Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the SAC’s principal governing body. They are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the SAC as well as overseeing the smooth functioning of the organization, including fiduciary oversight and guidance and oversight of the CEO.

The parity-based Board of Directors is currently composed of nine elected member representatives, with equal representation  given to our three member types: Brands and Retailers, Manufacturers, and Affiliates. By ensuring parity across the Board is a key element of our governance model, we are able to promote equal partnership and work more effectively to drive collective action across the industry. 

With each member type having the same number of Board representatives, the SAC is uniquely positioned to give a voice to all our members and, as a result, the industry. To support diversity on the Board, only one member representative of any current member organization may run for an elected Directorship or serve on the Board of Directors during a fiscal year. Furthermore, to ensure the integrity of representation, each member type can only vote for the Directors representing their member type: Brand and Retail members vote for Brand and Retail Directors, Manufacturer members vote for Manufacturer Directors, Affiliate members vote for Affiliate Directors.

All Board Directors must meet the following minimum qualifications: 

    • Experience as a senior leader of a business, organization, governmental agency or division;
    • Employment by a member in good standing*;
    • Experience as a board member (or member of similar governing bodies, including executive leadership teams) or in a position working closely with boards in large organizations.

In addition, three Board Advisor roles exist in an effort to garner additional expertise from the industry and beyond. These non-voting advisors provide advice and counsel on specific topics relevant to their expertise that are discussed with the SAC’s board and management. 

Operational decisions regarding the development of Higg Index Tools, Methodologies, Frameworks, SAC  Programs and core activities are made by the SAC management and staff, following deep engagement with our membership and other stakeholders who provide expertise, input, guidance, and industry insights, captured through extensive and comprehensive governance processes.


Strategic Councils

SAC Strategic Councils are designed to bring together a set of diverse members on a regular basis in order to discuss and consult on emerging issues, and provide input and guidance on areas of strategic importance. Strategic Councils allow the SAC to make informed decisions taking into consideration the voice and input of a representative group of member individuals. The SAC currently has seven Strategic Councils: Higg BRM, Higg FEM, Higg FSLM, Higg Product Tools, Transparency Program, Science Based Targets (SBT) (new), and Public Affairs (new). 

Strategic Councils are made up of 8-12 individuals from SAC member companies in good standing*. These individuals have the skills, knowledge, and experience to provide the expertise necessary to meet the intended goals. Each Strategic Council has a Strategic Council Lead. The Strategic Council Lead is a SAC staff member who represents the interests of the SAC in ensuring successful delivery of the four external pillars of the strategic plan: Collective Action, Integrated Tools, Transparency, and Sustainability Leadership within the Strategic Council. 

Participating in a Strategic Council requires a formal application and selection process. Strategic Councils aim to be made up of 20% affiliate members, 40% manufacturers, and 40% brands/retailers and to include individuals representing a variety of organization sizes, geographic regions, and genders.


Member Expert Teams

Member Expert Teams (METs) are formed on an as-needed basis in order to garner expertise where specific and targeted member input is needed regarding certain aspects of a Higg Index Tool or SAC initiative. They are designed to advise on areas of a more limited scope than Strategic Councils, and require a more agile and flexible approach to provide the respective leads with the required insights to solve a problem or make a decision.

An MET is formed by the SAC when in depth, detailed expertise and insights on a specifically identified topic, issue or initiative is required. They provide a space to openly share knowledge and bring a solutions oriented approach. METs are closed when an approved plan or solution is reached. 

*Good standing: the member organization has paid their annual dues in full and are committed to meet membership requirements by submitting an annual plan and report