workers in their supplier factories, conditions that we well know are more than sub-par for many garment workers. But it’s clear there is still a lot of work to do on that end for the retailer. In 2014, only one of their strategic supplier factories had a fair living wage system. H&M is hoping to increase that to 60 by the end of the year, and to 550 by 2018.
You can read the entire report at H&M’s website to see how well they’re doing in making sure their business is kinder to our planet and its people.