A significantly revised version of the Higg Index, a tool designed to measure sustainability in the supply chain, was introduced today by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).
The Higg Index, originally launched in 2012, is a metric used by the apparel and footwear industries to gauge a product’s complete sustainability over the entire length of its trek across the supply chain, beginning from raw materials and ending with a salable good. The instrument was created by the SAC, which is a non-profit organization comprised of several apparel companies, non-profit organizations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The latest version of the tool, the Higg Index 2.0, is the sum result of eighteen months of development by Schneider Electric, now retrofitted to function on an online platform. The Higg Index 2.0 has considerably increased functionality, now allowing its users to share data pertaining to a product’s sustainability, bolstering measurement accuracy and adding applications for new materials and processes.
The scope of the Higg Index’s application has been broadened to include footwear for the first time and has added modules that assess the environmental and social imprint left by various manufacturing processes. Also, there is a new Materials Sustainability Index, which includes metrics designed to cover forty-five materials not previously included. Jason Kibbey, SAC executive director, beamed with enthusiasm over the updated index. “We are very excited to share this new version of the Higg Index with our members. Not only have we expanded the Index to be more comprehensive, but we’ve also added a new level of engagement where our members can interact and share knowledge and assessments on a level that hasn’t been done before, and speed the adoption of sustainable measures within the value chain,” he said.
Kibbey also observed that Higg Index is a sterling example of industry-wide cooperation for the sake of environmental progress. “This latest iteration of the Higg Index is a great next step for our members and for the industry as a whole. The revisions and additions that we made in this new version significantly improve the way sustainability is assessed. Also, we understand that successfully addressing sustainability requires a new form of collaboration, and the Higg Index 2.0 facilitates the engagement process. For the first time ever, users can interact through our platform and share sustainability information with each other in a very quick and simple way. With this new tool, we have the leverage to reach the tens of thousands of organizations in the supply chain who may not even know what sustainability is,” he said.
Since its inception, more than 100 companies have used the Higg Index which can be accessed online here: apparelcoalition.org/higgindex.