Monday, September 3, 2012

New sustainability Index to guide developments in the outdoor gear industry

Story by Cam Walker, greenoutdoorgear.wordpress.com

The ‘Higg Index’ was launched recently.
Several years in the making, the index seeks to provide a way for individual companies to get a clear view of where to make improvements in their supply chains to reduce the environmental (and eventually, social) impacts of their products. It also provides a consistent framework and language that companies can use to assess and compare product sustainability.
Avery Stonich, the communications manager at the US-based Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), has written a summary of where these developments came from, and where they might need to go in future.
She explains that:
“nearly six years ago, several leading outdoor industry companies recognized that they could make more meaningful progress toward sustainable business practices by working together. So these competitors sat down together and started hammering out quantifiable, measurable ways to create more sustainable products, starting with apparel.
As this effort gained momentum, these companies and OIA formed the OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG) to put even more muscle behind the work. In 2010, the industry finalized and piloted the OIA Eco Index, a standardized way to assess product sustainability. It went so well that another group—the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)—adopted the open-source index last year, blended it with a tool Nike developed, and created a more robust indexing tool”.
This has evolved into the Higg Index.
You can also check the OIA website for details.
You can download the Index (and give feedback) here.
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