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Sustainable Apparel Coalition opens Higg Index access to SME brands and retailers

The Higg Index is the Coalition’s suite of tools that provides a common approach for measuring and evaluating supply chain impacts.

8th August 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  San Francisco, CA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable, Sports/​Outdoor, Interiors

The coalition has made this decision to increase access and adoption of a common measurement standard and basis for improvements within the global apparel, footwear and home textile industries.

SME companies may now take advantage of a special licence for full access to the Higg Index and join the industry-wide approach towards increased supply chain sustainability and transparency.

Higg Index

The Higg Index is the Coalition’s proprietary suite of tools that provides a common approach for measuring and evaluating supply chain impacts. According to The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, important features of Higg Index access include:

  • Universal industry standard assessments of a company’s environmental and social/labour sustainability performance
  • Ability to connect seamlessly with supply chain and industry peers, driving much needed transparency
  • Best practice sharing through training documents, videos and webinars
  • Benchmarking of company and supply chain sustainability performance to that of the industry

Establishing common approach

In increasing the number of small and medium-sized companies participating in the Higg Index, the SME Access programme will also bolster reporting and impact from a wider spectrum of the supply chain, increasing overall insight and value, the coalition explains.

“Bringing small and medium-sized enterprises together with our existing users on a single platform to increase inclusion and access to the Higg Index is absolutely critical to establishing a common, global approach to measurement, and a necessary step towards our 2020 commitment of full industry transparency,” said Jason Kibbey, CEO at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

“By providing a special licensing option to smaller brands and retailers, we can present affordable access to tools that unlock greater sustainability measurement and improvement in further tiers of the value chain,” he said.

Sustainability measurement

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition developed the Higg Index 1.0 in 2012 in order for brand companies, retailers, and manufacturers to share a platform of sustainability measurement and consolidate results into one common tool.

The SAC released Higg 2.0 in November 2013 to its members and non-member manufacturers to include more enhanced content and further enable the industry to scale the use of the index through a web-based tool. As of 1 July, 13,427 Higg Index assessments have been posted by 6,319 companies to empower brands, retailers, and facilities to measure their environmental and social and labour impacts for a holistic overview of sustainability in the industry.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is an industry-wide group of over 180 leading apparel, footwear and home textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, affiliates (service providers and trade associations), nonprofits/NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world.

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