TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 21, 2013) - With the UN Millennium Development Goals as inspiration, the H&M Conscious 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 Conscious 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 Conscious Foundation.
The H&M Conscious Foundation has consulted a number of experts, selected for their commitment within different development issues, about which global challenges they find most immediate. Clean water, strengthening women, safeguarding natural resources, education and reduction of poverty through self-empowerment are the five most prioritized. These are also the issues to vote for at makeadifference.hm.com.
When the top three issues are decided by the H&M employees and customers, the foundation will partner with three world-renowned organizations to globally address these issues. Additionally, the foundation will initiate local programs in countries where H&M operates, mirroring the themes selected by the voting.
As inspiration on makeadifference.hm.com, 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 Conscious 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 Conscious Foundation can help find practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the most important issues of our time," says Johan Rockström, Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Notes to Editors:
Voting: Everyone can vote at makeadifference.hm.com between 22-29 October. It is also possible to monitor how the voting process proceeds and which challenges are in the lead.
Five topics: The 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 Conscious Foundation to make real impact for people and communities.
The H&M Conscious Foundation is a non-profit global foundation initiated in connection with H&M's 60th anniversary in 2007. 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 where H&M operates. The foundation's framework of support is based on the UN Millennium Development Goals. For further information, visit www.hm.com/consciousfoundation.