Inditex to invest 10 million euros in environmental restoration projects together with WWF
Inditex and the wilderness preservation NGO WWF have joined forces and, over the next three years, will work together on projects focused on forest conservation, watershed restoration and the protection of endangered species and their ecosystems.
The Spanish textile giant will invest more than €10 million in this partnership: in 2022 it will allocate €4.2 million, while in the following two years it will contribute a minimum of €3 million. This equity comes, in part, from the funds raised from charging customers for paper bags and envelopes, an initiative implemented by the group in 2021.
The collaboration between Inditex and WWF consists of nine projects across North Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Projects for forest restoration and conservation will focus on the protection of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable management in Castilla-La Mancha, but will also include projects in Turkey and Italy.
Regarding watershed restorations, emphasis will be placed on the Sebu River (Morocco), the Ghar el Melah wetlands and the Guerbes-Sanhadja plains in Tunisia and Algeria, as well as the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
As for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems, the agreement includes initiatives aimed at the recovery and conservation of the Gran Chaco tropical forest and the Pantanal wetlands, in collaboration with local communities in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, as well as projects in Mexico and China.
"Our sustainability strategy seeks to increase the positive impact of our work on people, communities and natural resources (...) 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," said Inditex CEO Óscar García Maceiras at the signing of the agreement in Geneva.
Working together towards transforming the textile industry
The agreement between Inditex and WWF also includes "joint work to transform the textile industry," according to a statement from both entities. This ambitious objective takes the form of an analysis focused on the protection of water and diversity that will be developed during the first year of collaboration. It will include a map of impacts on the Spanish group's value chain and a review of its actions, impacts and progress.
In addition, both parties will sign a second agreement with its own budget "to make progress in the transformation of the industry," according to Inditex and WWF.
The textile giant has also detailed that the rest of the funds raised from selling its paper bags and envelopes will go to projects run by various environmental organisations, such as Water.org and its initiative to improve sanitation networks in several Southeast Asian countries, and the collaboration between Action Social Advancement (ASA), Laudes Foundation, IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative and WWF India to promote regenerative farming practices in India.
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