Higg FEM 4.0 | How can factories prepare for this sustainable development practice?

Issuing time:2023-11-23 16:39

In an era where global regulations such as the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive CSRD and the United States' Senate Bill 253 Climate Act have become crucial, brands and retailers require their value chain partners to participate. This requires factories to collect comprehensive environmental data, not only for compliance purposes, but also to strengthen relationships with existing customers and attract new business opportunities.


Although this process may sound daunting, the recently launched Higg FEM 4.0 by Worldly and the Sustainable Apparel Alliance SAC is a leading solution to help factories collect this data and comprehensively understand their environmental performance. So, how can factories use the new generation of environmental assessment Higg FEM 4.0 to prepare for this sustainable development practice?


Collect information on factory emissions, waste, water, and energy

ASCP Services recommends that factories collect in-depth environmental data from greenhouse gas emissions, water, energy, waste, air emissions, and chemicals. Understanding one's usage and compliance in these categories will make it easier to collaborate with brands and retailers who need to report this information.

Higg FEM 4.0 was restructured taking into account the regulatory environment. It will help factories report the data they need for their partner brands, not only for regulatory purposes, but also to simplify reporting to the most popular frameworks without the need to complete additional assessments. This includes the GHG Protocol, the Science Based Goals Initiative (SBTi), and the Zero Emissions Roadmap for Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC).

In order to successfully pass the evaluation of Higg FEM 4.0 and achieve higher scores, the factory can take the following actions.

01. Check business license and environmental permit

Due to the fact that in Higg FEM 4.0, the inability to provide a valid business license or environmental permit (without appropriate reasons) can result in a score of zero, special attention should be paid.

02. Collect effective training information

Higg FEM 4.0 involves multiple trainings, and it is recommended that the factory establish or revise the training process, which includes:

1. Training plans and types for employees at all levels (employees may need different levels of training that are suitable for their positions or responsibilities)

2. Textbook files for training

3. Training attendance records

4. Retention of training site photos

5. Training evaluation procedures and records (such as trainee feedback questionnaires or trainer performance tests, observations, or reviews)

03. Enhancing employee engagement

The more employees participate, the more engaged they become, thereby improving the effectiveness of environmental plans and performance. There are various ways to communicate to employees, including training, meetings, bulletin boards, communication, etc., and keep relevant records.

04. Develop environmental policies and strategies

Higg FEM 4.0 has added a checkpoint on environmental policies. In addition to developing long-term environmental management strategies, policies are also used to demonstrate commitment and provide a framework for developing target indicators and plans. Ensure that employees at all levels understand the factory's environmental strategy and policies and how they take action to support them.

05. Collect detailed energy information

Energy is used for various operations and production activities in factories, and Higg FEM 4.0 puts forward higher requirements for detailed information on energy. The factoryneeds to track and report the usage data of purchased energy, renewable energy, and non renewable energy.

06. Check and monitor the water supply network for leaks

Ensure that the factory has established processes to proactively identify and prevent water supply network leaks, such as preventive maintenance/inspection plans or procedures, complete inspection checklists or maintenance records, and keep relevant photos and documents.

07. Conduct a wastewater monitoring and save the report

Testing wastewater according to legal requirements is the basic practice for determiningwhether factory wastewater meets applicable emission limits. The factory should ensureunderstanding of all applicable testing requirements and implement wastewater testingprocedures in accordance with applicable legal requirements.

08. Develop a list of exhaust emissions

The purpose of the exhaust emission list is to identify the sources of exhaust emissions during the operation of the enterprise. It can be identified by referring to the environmental impact assessment documents

09. Conduct a waste gas monitoring and save the report

As the government and industry stakeholders continue to focus on reducing environmental impacts, stricter requirements and regulations may be implemented. By proactively managing and striving to reduce the impact of factory exhaust emissions, you can reduce regulatory risks or new requirements from business partners.

10. Develop a chemical management and procurement policy

If there is no systematic and responsible management, the use of chemicals in the production process and operation of factories may pose significant risks to the environment and human health. The following aspects can be taken into account:

1. Establish an effective Chemical Management System (CMS), which includes appropriate policies, procedures, and commitments to promote continuous improvement.

2. Establish responsible chemical procurement practices, with a focus on reducing the use of hazardous chemicals.

3. Ensure that employees receive appropriate training and are qualified to use and manage chemicals in the workplace.

4. Consistent with industry-leading practices in chemical management, reducing the use of hazardous chemicals, and process innovation.

Establish goals and improve performance

Once you have collected environmental data, the next step is to set a baseline for the environmental impact of the factory. This baseline can serve as a reference point to measure and demonstrate improvement. Higg FEM 4.0 is a valuable tool that can help factories establish this baseline and understand environmental performance. As an annual evaluation, the factory can report performance annually and demonstrate how improvements have been made. The factory's data will always be stored on Worldly, so you can easily extract data from previous years and draw your improvement maps.

Through the Higg FEM 4.0 evaluation, not only does it ensure consistency with constantly evolving regulations, but it also positions your company as a forward-looking thinking and sustainable development driven partner for global brands.

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