San Francisco/Herzogenaurach, 26 July 2012 – The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) today unveiled the Higg Index, a new tool for sustainability measurement across the industry value chain. The adidas Group is one of the pioneer members of the SAC and has been strongly committed to improving the Group´s environmental footprint across all its products, processes and services.
“Sustainability is core to how we pursue innovation. The brand has made it a baseline requirement for every new innovation to improve the overall environmental performance of the product, and we see this space as a key source for new ideas,” said Bernd Wahler, Senior Vice President of Innovation at adidas. “The adidas Group has been very active in the creation of this SAC Index because we see the value in setting incentives for our entire industry to move in this direction. Not only will this generate the creation of new technologies, it will also enable everyone to measure these environmental advancements on a level playing field.”
The Higg Index was developed by the SAC’s membership through collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including apparel and footwear brands, retailers, suppliers, chemical manufacturers, academics, government and non-governmental organizations, to ensure accountability, accuracy, and widespread commitment of use from the overall apparel and footwear industry.
The Index is based on established evaluation tools to better measure the comprehensive environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products. Through use of the Index, companies can identify opportunities to reduce impacts and improve long-term sustainability throughout their supply chain.
“The Higg Index marks the most thorough and complete attempt at measuring environmental performance data from material sourcing through end of life,” explained Sustainable Apparel Coalition Executive Director Jason Kibbey. “We are confident it will have a positive impact on product sustainability over time, and become a model for how industries can collaborate in making a positive impact on value chain performance.”
The current version of the Index focuses on measuring desired environmental outcomes in the following categories: water use and quality, energy and
greenhouse gases, waste, chemicals and toxicity. A future iteration of the Index, slated for release in 2013, will also incorporate key social and labor metrics.
The immediate priority of the SAC is to use the Index to drive improvement and innovation in the global apparel and footwear supply chain.
Karin Ekberg, Head of Environmental Services at the adidas Group said: "During months of pilot testing, we have already been able to use the Higg Index as an environmental indicator in the production of many of our products by all brands, We intend the Higg Index to form an increasingly important part of our overall product creation and production strategy in the years to come.”
The adidas Group has been working towards more sustainable business practices for more than a decade and is recognized as an industry leader in this area. Aspects of the Group’s sustainability work include improving working conditions in supplier factories, reducing the environmental impact of our own operations and in our supply chain, caring for the welfare and development of our employees, and making a positive difference to the people in the communities where we operate.
About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, representing more than one-third of the global apparel and footwear industries, was formed by sustainability leaders and leading environmental and social organizations to address current social and environmental challenges. Recognizing that improved supply chain practices are both a business imperative and an opportunity, the Coalition seeks to lead a shared vision of industry supply chain sustainability through the creation and use of the Higg Index. In measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance through the Higg Index, the Coalition aims to spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.