Facility Tools

Identify opportunities for continuous sustainability improvement in manufacturing facilities

The Higg FEM and Higg FSLM provide insights into social and environmental performance of facilities

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Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM)

The Higg FEM is a transformative tool used to assess the environmental impact of product manufacturing at facilities. The Higg FEM paints a clear picture of a facility’s environmental impacts. Every stage of the production process is captured through this tool – from water use to waste management, to chemical and energy use.

In doing so, it not only uncovers hotspot areas for improvement, but also reduces redundancy, mitigates risk and creates a common language to communicate sustainability to stakeholders.

    Focus areas:
  • 01
    Environmental Management Systems
  • 02
    Emissions to Air (if applicable)
  • 03
    Water Use
  • 04
  • 05
    Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • 06
    Waste Management
  • 07
    Chemical Management

Higg FEM 4.0 is Here

The most comprehensive assessment for environmental performance in the consumer goods industry.

The Higg Facility Social 
& Labor Module (Higg FSLM)

The Higg FSLM promotes safe and fair social and labor conditions globally for value chain workers. Businesses should not aim for compliance, but long-term, systematic change that positively impacts the lives of all throughout the supply chain.

Built on the converged framework of the Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP), brands, retailers and manufacturers of all sizes use the Higg FSLM to assess the working conditions of those who produce billions of consumer goods every year.

The FSLM tracks management systems, operational controls, oversight and worker and stakeholder engagement. The scoring system is designed to be universal and drive improved social performance in manufacturing facilities worldwide. Points are assigned to universal questions in order to provide quick insight on risk areas to ultimately drive improved actions, decisions and practices.

    Focus areas:
  • 01
    Recruitment and Hiring
  • 02
    Working Hours
  • 03
    Wages and Benefits
  • 04
    Employee Treatment
  • 05
    Employee Involvement
  • 06
    Health and Safety
  • 07
  • 08
    Management Systems
  • 09
    Empowering People and Communities

Get Started with the Higg FEM and FSLM

Manufacturers and SMEs can use the Higg Index tools without formally becoming a member of Cascale. However, as a member, you receive access to exclusive community support, educational experiences and collaborative opportunities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the SLCP Converged Assessment Framework?
    In 2018, Cascale updated the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module (FSLM) to incorporate the Converged Assessment Framework. Cascale believes that the textile, apparel & footwear industry should converge and harmonize efforts through the SLCP Converged Assessment Framework in order to reduce the number of social and labor audits. This eliminates audit fatigue, enables data comparison, and frees up resources for improvement programs. The SLCP question sets are incorporated into the updated Higg FSLM and the verification methodology developed by the SLPC is now valid for Higg FSLM.
  • What is the difference between the Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) and Cascale?
    The SLCP is an independent multi-stakeholder program which has developed the Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) (this includes a Data Collection Tool and verification methodology) as well as data hosting and sharing process. Cascale is one of the Accredited Hosts (AH), approved by the SLCP to store SLCP assessment data on their platform and provide additional data analytics and sharing services to users such as brands, standard holders, and manufacturers. Facilities are able to complete a self or joint-assessment and the verification of that assessment through the Worldly platform. The SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) is available on the Worldly platform and is found through the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module.
  • How does module sharing work?
    If you want to share your module with other accounts, you must request or share a module with that account. Manufacturers can share their modules directly with any account type and request to view modules from account types that have filled out a module. Brand and Other account types can request modules from facilities and manufacturers. To access sharing, pick the module type you’d like to share (FEM or FSLM) and go to that tab. Then click on the “Modules” tab right below. This will take you to the module tracking and sharing page. You can click “Request a module” or “Share a module” depending on which action you’d like to take. Choose the module type/year you would like to request or share and search the account name or account ID or Higg ID to find the account. Once your share/request is accepted, the module will be shared between accounts. Please click here to get the full guidance. * Depending on your service level, there may be a fee associated with receiving shared modules. Please find more information here.
  • Can brands or retailers communicate suppliers’ Higg FEM Scores?
    Yes. Brands and retailers must first ask facilities for permission to publish Higg FEM scores.  You must follow the Higg Index Communication Guidelines, which have been developed to provide the industry with a unified, consistent, and science-based way to publicly share sustainability performance using the suite of Higg Index tools. Consistent presentation of performance, backed by accurate, credible, and verified data, can prevent companies from making false and misleading greenwashing claims. Examples of successful communication:
    • Include the Higg Index logo on your website in a list of corporate sustainability efforts 
    • Feature the Higg Index in your annual report and explain how your business uses the tools 
    • Share about how you use the tools in press articles, interviews, events, on social media, internally with staff, in collateral to attract new talent, etc.
    However, when communicating general usage of the Higg Index, you may not:
    • Share specific Higg Index scores 
    • Associate the Higg Index with a specific product for which there is no verified performance claim as established in these guidelines (including inclusion or mention on a specific product hangtag) 
    • Imply Cascale’s endorsement of your performance
    Download the full Higg Index Communication Guidelines for more examples of how to follow best practice.
  • What is the Higg FEM 4.0 content updates summary?
    Cascale is currently working on developing the FEM 4.0 content, and the assessment is planned to launch on November 2 2023. This latest version will consider user feedback involving content questions, scoring, applicability, and more. Please download the summary and visit the FEM 4.0 webpage to learn more.
  • Higg FEM
  • Higg Index Tools

GIZ Hosts Higg FEM 4.0 Webinar

The German Agency for International Cooperation, the service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, recently hosted a webinar to highlight key changes between Higg FEM 3.0 and the forthcoming Higg FEM 4.0.

October 31, 2023