Sweden-based clothing company H&M Group and non-governmental organization WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) have teamed up to launch an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application to support garment and textile factories in reducing their potential contribution to deforestation in Cambodia, media reported.
According to the media reports, the app, WoodAI, can quickly identify wood species and can further support garment factories in tackling the lack of information around biomass sourcing.
Moreover, the app enables wood species to be identified using only a smartphone and a macro lens, at the factory gate, helping factories to verify that the wood they source for power generation is from H&M Group approved residues of plantation species like mango and cashew, which are less likely to contribute to deforestation.
The company took the decision to provide factories with the technology to make better decisions is an active step to contribute to reducing the pressures on forests, protecting the rich biodiversity, and stabilizing the global climate.
This is particularly key for the fashion sector – where the energy used in producing clothing is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
This energy is used in processes such as washing and ironing of clothing, and has traditionally come from coal, gas, and biomass such as wood.
When used in combination with other additional solutions, the WoodAI app can provide an important resource to support the efforts needed in Cambodia to responsibly manage plantations and forests.
H&M Group aims for projects like this to play a part in its broader efforts to help forest ecosystems stay healthy and continue storing CO2. Reducing deforestation is critical for keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and therefore also essential for H&M Group’s goal to achieve net-zero by 2040.