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Sustainable Apparel Coalition

the sac blog

Higg Index Verification You Can Trust

March 5, 2018

The updated Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) offers apparel, footwear, and textile organizations around the world a comprehensive self-assessment tool for measuring environmental sustainability performance in factories. But how do we know the data submitted can be trusted? How can supply chain partners confirm responses entered in the Higg FEM questionnaire offer an accurate picture of a facility’s environmental sustainability performance?

With the SAC’s new verification program, manufacturers, brands, and retailers can validate the accuracy of information submitted through the Higg FEM and confidently share their results with supply chain partners. We recently teamed up with Sumerra, a global consulting company that assists organizations in creating sustainable supply chain practices. Together, we built a robust Higg FEM verification program to offer experienced and qualified supply chain verifiers the ability to verify Higg FEM data and scores.

Upon qualification for the training, successful completion of the coursework, and passing a proctored exam, verifiers can verify Higg FEM self-assessment scores submitted by factories. Higg Index customers around the world can hire vetted verifiers to validate data that factories have submitted into the Higg FEM.

Additionally, the SAC launched a Higg FEM Trainer program to support facilities in improving their sustainability knowledge and competency in completing the Higg FEM self-assessment. Higg FEM trainers will go through a similar process as Higg FEM verifiers to qualify for the program and become trained on the Higg FEM. Facilities will have the opportunity to hire these Higg FEM trainers to learn more about sustainability impact areas covered in the Higg FEM and how to complete the assessment as part of their continuous performance improvement.

Alleviating redundant audits is one of the most significant advantages to using the Higg Index. Factories can complete the Higg FEM self-assessment and hire an approved verifier just once to confirm the accuracy of that year’s data and scores. They no longer have to face the burden of prolonged and excessive audits for various brand and retail customers. Instead, factories can focus on implementing successful and sustainable business operations, advancing towards greater performance improvement.

Verification helps strengthen the autonomy of facilities around the world, so they can operate more confidently and transparently with their supply chain partners. Through this ongoing collaboration, we hope to empower the entire supply chain to drive measurable performance improvement and impact.

As 2020 nears, we get closer to the SAC’s vision of full Higg Index transparency. Training and verification will play an instrumental role in achieving this goal. As we prepare our members and global Higg Index users to communicate their Higg Index scores with consumers, we know they can reliably confirm scores from facilities that use the Higg FEM. Consumers need to know they can trust these numbers, too.

Learn more about the programs and apply

Applications for approved verifiers and training providers will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition / 344 Thomas L Berkley Way #K7 / Oakland, CA 94612