Hong Kong-based garment manufacturer Crystal Group has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which works to reduce the environmental and social impacts of global apparel and footwear production.

Crystal Group, one of Asia's largest apparel makers, will provide data and resources to facilitate SACs sustainable initiatives for the apparel and footwear industry around the world.

The SAC has been working to develop the Higg Index, a benchmark which helps companies evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and sustainability rankings. 

"In joining SAC, we would like to work with the industry in a global manner to drive the sustainability agenda further," said Crystal Group chairman, Kenneth Lo.

"With the strong coalition, I believe that Higg Index will become an industrial norm that serves as a harmonised standard for benchmarking."

The company said it has completed its first set of five-year targets and is working on its second set, which include: reducing its carbon footprint per garment by 6%; increasing the use of renewable energy to 5-10%; reducing fresh water consumption per garment by 10%; reducing energy consumption by 5%, reducing paper consumption by 10%, sending no operational waste to landfill; and to increase the use of recycled water to 50%.