The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group has launched a joint-partnership with Swedish fashion retailer H&M to promote the use of clean energy in the production of garments.
Around 96 percent of H&M global operations use renewable energy, according to IFC. However, the joint initiative could expand the firm’s sustainable approach to more independent garment factories that produce H&M clothing, including those in China, India and Bangladesh, all of which are crucial to the company’s value chain.
IFC has agreed to help H&M provide its strategic tier one and two to suppliers with renewable energy solutions and enhance the environmental sustainability of their operations in the the retailer’s global supply chain. The development finance institution will also co-develop a platform to achieve significant reduction of CO2 emissions using clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power.
“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,” said Pierre Börjesson, sustainability business expert on climate change and water stewardship for H&M.
He added: “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.”
H&M is one of the first companies in the clothing industry to commit to 100 percent renewable energy usage in its operations. It is also one of the first companies in the industry to start setting climate-change and renewable energy goals along its value chain.
Milagros Rivas Saiz, global head advisory at IFC commented: “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.”