The manufacture of all consumer goods, including apparel, footwear, and textiles, has traditionally been a pollution-intensive endeavor. Our members, innovators in the industry, recognize their collective externalities and endeavor to work together to rectify them. Until now, the industry has lacked the tools to guide the transformation to sustainable business models.
The Higg Index
Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Higg Index is a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities of all sizes — at every stage in their sustainability journey — to accurately measure and score a company or product’s sustainability performance. The Higg Index delivers a holistic overview that empowers businesses to make meaningful improvements that protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment.
Higg Index Product Tools help users understand the impacts of apparel, footwear, and textiles. Three different Higg Product Tools are available: the Higg MSI Contributor, the Higg MSI, and the Higg DDM.
Higg Facility Tools measure environmental and social sustainability impacts in manufacturing facilities around the world.
Global brands and retailers use the Higg Brand Tool to assess the sustainability of product lifecycles, environmental performance, and the social impacts across the value chain.
Higg Index Transparency
The Higg Index enables and encourages brands, retailers, and manufacturers to become transparent by communicating clear, comparable, and meaningful sustainability scores publicly. Using one common language to share sustainability efforts will allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. Full Higg Index transparency will ensure accountability and enable the apparel industry to thrive responsibly.
The Higg Index Roadmap to Transparency is the SAC’s phased approach to achieve full transparency by 2020. All SAC members can share their Higg Index scores based on trusted assessments and verified data—thus activating transparency. To support members as they become more transparent, the SAC provides communication toolkits that offer guidelines and support for score publication.
To build consistency, credibility, and comparability of Higg Index scores, the SAC is creating verification programs for each of its tools. The first verification program will assess the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM). All publicly shared Higg Index scores must first be third-party verified.
“The Higg Index is an operational excellence assessment tool. With the Higg Index, you get collective direction and harmonized, aggregated results. What is our overall supply chain footprint? What are all the products that make up that footprint? How do we prioritize potential opportunities to make these products in a better way to lower their footprint? If the entire industry works in that way, then we can set long-term strategic goals to make collective improvements and have significant meaningful change.”
greg scott, Director of Product Integrity, MEC