Daily Insights

How to Take Action on Social Issues

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 17, 2021

H&M just made its relationship with sustainability even more serious.

The Swedish retailer plans to join a growing pool of issuers of bonds with coupons tied to targets aimed at protecting the environment when it makes its bond market debut. To do so, it hired banks to arrange a 500-million-euro ($607.1 million) offering of eight-and-a-half-year bonds that will be structured in a way that encourages H&M to increase use of recycled materials and cut greenhouse gas emissions. H&M joins other sustainability supporters including Tesco Plc. and Chanel Ltd. that have tapped the tiny, but fast-growing market. By 2030, H&M aims to have all of its materials either be recycled or sourced in more sustainable ways.

This is significant because, while H&M has been making its way into the sustainability space for some time now, 2020 may have been one of its hardest years to do so at any capacity. Indeed, the clothing company had to cut 16,000 full-time jobs during the past fiscal year as it pushed ahead with the biggest-ever reduction in its store network. As such, a continued and intensified commitment to social issues is not only a trend at this point, it’s an expectation.

Though this project is still in the works, H&M should consider adding a spotlight to all the actions it takes in its journey toward sustainability on its social media, as video impression volumes rose 146% on desktop devices and 64% on mobile devices from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020 according to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. If there’s anything worth highlighting on social media, it’s social good.