The industry group Sustainable Apparel Coalition has opened use of its Higg Index suite of tools for measuring and evaluating supply chain impact to non-member small and medium-sized (SME) brands and retailers. SMEs may now take advantage of a special licence for full access to the Higg Index. The coalition, which has over 180 apparel, footwear and home textile company members, expects that increasing the number of SMEs participating in the sustainability index will bolster reporting and impact a wider spectrum of the supply chain.
“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,” said 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.”
Ultimately, the coalition hopes the move will increase overall insight and value offered by the Higg Index as an industry-wide approach towards increased supply chain sustainability and transparency. Wider adoption could also help establish common standards throughout the global apparel, footwear and home textiles industries.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition developed the Higg Index 1.0 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 2013 with enhanced content and a web-based tool designed to help the Index scale. As of July 1st, 13,427 Higg Index assessments have been posted by 6,319 companies. The Index features:
- Universal industry standard assessments of a company’s environmental and social/labor sustainability performance;
- Ability to connect seamlessly with supply chain and industry peers, driving much needed transparency;
- Best practice sharing through training documents, videos and webinars; and
- Benchmarking of company and supply chain sustainability performance to that of the industry.