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Guiding Sustainability Journeys and Global Value Chain Improvements – The Higg BRM

Quality Insights20 Jan 2023

Consumers are increasingly curious about where and how their clothes are made. The Higg Brand & Retail Module (BRM) guides apparel, footwear and textile brands and retailers on their sustainability journeys.

Why bother with Higg BRM?

We are a key participant in the Higg BRM, which guides apparel, footwear and textile brands and retailers on their sustainability journeys. It also identifies hotspots and opportunities for global value chain improvements.

An overview of Higg BRM

Consumers are increasingly curious about where and how their clothes are made. They often vote with their wallets or purses and buy products from companies that reflect their values.

Any organization can use the Higg BRM to measure its environmental and social impacts and practices.

Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the Higg BRM is a trusted assessment that helps brands and retailers measure and maintain strong environmental, social and labor practices across their value chains.

Connecting value chain partners

By using the Higg BRM, organizations can track, measure and share their sustainability progress with value chain partners, consumers, investors and other stakeholders.

End-to-end assessment

From sourcing materials to a product’s end of use, the Higg BRM assesses impacts across an organization’s operations, identifying sustainability risks and practices involved with:

  • Management systems
  • Products
  • Supply chain
  • Packaging
  • Use and end of use
  • Retail stores
  • Offices
  • Transportation
  • Distribution centers

Focusing on environmental impacts

The Higg BRM provides a holistic view of value chain sustainability. This helps brands and retailers to create, align and embed sustainability strategies into department operations.

Environmental impact areas

Brands and retailers can use the Higg BRM to report progress on industry initiatives, such as the Science Based Targets, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and G7 Fashion Pact.

The Higg BRM assesses 11 environmental impacts:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Biodiversity, land use and habitat loss
  3. Deforestation
  4. Energy and fuel use (or fossil fuel depletion)
  5. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  6. Air emissions and pollution (non-GHG)
  7. Solid waste
  8. Hazardous waste
  9. Chemical hazard management
  10. Water use and scarcity
  11. Wastewater, water pollution and eutrophication

Focusing on social impacts

The Higg BRM enables brands and retailers to create stronger strategies to improve worker well-being across the value chain.

Social impact areas

By prioritizing employee well-being, organizations support local communities, champion women in the workforce and strengthen the global economy.

The Higg BRM assesses 16 social impacts:

  1. Forced labor and human trafficking
  2. Child labor
  3. Wages and benefits
  4. Working hours
  5. Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  6. Health and safety
  7. Access to water and sanitation
  8. Decent work
  9. Discrimination, harassment and abuse
  10. Sexual harassment and gender-based violence
  11. Bribery and corruption
  12. Right to health
  13. Right to privacy
  14. Right to security of the person
  15. The rights of minorities and communities
  16. Land rights

A partner from the beginning

We have been supportive of the Higg Index tools, including Higg BRM, from the start.

Our Higg BRM services

  • We are an approved Verifying Body (VB) for the Higg BRM
  • We have decades of experience in assessing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics, including sustainability report assurance
  • Our Higg BRM verifiers are highly experienced in sustainability reporting programs, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), management system certifications, such as ISO 14001, and social responsibility training.
  • Global capacity to conduct your Higg BRM verification

Please, reach out to your SGS contact to see how we can support your Higg BRM verification and sustainability report assurance needs.

Responsible Business Services (RBS) credentials

With an unmatched global network of over 800 compliance auditors across 80 countries, we can design and measure your supply chain’s performance against social, quality, environmental and security requirements.

RBS in numbers:

  • 50,000+ assessments
  • 80+ countries
  • 800+ APSCA-enrolled auditors
  • 15+ industry scheme approvals

For further information, click here or please contact:

Jason Hulbert
Associate Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)7912 426878

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,700 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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