About the Project

Higg Index is a unified assessment tool for sustainability released by Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). It is an evaluation tool based on common assessment criteria of sustainability performance adopted within the global textile, apparel and footwear industry. The Higg Index score has become the common language and standard for benchmarking and selecting suppliers with good environmental and social governance by international brands and buyers in the apparel and footwear industry.

However, the local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) generally have difficulty to understand and respond to the assessment of Higg Index, and have difficulty in attaining a high score in the assessment without external technical support.

In order to facilitate the local companies towards better understanding of the Higg Index and thereby making improvement in their sustainability management, the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium (SFBC), in association with the Clothing Industry Training Authority (CITA) and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), launched a one-year industry engagement initiative entitled as “A Smart Toolkit to Facilitate SMEs in the Hong Kong Apparel and Footwear Industry to Adopt the Higg Index to Enhance Competitiveness and Sustainability” (the Programme).

Supported by SME Development Fund of the HKSAR Government, this Programme aims to

  • Build up SMEs’ knowledge in Higg Index so that they can confidently understand, accurately interpret and respond to the Higg Index assessment;

  • Help SMES to improve their sustainability management through provision of technical solutions and advices; and

  • Enhance SMEs’ capability to meet international brands’ and buyers’ expectation and requirement in sustainability performance.

In this connection, a web-based Smart Toolkit is developed to assist companies to conduct the Higg Index 2.0 Assessment, which comprises features as follows:

To facilitate companies to interpret and accurately respond to the Higg Index 2.0 self-assessment, the Tool includes step-by-step guidance and tips for users’ easy interpretation of the assessment questions and requirements, as well as detailed explanation of the technical terms;

Upon assessment is completed, the Tool automatically generates, based on the input, a suite of recommendations and improvement measures that the companies can take for driving further improvement;

Based on the recommendations, users can then select the improvement measures and the Tool will automatically conduct performance modelling to project extent of improvement that could potentially be achieved after taking the measures;

Concurrently, a template of Sustainability Management Action Plan listing the improvement measures selected by the users can be generated. By following this Action Plan, the companies are expected to be able to improve their sustainability management performance and attain a higher score in their next Higg Index assessment; and

The completed assessment results can be exported in standardized report format to prepare SMEs for future Higg Index verification and facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders such as brands and buyers. The Report will fulfill the reporting requirements of the Higg Index 2.0 of SAC.

A series of industry engagement activities will be organized under this Programme in order to assist companies to use the Smart Toolkit and enhance the knowledge of industry practitioners. Please click here.

For technical support and enquiry about the activities organized under this Programme, please contact Ms. Kit Li of CITA (Tel: 2263 6342; email: kit.li@cita.org.hk) or Mr. Perry Chan of HKPC (Tel: 2788 5785; email: perrychan@hkpc.org).