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H&M Group enters major energy partnership to help power factories

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H&M Group is partnering with Rondo Energy to further decarbonization in its supply chain.

H&M Group is announcing a new investment to further its climate strategy.

The global fashion retailer is partnering with Rondo Energy, a provider of zero-carbon industrial heat and power, to explore the potential for heat storage technologies in its supply chain. H&M Group is also making an investment in Rondo and joining Rondo's Strategic Investor Advisory Board (SIAB). The new collaboration will help Rondo deliver clean, affordable heat to textile factories around the world.

Rondo Heat Batteries are designed to turn intermittent renewable electricity into the continuous, high-temperature heat and power required by industries including textile producers. As part of the partnership, H&M Group and Rondo will explore opportunities for factories in the group's global supply chain to replace fossil fuels with clean heat and power delivered by Rondo Heat Batteries. Rondo will use H&M Group Ventures' investment to expand its international operations and to develop and build storage projects serving this need.

Rondo Energy said that making clothing is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that the use of its heat batteries could cut the carbon footprint of our clothing by nearly two-thirds.

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"Rondo is H&M Group Venture's first investment in decarbonization technology,” said Laura Coppen, head of sustainability investments at H&M Group Ventures. “The company's thermal battery energy storage has the potential to help factories electrify, which is key to achieving our climate targets. We look forward to working closely with Rondo and the broader ecosystem in scaling 'decarb' tech.”

As a member of Rondo's advisory board, H&M Group will join other global leaders seeking large-scale, low-cost, zero-carbon energy to power their operations, including Rio Tinto, Aramco Ventures, SABIC, SCG, TITAN, and SEEIT. 

In May, Rondo and SCG Cleanergy announced Southeast Asia's first heat battery, and the world's first heat battery powering a cement plant. Rondo and SCG have established large-scale production capacity in Thailand, and announced plans to scale production capacity to 90GWh/year.

"Producing and finishing fabrics requires large amounts of low-cost energy, which makes our brick batteries a perfect fit," said John O'Donnell, founder and chief innovation officer of Rondo Energy. "Today, coal delivers most of the heat and most of the carbon pollution making fabrics, because it's always been cheap and simple to burn. But the world is changing. Region by region around the world, wind and solar power are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. At Rondo, we've created a simple, practical tool to harness those new energy sources."

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