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H&M employees and customers invited to prioritise support from H&M Foundation

In the coming years, the H&M Foundation will address three global issues with the help of half a billion SEK, donated from the Stefan Persson family. Now, the foundation is giving H&M employees and customers the power to decide which three issues to be supported. Starting tomorrow, October 22, everyone can place their vote at

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With the UN Millennium Development Goals as inspiration, the H&M Foundation will use its resources to address some of the world’s most challenging problems, making a difference in communities where H&M operates. This means that the votes from H&M employees and customers will have a great impact.

“It is our responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities where H&M operates. Now we invite our employees and customers to tell us what they think the H&M Foundation should support. This will guide us to understand what issues are of concern to a large group of people across the world”, says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO H&M and board member of the H&M Foundation.

The H&M Foundation has consulted a number of experts, selected for their commitment within different development issues, about which global challenges they find most immediate.

The five more prioritised issues are:

  • Clean Water
  • Strengthening Women
  • Safeguarding Natural Resources
  • Education
  • Reduction of Poverty through self-empowerment

These are also the issues to vote for at

Three focus areas to be chosen

When the top three issues are decided by H&M employees and customers, the foundation will partner with three world-renowned organisations to globally address these issues. Additionally, the foundation will initiate local programmes in countries where H&M operates, mirroring the themes selected by the voting.

As inspiration on, the experts reveal which global challenges they find most immediate and why. Among them are Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Professor Johan Rockström.

“It is great that the H&M Foundation takes on the challenges of sustainable development by listening to the ideas of the global public. I am confident that with their commitment and global reach these efforts will promote many important initiatives. We can indeed be the generation that ends poverty and protects the Earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity”, says Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals.

“The world faces enormous challenges, and the H&M Foundation can help find practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the most important issues of our time.”

Johan Rockström, Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre

Notes to Editors

Voting: Everyone can vote at between 22-29 October. It is also possible to monitor how the voting process proceeds and which challenges are in the lead. The voting site is available in 18 languages.

Five topics: H&M employees and customers can vote for one of these five topics: Clean water, strengthening women, safeguarding natural resources, education and reduction of poverty through self-empowerment.

The experts are:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Laureate and Honorary Elder
  • Prof Jeffrey D. Sachs – Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals
  • Ela Bhatt – Founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Founder Chair of the Cooperative Bank of SEWA and member of The Elders
  • Sir Richard Branson – Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group
  • Prof Johan Rockström – Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Alek Wek – Supermodel and member of the US Committee for Refugees’ Advisory Council
  • José María Figueres Olsen – Minister of State and elected President of Costa Rica (1994-1998) and President of Carbon War Room.

Funding: Thanks to the Stefan Persson family’s substantial donation of SEK 500 million in 2013, it is possible for the H&M Foundation to make real impact for people and communities.

For questions, please contact

H&M Media Relations
Telephone: +46 8 796 53 00