SMEs are now able to access the Higg Index

SMEs are now able to access the Higg Index

Small and medium-sized (SME) companies are now able to access a suite of tools that provides a common approach for measuring and evaluating supply chain impacts.

Last week the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) opened use of its Higg Index to SMEs in order to increase access and adoption of a common measurement standard and basis for sustainability improvements within the global apparel, footwear and home textile industries.

The move alllows SMEs to join the industry-wide approach towards increased supply chain sustainability and transparency.

The Higg Index is a suite of tools that provides a common approach for measuring and evaluating supply chain impacts. It gauges environmental sustainability and allows suppliers, manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental choices. Its features include:

  • Universal industry standard assessments of a company's environmental and social/labour sustainability performance
  • Ability to connect with supply chain and industry peers, driving transparency
  • Best practice sharing through training documents, videos and webinars
  • Benchmarking of company and supply chain sustainability performance to that of the industry

By increasing the number of small and medium-sized companies participating in the Higg Index, the SME Access programme is also expected to bolster reporting and impact from a wider spectrum of the supply chain, increasing overall insight and value.

"Bringing small and medium-sized enterprises together with our existing users on a single platform to increase inclusion and access to the Higg Index is absolutely critical to establishing a common, global approach to measurement, and a necessary step towards our 2020 commitment of full industry transparency," says Jason Kibbey, CEO at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. "By providing a special licensing option to smaller brands and retailers, we can present affordable access to tools that unlock greater sustainability measurement and improvement in further tiers of the value chain."

The SAC developed the first edition of the Higg Index in 2012 in order for brand companies, retailers, and manufacturers to share a platform of sustainability measurement and consolidate results into one common tool. Higg 2.0 was released in November of 2013, offering enhanced content and further enabling the industry to scale the use of the index through a web-based tool.

As of 1 July, 13,427 Higg Index assessments have been posted by 6,319 companies to measure their environmental and social and labour impacts for a holistic overview of sustainability in the industry.

In June the Coalition announced plans to work with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) in a move to further boost supply chain environmental and social best practices and broader adoption of the Higg Index.

SAC and OIA eye broader adoption of Higg Index