Higg, a sustainability insights platform for the consumer goods industry, has partnered with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) to launch a measurable carbon management program for manufacturing facilities.
The Carbon Leadership Program, led by Aii’s strategic partner, Reset Carbon, developed a new carbon assessment as a collective effort to reduce global supply chain carbon emissions. Higg will serve as the technology partner hosting the assessment.
Manufacturers that complete the assessment receive a potential carbon reduction score that helps brands prioritize manufacturing partners with the highest potential for improvement. As an optional second step, with the support of a dedicated engineer, nominated manufacturers will receive personalized strategies, training and tools to help set and achieve their carbon targets. On a monthly basis after that, manufacturers share assessment data through the Higg platform to help engineers and brands understand progress and identify future areas of improvement.
“The industry has long lacked a standard and pragmatic approach for manufacturing facilities to determine and achieve their carbon reduction potential,” Kurt Kipka, vice president of Aii, said. “When Reset Carbon proposed an in-depth facility questionnaire for creating curated action plans alongside the support of an engineer, we knew it was the perfect solution. Now, our brand partners can confidently nominate, and in some cases, sponsor manufacturing suppliers to help them set or confirm attainable reduction goals.”
Given that the “Scope 3” area of global supply chains create the most emissions, the organizations said it’s critical that apparel brands and their suppliers share data to collaborate on carbon reduction plans. As brands work to measure their full impact, they’ll be prepared to set science-based targets, which are gaining importance in combating climate change.
“American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is a longtime supporter of Higg, Aii and Reset Carbon,” said Michelle Tarry, senior director for responsible sourcing and sustainability at AEO, said. “We view these organizations working together as a significant step for the retail industry and more importantly for climate change. Carbon Tech Assessment provides AEO the opportunity to develop more meaningful, impactful relationships with our partners while also prioritizing the suppliers we connect with. This enables AEO to move the conversation beyond introductory topics like energy efficiency to specific remedies, such as coal phase-out and renewable energy. With this data now available on the Higg platform, AEO will be able to reach suppliers faster and implement solutions more efficiently.”
Jason Kibbey, CEO of Higg, said offering this carbon assessment on Higg’s platform allows brands access to even more data in one place to offer a comprehensive view of their environmental impact. Brands are encouraged to nominate their apparel and footwear supply chain manufacturers to participate in the program.
Launched in 2019 as a public-benefit corporation, Higg is the exclusive licensee of the Higg Index, an industry value chain measurement methodology developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Aii identifies, funds, scales and measures proven quality solutions to accelerate positive impact in the fashion industry.
Reset Carbon has a team of 30 people based in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Germany, Vietnam and India focused on supporting companies make meaningful reductions in their environmental footprint in their operations and supply chains.