Higg, the sustainability insights platform for the consumer goods industry, recently announced it is developing partnerships with Bluesign and ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) to accelerate the use of environmentally-safe chemicals among global brands and manufacturers. The announcement brings two of the world’s leading voices in sustainable chemical management to Higg’s industry-leading data and analytics platform to continue the expansion of data sources available on the Higg platform.
The production of textile chemicals has a significant impact on the global environment. According to a recent report conducted by ZDHC, between six and eight percent of all greenhouse gasses can be attributed to chemicals produced in the textile industry. Individually, Bluesign, ZDHC, and Higg help consumer goods businesses improve how chemicals are used in their design and manufacturing processes. The use of hazardous chemicals in the production of apparel garments also harms garment workers who handle them and has the potential to cause serious adverse health impacts on the end consumer.
As part of the newly announced developing partnerships, the parties aim for more advanced integration of data for their customers in order to help textile manufacturers improve chemical management, reduce the risk of water toxicity, better understand and address human health impacts, and eliminate chemicals of concern from upstream production processes.
“Reliable and universally consumable data is the best weapon we have for advancing sustainability performance as an industry,” said James Schaffer, Chief Strategy Officer, Higg. “It’s not a battle we can fight alone. Partnering with Bluesign will allow us to help our shared customer base enrich their insights, make better chemical purchasing decisions to reduce the negative impacts of manufacturing on worker health and safety, and protect the environment through better resource management. Soon, customers will be able to take advantage of tighter integration between Bluesign and Higg assessments. At the same time, through our developing partnership with ZDHC we’ll be able to explore more powerful, scalable solutions for joint customers that need to improve chemical usage and wastewater treatment across their entire supply chain.”
Through their new collaboration, Higg and Bluesign intend to develop stronger data and services offerings for their customers to eliminate redundancies and support Bluesign’s impact services. The companies will explore how mutual customers can share data between the platforms, with Bluesign facilities gaining access to Higg’s facility tools. In addition, Higg will work with ZDHC to bring ZDHC’s facility improvement resources to Higg customers, including the Resource Efficiency Module, which is focused on GHG emissions, water, and pollution. Higg looks forward to cross-mapping its data with both ZDHC and Bluesign to enable factory customers to complete Higg’s FEM assessments without re-entering their data.
“Higg is one of the most comprehensive sustainability platforms in the textile industry,” said Frank Michel, Executive Director, ZDHC. “With our common objectives of supporting responsible manufacturing practices, sharing technology and expertise we drive the industry to circular practices. This ultimately minimizes fashion’s environmental footprint.”
“Focusing on chemical management is essential to creating a cleaner supply chain and tackling climate change” said Daniel Rufenacht, Bluesign CEO. “It is important to partner with all stakeholders to drive change and mitigate the effects of harmful chemicals across the product life cycle. Our partnership with Higg is a further step toward that.”
This exciting new phase in these relationships reduces industry fragmentation and accelerates environmental performance in the supply chain. To leverage the expertise of leading parties in the chemical management space, more robust industry cooperation is needed, such as the closer ties between Bluesign and ZDHC. Currently, Bluesign is a ZDHC Contributor and acts as a third-party verifier, approving the ZDHC MRSL Conformance Levels of chemical products, and working hand-in-hand with ZDHC on methodology, structure, and criteria. Currently, more than 19,000 bluesign® APPROVED chemicals have achieved ZDHC MRSL Conformance Level 3 (the highest ZDHC MRSL Conformance Level achievable at this time) in accordance with the ZDHC MRSL V2.0. These chemical products have also been added to the ZDHC Gateway™, the world’s largest database dedicated to enabling safer choices of chemical products for the textile, leather, apparel and footwear industry.