Higg’s latest version of BRM to be used by over 500 brands

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-03-15 09:47:39 – USA

Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and its technology partner Higg will be introducing the latest version of the Higg Brand and Retail Module (BRM), a value chain sustainability assessment tool, which will be adopted by more than 500 brands.

These brands include Nike, H&M, Walmart, Patagonia, and VF Corporation. Their aim is to get better data-driven insights into their own systems and value chain practices so as to improve social and environmental impacts and work together to fight the climate crisis.

The sustainability insights platform for consumer goods industries, Higg is developed by The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) which is an industry-wide group consisting of more than 250 leading companies including apparel, footwear, and trade associations. They are working to reduce their impact on the environment as well as their communities.

In a press release, Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability at Zalando said that as part of its sustainability strategy, the company has committed to continuously increase its ethical standards and will only work with partners who align with these standards by 2023. While collaborating with SAC for scaling a global standard around the measurement of brand performance, they felt excited. As the basis for their mandatory brand assessments, they will be having comparable sustainability data at the brand level by using Higg BRM hence they will be able to jointly develop standards that will help them move forward as an industry.

The Higg BRM will measure 11 environmental impact areas and 16 social impact areas. This will cover a wide range of business operations from packaging, transportation of goods, the environmental impact of stores and offices, and the welfare of factory employees. The value chain practices and partners’ practices against the baseline of the anticipated policy can be evaluated by following the OECD Due Diligence guidance for the apparel and footwear sector.

Through the Higg sustainability platform, companies of different sizes can uncover opportunities to improve their supply chains, reduce water use, lower carbon emissions, and ensure the fair treatment of supply chain workers.

Claudia Boyer, Design Director for Buffalo Corporate Men said that Higg BRM has helped them in collecting meaningful data points which will assist in continuing their development of a responsible, purpose-driven brand. It has allowed them benchmarking their current environmental performance along with setting bold targets of chemical reduction and water consumption during denim production. It also has assisted them in the continuous improvement of their sustainability performance.

In Europe, where corporate sustainability is at the forefront of the regulatory agenda, businesses can use the tool that will help them in future legislative regulations. One of the features of the latest version includes a responsible purchasing practices section, which highlights the importance of integrating due diligence into sourcing decision-making processes. The streamlining of data entry around carbon emissions can be done with the help of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This will support companies to measure and manage their risks and opportunities on water security, deforestation, and climate change.

To self-assess the sustainability performance of business and value chain operations in 2020, SAC member brands and retailers can use the tool until June 30 of this year. After that through an approved third-party verification body, brands will be able to verify and analyze their self-assessments.

To gain the most out of the Higg tools along with accelerating the sustainability improvement, companies can integrate into their internal supply chain and product life cycle management systems through API technology.

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