Higg Index: Norther Europe dictates the corrections, SAC disagrees

Higg Index: Norther Europe dictates the corrections, SAC disagrees

The Higg Index gets its corrections. The Norwegian Consumer authority (NCA) and the Dutch equal (ACM) elaborated together a document of 11 pages. In this paper, they showcase how the SAC – Sustainable Apparel Coalition should have an impact on the Sustainability Index (MSI) so as to not mislead consumers and conduct greenwashing. Sac answered: “Thanks, but…”

The corrections to the Higg Index

At the start of 2022, after having banished Nørrona and warned H&M, NCA established that the use of the Higg Index for marketing purposes is misleading for consumers. That’s why SAC suspended its applications towards the public. Now Scandinavian authorities suggest what can be done to improve the index. For example, NCA and ACM believe that the Higg Index uses global averages to make statements about an individual product. Generally, they ask SAC to better motivate the statements contained within the Higg Index, as well as to update data and make it more complete, using external and independent consulting firms. The guide states that all companies of the segment should read the orientation document if they choose to include environmental claims to their marketing campaigns.

SAC makes corrections

SAC sent a note (that now appears offline) via  Fashion United. Here, the entity signals that the guidelines by Dutch and Norwegian authorities only have to do with the presentation of data to consumers, thus making the other applications of the Higg Index valid: “as they continue to be largely used by the fashion industry”. Moreover, points out SAC, the “guide does not represent a formal juridical picture or a sentence: it’s not legally binding for authorities or the Sustainable Apparel Coalition”. Lastly, SAC informs the public that it has already given mandate to an external auditing firm while waiting for “harmonized norms and clear and coordinated information on how to present information to consumers”.

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