Photo from H&M Conscious Foundation.

As we reported last week in our Sustainability Round-up story, H&M Conscious Foundation launched a program to gather information from employees and customers as to which 3 top global issues the Foundation should address in the coming year. The results are in with the top issue being Water: defined as “safe access to clean water and sanitation.”

This is the results based on more than 100,000 votes cast via the web in 5 categories. Second top concern is empowering women and educational rights, according to H&M. Clean water received 40,000 votes, empowering women received 21,504 votes, and educational rights received 21,309 votes.

“A lot of people in several countries have taken the chance to vote and we are very happy about that,” said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M. “Besides clean water, women and educational rights, voters could also opt for safeguarding natural resources or reduction of poverty through self-empowerment.”

Now, H&M plans to work with 3 expert organizations within the top 3 global issues chosen. WaterAid will be the organization for the water issues. WaterAid provides families in the slums of Bangladesh’s Dhaka with clean water and sanitation. FRANK Water works will also be a part of the Foundation’s support which provides clean-water projects in developing countries. Bangladesh, it should be noted, is also where H&M sources most of its garments.

The Foundation this year received $78 million from H&M’s founding family.

For more information about Youth Culture and Sustainability, check out our Sustainability and the State of the Future Youth Culture Study 2013.

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