Higg Facility Tools

Apparel, footwear, and textile production takes place at hundreds of thousands of factories globally. These facilities play a key role in the overall sustainability of the industry.


Manufacturers use the Higg Facility Tools to
measure the social and environmental performance
of their facilities.

These modules measure impacts at individual factories, not the parent company as a whole. Users conduct the assessments at least once a year, and these assessments are then verified by SAC-approved, on-site assessors. Benchmarking by facility type allows facility managers to compare their performance against that of their peers.

The modules’ aspirational-level questions give manufacturers clear guidance on hotspots for improvement and outline the current best practices in the field. The Higg Facility tools create opportunities for open conversation among value chain partners so businesses at every tier in the value chain collectively perform better.

View sample Higg FEM questions

Explore how the Higg FEM assesses performance to promote improvements.

The Higg FEM measures:

  • Environmental management systems
  • Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Water use
  • Wastewater
  • Emissions to air (if applicable)
  • Waste management
  • Chemical use and management

The SAC recently released an updated version of this tool. It introduces improved sustainability assessment capabilities. By directing questions specific to a facility’s outputs, it provides greater scoring accuracy.


Manufacturers should be able to have an honest discussion with the brands. There should not be fear. Unless open honest conversations are had we cannot solve the challenges. The Higg should enable this. With Higg, brands and manufacturers know the standards and the expectations. We can have discussions across the value chain. It’s about having a conversation and being able to solve our problems together.

Eranthi Premaratne, Director of Sustainable Business for KREEDA

Higg Facility
Environmental Module

The environmental cost of producing and wearing clothes is high. Making a typical pair of jeans can require nearly 2,000 gallons of water and 400 megajoules of energy. Once purchased, caring for that same pair of jeans throughout its lifespan can cause more than 30 kilograms of carbon dioxide to be emitted. That’s equivalent to running a garden hose for two hours, driving a car 78 miles, or powering a computer for 556 hours.

The Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) informs brands, retailers, and manufacturers about the environmental performance of their individual facilities, so they can make improvements that reduce negative impacts such as these. This module can be used by manufacturers at any tier of the apparel, footwear, and textile industry value chain.

By using the Higg Facility Environmental Module, in the first 3 years alone, our suppliers implemented 250 energy savings programs that have saved them over $3.5 million in energy costs. This is a win-win for our suppliers and our business. We are proud of the work of our suppliers to achieve these efficiencies while improving their Higg performance and reducing the environmental impact of our supply chain.

Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Ascena Retail Group, parent Company of Ann Taylor & LOFT brands

Higg Facility Social & Labor Module

Consumers are demanding transparency around working conditions and the treatment of the individuals who labor at every step of the value chain. Meeting this demand is a complex challenge, but one that will be solved through collective commitment. To meaningfully improve social and labor conditions for the workers who produce billions of garments, textiles, and footwear each year, brands and manufacturers need new tools to help create and support safe and fair working conditions for all.

The Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (Higg FSLM) is a tool dedicated to promoting safe and fair social and labor conditions for value chain workers globally. It enables manufacturing facilities to measure their social impacts across the value chain. It also assesses the efficacy of social management programs. The Higg FSLM is appropriate for any tier of manufacturing.

Janet Apparel

With the Higg FSLM being built on the SLCP assessment framework, we can help the industry shift towards convergence and a clear focus on impactful improvements of social and labor conditions in the value chain.

Janet Mensink, Executive Director, Social & Labor Convergence Program

The Higg FSLM assesses:

  • Recruitment and Hiring
  • Working Hours
  • Wages and Benefits
  • Employee Treatment
  • Employee Involvement
  • Health and Safety
  • Termination
  • Management Systems
  • Facility workforce standards and those of value chain partners
  • External engagement on social and labor issues with other facilities or organizations
  • Community engagement

The Higg FSLM is directly informed by the findings of the Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP). The SAC integrated the results of the SLCP into the 2018 Higg FSLM tool. Learn more about the SLCP.

See a list of factories that used Higg Facility tools during the 2016 cycle.