Product assessment tools can be improved by the rdm

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Product assessment tools can be improved by the RDM Beta, which continues to test various theories on how to get the necessary sustainability information for making critical decisions. The index should provide facility for the inclusion of quantitative data and metrics. Qualitative questions should be substantiated with numerical data, thereby providing accurate information on environmental perfor- mance, such as energy use data (SAC 2013c ). The scoring system can be improved by a thorough and systemic review of scoring principles and their application to the index and support data on point allocations. The scoring of packaging can be improved by the Material Sustain- ability Index. The section weighting could be improved by using a panel approach involving a larger group of stakeholders and a multicriteria-based approach to allocate weights. Consistent benchmarking could be assured by aligning one set of weights to enable a product comparison for business decisions and communication Table 2 Material sustainability index scores (SAC 2013b ) Impact area Indicator Maximum points Chemistry Carcinogenicity 2.5 Acute toxicity 2.5 Chronic toxicity 2.5 Reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption 1.4 Subtotal 9 Energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity Energy intensity 4.4 GHG intensity 6.6 Subtotal 11 Water and land use intensity Water intensity 9.4 Land use intensity 3.6 Subtotal 13 Physical waste Hazardous 6.8 Municipal solid waste 4.3 Industrial 3.4 Recyclable/compostable 1.7 Mineral 0.9 Subtotal 17 Grand total 50 The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Higg Index 37
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with customers. Many brands, facilities and suppliers usually invest in key certi- fi cations and standards; the index should prescribe equivalents and fi t a set of questions that would address these certi fi cations. The Material Sustainability Index needs to be continuously re fi ned as the database expands and more data, infor- mation and methodologies become available when there is an increase in industrial and stakeholder engagement. The SAC should develop an assurance process to help organizations build con fi dence in response to third-party assessments (SAC 2012h ). 4 Assessment Tools for Apparel and Footwear Products The textile and apparel sector is an important and emerging industry that relies heavily on manufacturers and the labor force, thus making the supply chain very fragmented and risky and thereby leading to a major sustainability challenge. Sustainability issues are very stringent and call for transparency throughout the supply chain. In California, the Supply Chain Act requires all companies with an annual gross turnover exceeding $100 million to publicly disclose the nature and scope of the corporate compliance efforts to prevent human traf fi cking, slavery and child labor in their global supply chains. Furthermore, the sustainability issues inside the region or industry face regulations that safeguard the workers rights and preferences, such as the Bangladesh Accord and the Bangladesh Worker Safety Alliance. The zero discharge of hazardous chemicals initiative (2011) compels the
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