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SAC pivots to help business make better decisions

By Giacomo Lee 19 Feb 2021 (Last Updated June 16th, 2021 15:43)

SAC pivots to help business make better decisions
  • SAC will shift its focus from developing standardised measurement tools to developing standardised communication

Ten years on from its launch, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) says its goals for the next decade are to provide the building blocks necessary to help the industry make smarter and more informed decisions about the products it makes.

The industry-wide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers and service providers, says its signature achievement so far has been the completion of the Higg Index, a suite of tools for the standardised measurement of value chain sustainability.

In a new report detailing the organisation’s first decade, the SAC details its new strategic plan, which is built around four pillars: collective action, integrated tools, transparency, and sustainability leadership.

“We’ve spent the last ten years developing tools that will unlock industry-wide transformation in sustainability, and our next chapter looks bright,” SAC says in its ‘A Decade in Review’ report.

“In our second decade of action, we’re pursuing a bold new plan created collaboratively with our staff, members, and key stakeholders across the industry, which will enable us to fulfil our mission to transform business for exponential impact. It won’t be easy, but we’re up for the challenge and believe the stakes are too high to fail.”

Leveraging its Higg Index, SAC will shift its focus from standardised measurement to standardised communication that increases transparency and offers industry insights, driving collective action at scale.

The organisation notes the importance of collaboration to solve systemic problems and says it will engage all stakeholders within the value chain.

Its goals include:

  • Protect human rights – The SAC enables and supports workers’ rights, safety, and livelihoods by 2025
  • The core suite of Higg Index tools is integrated into the everyday operations of all SAC corporate members providing evaluation for a member’s performance against their goals by 2025
  • Combat climate change – SAC brand, retailer, and manufacturer members achieve a 45% GHG emissions reduction in line with Science-Based Targets by 2030
  • 100% of SAC brand, retailer, and manufacturer members have public-facing ratings of sustainable performance that are credible and trusted by 2025
  • The SAC demonstrates industry leadership, collaboration, and action towards a more sustainable and inclusive future across multiple sectors by 2025

The Higg Index enables companies to proactively measure and manage issues like environmental stewardship, working conditions, and supplier relations. Its five tools continue to evolve to align with emerging scientific data and an ever-growing understanding of sustainability issues.

“As we look ahead to our next decade of action, the Higg Index will be central to the SAC’s mission of transforming businesses for exponential impact – providing the building blocks necessary to help us make smarter and more informed decisions about the products we make, how we make them, and how we partner together to reduce impact on people and the planet,” said SAC executive director, Amina Razvi.

“With scientists predicting that we only have ten years until the effects of climate change are irreversible, we feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to continue moving our industry forward.”

Jeremy Lardeau, the SAC’s vice president of the Higg Index, added: “The insights provided by the Higg Index will empower the industry to accelerate and deepen the adoption of climate solutions, worker protections, and more sustainable products at scale.”

In addition to the Higg Index, SAC has also developed a verification programme for the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM), now available in 100 countries, and established the Policy Hub – Circularity for Apparel & Footwear.

Click here to access the report in full.