Spain-headquartered fashion group Inditex, which owns clothing brands such as Zara, has committed to at least €10 million in funding to a number of WWF biodiversity and ecosystem restoration projects over the next three years.
Inditex will contribute €4.2 mln for 2022 and at least €3 mln in each of the two following years to nine global WWF-led projects, with funding coming from revenue from the company’s fee for paper bags in its retail outlets.
In addition, the apparel firm agreed to spend a year working with WWF to develop the foundations of a “transformational partnership” with a special focus on water stewardship and biodiversity conservation, for which a separate budget will be allocated once details are ready.
“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,” said Inditex CEO Oscar Garcia Maceiras in a press release.
Under the agreement, signed in Geneva on Tuesday, Inditex will support a wide selection of WWF projects across Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
The European projects include biodiversity protection in Spain’s Castile-La Mancha, forest restoration work in Datca-Bozburun in Turkey and the Cratere degli Astroni nature reserve in Naples, Italy, as well as forest conservation efforts in the Greek bird of prey haven Dadia.
Projects in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria will focus on water basin restoration and protection, while a wetlands project in the Upper Mekong delta in Vietnam is also on the list, according to the announcement.
Finally, the Spanish apparel firm will co-fund conservation efforts in the Gran Chaco tropical forest and Pantanal wetlands, spanning Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
“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,” said WWF International’s director general, Marco Lambertini.
“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.”
Inditex is the second clothing giant in as many weeks to announce funding for nature and biodiversity protection, after Kering earlier in the month initiated a fund with a €300 mln target size, partnering with beauty goods retailer L’Occitane Group to pledge the first €140 mln of that sum.
By Stian Reklev – email@example.com