Higg Index Adoption: Take it One Hoof at a Time with Higgins

If you've registered for a Higg.org account but still aren't sure how to get started with the Higg Index, use this step-by-step guide to embark on your journey.

By Gareth Martins November 16, 2016

For years, you’ve heard about the Higg Index (if not, click here). You understand that it’s a foundational tool that can help your business:

  • self-assess to better understand challenges and opportunities for weeding out waste and reducing cost while improving products,
  • benchmark your results against your peers,
  • work within an industry-wide framework,
  • develop and achieve an overall sustainability strategy.

You want to make informed decisions, reduce costs, maintain margins, operate with speed and efficiency, obtain internal buy-in and do what your retail partners and, ultimately, your customers are going to demand of you.

So you stepped up and registered for a Higg.org account. Now what?

Let’s follow Higgins the goat down the trail to sustainability.

higgySTEP 1: Start the Brand or Facility Module

What’s a Brand Module?

The Brand Module allows you to measure your environmental and social labor performance, benchmark against peers and identify areas to make improvements.

There are two Brand Modules, one for environment and the other for social labor performance. Read the environment one-pager here. Read the social labor one-pager here.

Got it. But what exactly am I getting into?

The module guides you through questions that will help assess corporate policies and practices in every impact area. That means every level of sustainability—from basic compliance to advanced and highly impactful best practices.

 You can get a great jump start on the brand module by only focusing on the most foundational level indicators. Use this worksheet as a guide.

New to the Higg Index Brand Module? Register for and attend our webinar on December 14. It will help you to better understand the Brand Module basics, how it can provide value to your business, and give you a jump start on your 2016 assessment.
Click here for more information and to register.

I’m a facility that supplies several brands that are using the Higg Index. Where do I start?

If you’re a facility (aka supplier), start with the Facility Environmental and Social Labor Modules. These modules are similar to the Brand Modules but are specifically geared toward suppliers. One or more of your brand partners may already have requested that you complete a Facility Module. Here’s the bonus—that one Facility Module works for all Higg Index brands that you work with.

Start your modules and take them one step at a time. They take time, and you likely won’t have all the answers, but that’s okay. Just keep working. Your Brand or Facility module is in progress.

higgySTEP 2: Post your module

 By posting your Brand Module you will:

  • contribute to benchmarking that will ultimately provide transparency about how you rate against your peers and
  • have the ability to share your score with suppliers, retailers and other partners.

What’s the value of posting a Facility Module?

Instead of completing multiple assessments from your suppliers that have no common benchmark, you’ll have one single result to share with all your customers.


higgySTEP 3 (Facilities): Participate in verification

By verifying your Higg Index score for your Facility Environmental Module, you’ll help lay the groundwork for verification of all modules in the future. Find the one-pager here.

How can I get further down the trail to sustainable business practice?

Stay tuned for more on the upcoming release of the Product and Design + Development Module. Soon, designers will be able to use the Higg Index to make sustainability minded choices during product creation.

Want more helpful support like this? Register for the Brand Module webinar on December 14 to learn more about the process and to answers to many frequently asked questions.

Haven’t registered for a Higg account yet? Just visit Higg.org to sign up. OIA brand members under $500M USD in annual revenues have FREE access to the Higg Index for a limited time. In case you missed it, here are 5 Things You Should Know About the Higg Index