There was a buzz, a hum and a whirr of conversation and brains at the JW Marriott in Bangalore a couple of weeks ago. The annual Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) Full Member Meeting brought together those most intent on improving how the industry works to improve environmental and social performance globally. Membership to the SAC now includes over 200 organizations and has significant representation across all parts of the supply chain – from retailers and brands, to mills & spinners, to certification bodies and academics.
Of particular interest this year is the upcoming release of the Higg Index Facility Environmental Module 3.0, one of the suite of tools the SAC and its dedicated members have been developing and refining since 2011. This November will mark the fourth cadence of capturing environmental data from clothing, footwear and textile factories across the globe, adding to the growing database of metrics, best practices, and reduction strategies for managing impacts like energy, water and waste.
But what is the value of the data being captured? And how are members of the SAC using this data?
Benchmarking – both the new 3.0 tool and advanced analytics dashboards that Anthesis provides allow brands and retailers to compare environmental metrics across facilities in their supply chain. This not only allows the supply chain to see where they rank compared to peers, but also helps them direct their resources to the areas of the supply chain where technical guidance is needed most.
Strategy development – the Higg Index provides a baseline dataset that can be used as the evidence base for action. For example, Higg Index data can be leveraged to identify risk hot-spots in a brand’s supply chain, and point to which certifications, standards, or technology can address the identified risks.
Reporting – Supply chain impacts have long been a part of standard reporting frameworks like GRI, SASB and CDP. Higg Index data can be used directly to report on these requirements. In addition, these same metrics are now the focus of the Science Based Targets Initiative, which pushes for transparency by investor groups and non profit organizations.
Thank you SAC for an insightful and very well attended week in India!
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