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Joining world leaders at Global Citizen Festival to support the Global Goals

During the festivities around the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, the H&M Foundation joined forces with world leaders, artists and activists to support the new Global Goals. The Foundation committed to giving 45,000 of the poorest people in India access to clean water and toilets, through a partnership with Practical Action.

Children washing hands

The commitment was announced during the fourth annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York, on September 26th. The event brought together 60,000 people and over a dozen world leaders and prominent activists from all over the world to celebrate the new Global Goals, signed by world leaders at the UN on Friday. On stage were also a star-studded line of up celebrity hosts and musicians including Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Salma Hayek, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé.

The H&M Foundation and Practical Action committed to Goal number 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and launched a new $1.3M project that will bring clean water and safe sanitation to Khurda city, one of the poorest communities in India. The city has a population of 45,000 and in its slums 94% of households don’t have a toilet. There is no city sewerage system and sludge waste collected from septic tanks is tipped into the public drains, causing blockages and flooding.

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Global Goal number 6

The project will use innovative technology to tackle the sanitation crisis in Khurda. For example, human waste will be turned into biogas (that can be used for cooking for example) and fertilizer (that can be used for farming), waste water will be collected and treated and roof based rainwater harvesting and filtering technologies will provide clean water.

“The need for better sanitation in the developing world is clear. By improving how we deal with human waste, we can save lives, improve child health and ensure greater dignity and personal safety, particularly women and children.”

Simon Trace, CEO of Practical Action

Maria Bystedt, Acting Global Manager, H&M Foundation continues: “The setup of this project is indeed impressive; introducing pioneering approaches using innovative technology within human waste management and at the same time focusing on community buy-in and behavioral change.”

H&M US, a major partner of the Global Citizen Festival, made it easy for H&M customers to earn festival tickets through two easy actions.  Customers could purchase exclusive Global Citizen Festival t-shirts, designed in collaboration with Ed Sheeran and Coldplay (made of sustainable materials), or recycle old clothes at any H&M store location and help close the loop for fashion. Through these actions, fashionistas and global citizens could earn action points to win festival tickets and join H&M in the journey toward global environmental stability by securing a more sustainable fashion future.