Helping with the Higg Index: Garment factories join a workshop with H&M, Dakota, and Bureau Veritas to improve their sustainability performance
On 22 April 2021, over 100 participants joined the first session of Switch Garment’s Sustainability Performance Workshop Series, “Helping with the Higg.” Facilitated by our implementing partners, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) and Geres, the online workshop was attended by garment factories across Cambodia in the midst of a national lockdown.
This first session aimed to provide garment factories with tools to manage the Higg Index Facility Environmental Module (FEM) and improve scores. The Higg FEM is a tool developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition that enables brands, retailers, and manufacturers to accurately measure the environmental sustainability performance of their facilities. Through the Higg FEM, we can identify improvements that reduce negative sustainability impacts.
A poll of the garment factories participating in the workshop highlighted the importance of Higg scores and the areas that need greater support. 50% of factories indicated that they have strong management buy-in on the Higg Index and 78% said that they would receive increased orders from brands if they improved their Higg scores. The chemical component of the Higg Index was considered to be the most challenging among the factories polled.
Key industry speakers shared their insights for managing the Higg FEM and improving factory sustainability performance. Speakers included: Sokchea Lay, Environmental Development Specialist at H&M Cambodia; Herman Leung, Head of Operations at Dakota; and Lina Vo, Sustainability Regional Manager at Bureau Veritas.
About Switch Garment
Switch Garment promotes sustainable energy practices in the garment sector in Cambodia. Funded by the EU SWITCH-Asia Programme, the project is implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute, Geres, and the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia (GMAC). Working with factories, financial institutions, government counterparts, international brands, and technology suppliers, we aim to increase the competitiveness of the Cambodian garment industry by decreasing its environmental impact.