Higg Index 2.0

In 2012, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a trade association with over 100 members and representing more than a third of the global textiles, apparel and footwear industry, released the Higg Index with the aim to reduce sustainability measurement redundancy and create a common means to benchmark the sustainability performance within the industry. It is a unified assessment tool based on commonly accepted buyer requirements on sustainability aspects. The latest version of Higg Index 2.0 is a self-assessment tool that does not require external verification. In order to improve the quality of the input data, SAC is planning to roll out a Higg Index verification mechanism.

The Higg Index has been adopted globally by over 20 large apparel companies and retailers. They have signed agreements with SAC to use the Higg Index in critically examining the sustainability performance of their supply chain and together they have rolled out the Higg Index to over 2,500 suppliers globally. The Higg Index is now a unified assessment in the industry and the Higg Index score has become a common language and standard for benchmarking and selecting suppliers in the apparel and footwear industry.

Despite this prominent global trend, many Hong Kong textiles, apparel and footwear companies, particularly SMEs, are still not cognizant of the value of the Higg Index, and they are falling short in adopting the Higg Index. It is estimated that there are currently about 5% of Higg Index adopters within the local industry.

Higg Index is now an important requirement for international buyers to select their suppliers, SMEs that have not adopted the Higg Index will be excluded from the buyers’ supplier list, and this will result in serious loss in business and market share, as well as damage to company image and reputation.

To minimize such risk, this Project will facilitate those forward-looking SMEs to get better prepared for adopting the Higg Index and thereby making continuous improvement in their sustainability management through the Smart Toolkit (hyperlink to the Smart Toolkit) and other associated activities.

Please click here for more details about the Higg Index.