Gap Score: +4.7
  • H&M achieved its target of a 5% year-on-year reduction in its carbon emissions in 2011 by reducing the transportation of goods via air by 32%, improving energy efficiency in its stores, and offsetting using Gold Standard–verified carbon-reduction projects.

  • Since launching its garment recycling initiative last year, H&M has collected 7.7 million pounds of used clothing. This year, the brand launched a new denim line in which all items will contain 20% recycled cotton. The project will allow H&M to close the loop on its recycling initiative.

  • As of 2013, 19% of H&M’s facilities have been equipped with water-efficient equipment. The company aims to equip all stores, warehouses, and offices by 2020. H&M has also harvested 948,642 gallons of rainwater in its own facilities and has significantly reduced gallons used per pound of clothing.

  • Incorporating all kinds of sustainable fibers into its textile mix, H&M makes garments with recycled polyester from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and recycled polyamide made from old fishing nets. It also uses recycled polyethylene and recycled plastics for jewelry and hair accessories.

Working Together

In addition to collaborating with consumers on its recycling initiative, H&M has joined the Circular Economy 100, a global platform for leading companies that are accelerating the transition to a circular economy—which is in line with H&M’s aim to close the loop on textile fibers. Over the past 10 years, H&M has also worked to reduce negative water impacts. To further extend its work with water, the brand has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund. The partnership is a game changer in the fashion industry and takes H&M’s entire supply chain into account. H&M also supports UNICEF’s work for children´s rights in India and Bangladesh. During the 2013 holiday campaign, for every $10 sale in gift cards, the H&M Conscious Foundation provided one family in Bangladesh with access to clean water.

The Green Advantage

As a global player in the textile industry, H&M has a clear vision on sustainability, including major commitments leading to concrete measures and milestones. To achieve these, H&M has created an impressive organizational capability to not only improve its own performance on sustainability indicators but also to influence suppliers and consumers to shift to more environmentally friendly practices and behaviors. One of the most transparent retailers in the world, H&M is among the few that has published its list of suppliers, reaching a 100% transparency level in 2013. With its ambitious goals, such as using 100% sustainable cotton by 2020; admirable attempts to close the loop on textile fibers; and unique ability to deliver affordable fashion in a conscious manner, H&M is a true standout in its category.


Recycling and reusing textile waste in fashion
New recycled denim collection