Hennes & Mauritz AB
|Hennes & Mauritz AB|
|Market Value||62179.7 m$|
|Employees||116 000 - August 2013|
About Hennes & Mauritz AB
H&M is a retail-clothing company with more than 3,100 stores in over 53 markets across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. It offers fashion for women, men, teenagers and children. The H&M Home provides fashion for every room in the house including towels, bed linen, curtains, and other home textiles. The clothing is manufactured mainly in Asia and Europe. The company brands include COS, Weekday, Cheap Monday, Monki, and H&M Home. The company was founded by Erling Persson in 1947 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The branding consultancy Interbrand ranked the most global brands and it ranked H&M 21st in 2013.
Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy
In 2007 H&M founded the H&M Conscious Foundation. The Foundation is an independent non-profit global foundation initiated by H&M. The mission of the Foundation is to reach beyond H&M´s value chain and contribute to positive long-term change for people and communities. The current focus areas for this work are education, clean water and strengthening women. The H&M Conscious Foundation is partnered with three organisations – UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE – to achieve its goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
H&M has a strong ethical approach. They take a clear stand against discrimination and harassment wherever they operate. Their workforce possesses great diversity in terms of age, gender and ethnicity. Equality is very important to the company. For example 50% of the board members are women. H&M strives for good relations with employee associations and trade unions that represent them. The employees have the right to collective bargaining. Accordingly, across all operations, around 63 percent of H&M employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. H&M implements the Code of Ethics which states a zero tolerance policy on corruption and demands compliance with all relevant laws and our own business principles. It states, among other things, that business partners should not provide any kind of gifts or favours to H&M employees. In the same way, H&M employees must not ask for or accept any personal advantage from a business partner.
Grants and Scholarships
H&M wants to support the opportunity for higher education and offers a financial support to university students in Bangladesh. They offer this support in cooperation with the Grameen Foundation. For 5 years, starting in 2011, H&M is giving financial support to 20 students every year. In 2011, twenty students were awarded scholarships, of which half are studying textile education and the other are studying subjects such as economics, law, political science and agriculture.
Promoting Human- and Civil Rights
H&M’s approach to human rights is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the recognition that while states have a duty to protect human rights, companies have a responsibility to respect the same. Fair play, respect and integrity are fundamental to the H&M business. Being ethical also means protecting human rights and providing an inclusive business environment. And not only to take responsibility for our colleagues, but also to serve as a good example wherever H&M operates. H&M adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights, H&M teams up with Civil Rights Defenders to support human rights and equality. To address the need for better knowledge about rights and responsibilities among workers at our supplier factories in Bangladesh, H&M collaborated with local NGOs to develop a series of five short films, supported by training packages. The films cover some of the key issues covered by the Full Audit Program. More than 570,000 workers have been educated regarding their rights.
Activities in the Field of Humanitarian Aid
H&M makes direct contributions to emergency relief efforts and humanitarian aid. In addition to this the company regularly donate clothes to selected partner organizations. H&M is also in a partnership with the American Red Cross in their efforts to provide disaster relief through the Disaster Responder program. This partnership enables the Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org) to immediately prepare for and respond to nearly 70,000 disasters each year. Also H&M has worked together with Unicef since 2004. More specifically they work on humanitarian aids projects in India and Bangladesh, e.g. the “For Children” project which addresses the causes of child labour in order to protect children's rights. H&M supports and donates money to the international organisation Mentor. This organisation works to prevent the use and abuse of all harmful addictive substances, whether legal or illegal, among children and young people. H&M has collaborated with WaterAid since 2002. WaterAid is an international NGO that works to improve access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. H&M’s support for WaterAid helped over 180,000 of the poorest people in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan gain long-term access to clean water and safe sanitation facilities.
Supporting Music and Visual Arts
H&M sponsors different kind of music festivals. For example the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival but also the Rising Music Festival. ‘Your Art Here’ is an all styles visual arts contest launched by H&M. The contest seeks to give aspiring artists and creative people a huge platform to showcase their talent to the world.