The global fashion magazine April 18, 2024 
Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


H&M and Electrolux discuss CSR


December 10, 2008/11.21

I’ve been preaching corporate social responsibility (CSR) for many years—indeed, most of this century—which is probably why I was invited to the Medinge Group (though its name had not then been coined) many years back. Our first book, Beyond Branding, was a call to action for companies on transparency and integrity, and centred in many respects around CSR.
   This sort of thinking fits well with Sweden, which has been one of the most socially responsible nations for decades. And people know its concern with this area just from some of its products: the Volvo car, for example, is engineered to be safe not as a marketing ploy, but as a part of the Swedish national character.
   Here are comments from representatives of two Swedish companies that I have visited on my journeys there: Hennes & Mauritz and Electrolux. Ingrid Schullström of H&M and Jens Schlyter of Electrolux discuss their companies’ respective standards on CSR. With H&M, Ms Schullström talks about H&M’s own code of conduct being written in 1997, just before Lucire began covering the label regularly in depth, and Mr Schlyter talks about both his company’s products as well as its practices, including a concern about climate change. They fit well with our own principles as the UNEP’s first fashion industry partner.
   The principles of sustainability and news of global warming are nothing new in Sweden, which has been aware of them for decades. It is now facing a “second wave” in its marketing, keeping its advantage in being progressive and proving that there is substance behind its claims. So many others are only beginning their first wave, discovering the buzzwords, but not yet able to back up their lip service with deeds.
   Therefore, it’s no surprise that Sweden leads the world in CSR, according to a report issued by the non-profit organization AccountAbility. ‘The report ranks Sweden as the country that is doing most to advance its business competitiveness through responsible business practices,’ says the NSU, the organization charged with promoting Sweden abroad.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *