About 500 brands – among them Walmart, Patagonia, Nike, H&M, Zalando, Benetton and VF Corp. – will be using the latest version of the Higg Brand & Retail Module (BRM) for the next two years. Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Higg, the BRM is designed to evaluate corporate value chains from a social and environmental perspective. There are 11 environmental and 16 social “impact areas,” such as packaging, merchandise transport, water use, the environmental effects of offices and stores, and the well-being of factory workers. New features on this latest edition cover procurement and expedite data entry on carbon emissions, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Assessments, say the developers, can monitor compliance with the OECD Due Diligence guidance for apparel and footwear and help to anticipate EU regulations. The tool integrates with internal supply chain and product life-cycle management systems through API. In time, it will integrate with other Higg tools and systems until there is end-to-end supply chain tracking.

SAC members may use the BRM from now to June 30 to “self-assess the social and environmental sustainability performance of their 2020 business and value chain operations.” From May to December, they will “have the option to verify their self-assessments through an approved third-party verification body.”

Higg was spun off from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition in 2019 as a public-benefit technology company and is the exclusive licensee of the Higg Index, a “suite of tools for the standardized measurement of supply chain sustainability.” The SAC membership counts about 250 brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs and academic institutions operating in apparel, footwear and textiles sectors.