3 higg index 31 overview the higg index is a set of

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3 Higg Index 3.1 Overview The Higg Index is a set of assessment tools that are used to evaluate the envi- ronmental impact of apparel and footwear products. The index was initially released on June 26, 2012 as the Higg Index 1.0, and it has been used by many organizations both SAC members and nonmembers. The Higg Index 1.0 used a Microsoft Excel interface and worked on qualitative indicators for assessment. The sustain- ability topics were related to the environment, and the product category was apparel. The Higg Index tools used were the environment-based brand module, The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Higg Index 33
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facility module, and product module. Approximately 44 materials were included in the Material Assessment Data and the Material Sustainability Index used basic indicator questions on the environment. The weightages for the environment modules were equal, but an option was given to choose from custom settings or SAC-recommended weightages. The Higg Index 2.0 was released on December 11, 2013. It is based on tools such as the Eco Index, Nike s Apparel Environmental Design Tool, Global Social Com- pliance Program reference tools and social/labor practice tools, such as the SAI Social Fingerprint and FLA Sustainable Compliance Initiative. After a pilot testing period and use of the second version by many organizations for over 14 months, the Higg Index 2.0 was introduced. This tool helps to standardize the methodology for mea- surement and evaluation of the environmental performance of the apparel products all along the supply chain in three levels namely the brand, product and facility levels. The scope of the Higg Index 2.0 is to assess the environmental and social/labor performance of apparel and footwear products. It is based on lifecycle analysis spanning the entire lifecycle of apparel products, encompassing raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, use and end of life. Retailing has not been included in this phase but is being considered for future use (SAC 2012h ). The Higg Index 2.0 is a tool that educates small and large companies to recognize challenges and sustain improvement. The self-assessment tool helps scienti fi c learning by means of identifying the vital aspects of environmental sustainability and opportunities that will provide improvement. This index is the basis for future operations and efforts to ensure sustainability and is the starting point for the commitment, learning, and collaboration among stakeholders. Regardless of the company size, it allows beginners and leaders in environmental sustainability to detect opportunities by means of a spectrum of performance tools. The organizations who use this index can start from any module that is most comfortable to them, after which they can branch out whenever suitable to other Higg Index tools. There is no hard-and-fast rule to use all the modules (SAC 2012h ).
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