Inditex and WWF partner to restore threatened ecosystems in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America
- / This collaboration will start with nine projects across four regions focused on forest conservation, water basin restoration and conservation and the protection of endangered species and their ecosystems
- / The two organisations will embark on transformation work, starting with a one-year scoping exercise which will focus on water stewardship and biodiversity conservation amongst other topics
- / Inditex will allocate more than 10 million euros until 2024, with 4.2 millions in 2022 and a minimum contribution of 3 million euros during the following two years
Inditex and WWF have agreed a three-year partnership agreement with the goal of investing in nature restoration and working on transformational projects. A total of nine WWF projects across North Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America will benefit, with a focus on forest restoration and conservation, water basin restoration and conservation and species and habitat protection.
During the signing ceremony, attended by both organisations in Geneva, Inditex’s CEO, Óscar García Maceiras, said that “our sustainability strategy seeks to increase the positive impact of our work on people, communities and natural resources. We are therefore delighted to partner with organisations like WWF who share our determination to help protect and restore ecosystems worldwide. We believe that WWF, with its proven track record and global reach, is the best long-term partner for powering up our environmental commitments through transformational work targeted at our entire industry”.
The Director General of WWF International, Marco Lambertini, said: “WWF is excited to partner with Inditex in our mission to reverse nature loss and achieve a nature- positive world by 2030. Nature underpins our economies, our societies, and our wellbeing. However, we are losing it at an alarming rate. Like many industries, the apparel and textile sector is highly dependent on nature and biodiversity. However, it also has a significant impact. We need urgent action to halt and reverse nature loss, including collective and strategic investments in restoring and protecting biodiversity."
The Group will allocate to these projects part of the funds earned by charging consumers for paper bags and envelopes, an initiative launched in 2021 with the aim of promoting the use of reusable alternatives. Inditex will make a minimum annual contribution of €3 million to WWF, with €4.2 million set for 2022. This will amount to a total contribution of €10 million plus over the course of the partnership (2022 - 25) towards the restoration of threatened ecosystems.
Forest restoration and conservation projects will focus on protecting the biodiversity of and fostering the sustainable management of Castile-La Mancha which accounts for over 13% of Spain’s total forest land; supporting forest restoration work in Datça-Bozburun (Turkey) and the oaklands of the Cratere degli Astroni Nature Reserve in Naples (Italy), both affected by recent forest fires; and promoting forest conservation efforts in Dadia (Greece), a vital haven for Europe’s birds of prey.
Water basin restoration and conservation projects are concentrated in North Africa, specifically the Sebou River in Morocco and the coastal wetlands of Ghar el Melah, and the wetlands of the Guerbes-Sanhadja plain in Tunisia and Algeria will also benefit. In addition, a project in Vietnam which is working to restore the Tra Su wetlands located in the Upper Mekong Delta with the goal of increasing climate resilience and enhancing biodiversity in this area will receive more funding.
Lastly, species and habitat conservation projects that will benefit include the conservation of the Gran Chaco tropical forest and Pantanal wetlands through community- based projects in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. In Mexico, WWF is working with local organisations to protect and restore the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and the Central Pacific Jaguar Landscape to ensure the future of the near-threatened jaguar and threatened monarch butterfly and other key species and communities that depend on these landscapes. Elsewhere, WWF is working in the Taihang-Yan mountains located in the Amur-Heilong region in northern China. This mountain area is a vital habitat for several medium and large size predators, including 60% of the country's leopard population. These will also benefit from the partnership.
The rest of the money made from the sale of paper bags and envelopes will be invested in environmental projects run by a range of other organisations, such as the sanitation network improvement projects being championed by Water.org in several South-east Asian countries and the collaboration with Action Social Advancement (ASA), together with Laudes Foundation, IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative and WWF- India, to foster regenerative farming practices in India.
Textile industry transformation
Part of this agreement will also see WWF and Inditex develop foundations for a transformational partnership through a year-long scoping phase that will have a special focus on water stewardship and biodiversity conservation. This analysis will include drawing up a map of impacts along the Group’s value chain and a review of its actions, impacts and advances with a view to identifying priorities and key geographies. With the results in hand, the two organisations will seal a second agreement, to which a budget will be allocated, for making progress on sector transformation.