The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has announced two new Higg Facility Modules that, it says, will lessen the “audit fatigue” in measuring a factory's performance in terms of environmental and social sustainability. The new updated tools, which are part of the Higg Index, are the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) and the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (Higg FSLM).

The Higg FEM measures seven environmental-impact areas in the factory, including greenhouse gas emissions, water use and chemical management. The Higg FSLM assesses social impacts, such as wages, working hours and levels of harassment in the workplace. Benchmarking data and deep analytics are also provided to enable partners in the supply chain to carry out similar performance evaluations and compare them with those of the broader industry.

The tools can be used in the factories for self-assessment and verification by a trained expert. The SAC says they will offer more transparency for the stakeholders and flag areas for development, helping to drive better labor conditions, reduced environmental impact and greater efficiencies by providing richer and more insightful assessments for enhanced decision making.

The Higg Index tools of the SAC are currently used in more than 14,000 facilities around the world. The organization says its services are meant to work toward its vision of an industry with net-zero environmental impacts, along with positive benefits for the people and communities involved in apparel, footwear and textile production, from employees to customers.