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Frequently asked questions

Curious to learn who we are and what we do? We hope you’ll find your answers here.

What is the H&M Foundation?

The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M Group. It’s an independent legal entity operating beyond the company’s value chain with its own staff, strategy and board. Our mission is to drive long lasting, positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with organisations around the globe, the H&M Foundation aims to be a catalyst for change and accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

What is your mission?

The mission of the non-profit H&M Foundation is to drive long-lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. The long-term vision is to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Develop­ment Goals for 2030, that were set by the United Nations in 2015. In 2013, around 120,000 people across the world participated in a one-week online vote to decide which of the UN Millennium Development Goals (now the UN Sustainable Development Goals) we should focus our work on. This guided us to build and develop the focus areas we have today: Education, Water, Equality and Planet.

How do you carry out your work?

We strive to be a ca­talyst for positive change on a global, national and local level. On a global level we work for systemic change with transformative programs focusing on Education with UNICEF, Water with WaterAid and Equality with CARE. These programs aim to be transformative by addressing structural barriers and promote new policy within each area.

As a complement to the global programs the H&M Foundation also work with tailor-made, country specific programs. These are local projects to directly address human needs with a connection to our four focus areas.

Can I apply for a grant or donation at the H&M Foundation?

The H&M Foundation is a closed foundation, therefore it’s not possible to apply for contributions from us. We have a thorough process to proactively find the right partners matching our specific strategy within our focus areas.

How are funding decisions made?

We carry out comprehensive due diligence when identifying a project. The project has to be clearly connected with one of our focus areas. A possible project is always presented to the board which will make the final decision of a donation.

How are projects and partners selected?

The H&M Foundation connects with partners and initiate projects that fit the profile of what we identify as prioritized in each individual case. We work by invitation only.

How does the H&M Foundation follow up on funded projects?

We follow up each project by comprehensive reports every sixth month. On top of this each project is regularly visited and reviewed in the field.

What is the Global Change Award?

The Global Change Award is one of the world’s leading challenges for early stage innovation, and the largest initiative of its kind in the fashion industry. It was initiated by H&M Foundation to accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, to protect the planet and our living conditions.

Each year, we call innovators and scientists across the world to apply with their game changing idea, an idea that changes the way garments are designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled, by adding disruptive technology or new business models.

An Expert Panel with extensive knowledge within fashion, sustainability, circularity and innovation select five winners who will share a 1 million euro grant. Besides the financial support, the winners embark on a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The aim of the program is to take the innovations to the next level, bring them to scale and out on the market as quickly as possible, to maximize their impact on the industry.

Does the foundation provide emergency support?

The H&M Foundation can provide emergency relief when there is a natural disaster of magnitude, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, storms, epidemics or infestations.

What does the organization of the H&M Foundation look like?

The H&M Foundation consists of a small team of eleven people. The team is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

How can I learn more about the H&M Foundation?

Except from browsing our website you can download the H&M Foundation’s annual report, found in our Media Library. To stay updated about the latest news you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @hmfoundation.

How does the H&M Foundation work with investments of their own financial assets?

At the H&M Foundation we continuously discuss and evaluate possible investments and steer allocate our assets under management towards companies with a mindful ambition and strategy to responsible acting. The companies should be able to demonstrate good accounting and a policy on environmental issues, work environment issues, anti-corruption and business ethics and in their operations, they must comply with the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO Convention on Labor Law.

We take on an including approach in our investments, spurring a positive development in the society by placing earnings in companies that are going in the responsible direction. We look for financial revenue in our assets under management and allocate capital to the ones with a good ethical foundation and that are committed to environmental or social positive impact. This gives us a double bottom line return; both getting an attractive financial revenue as well as being part of social and environmental positive transformation. Investing in the ones doing good is a way of driving the agenda and contribute to positive change. One example of such investments that we do is in microfinance where we get both an attractive return and contribute to socio-economic development for a population usually excluded from the financial system. Another example is Green Bonds which enables investors to allocate funds specifically to projects and investments with an environmental profile.

H&M Foundation does not invest in companies that have their main business, production and sales in the areas of war material, tobacco, alcohol, games and pornography.

The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M group. Its mission is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas.

H&M Foundation
Mäster Samuelsgatan 46A
106 38 Stockholm, Sweden

+46 (0)8 796 55 00
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