Learn about the BRM

1. What is the Brand & Retailer Module?

The Brand and Retailer Module (BRM) is a sustainability assessment which establishes the global standard for the Apparel, Footwear and Textile Industry to measure and report on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impacts and benchmarks their performance with clarity and transparency.

Developed for businesses of any size, it aims to be the leading holistic and industry-specific ESG framework that enables companies to:

  • Assess their business sustainability performance against the most relevant environmental, social, and governance issues in the industry.
  • Understand sustainability priorities and benchmark performance against similar companies in the sector.
  • Standardize progress and reporting against leading frameworks and regulations, whilst also reducing the reporting burden.
  • Provide clear, consistent and transparent scoring that gives internal and external stakeholders credible information on sustainability objectives and achievements.

2. What content does the Brand & Retailer Module cover?

The BRM covers the ESG issues that are distinct to the apparel, footwear and textile industry, providing an accurate assessment to measure, report and benchmark progress on sustainability.

It approaches ESG topics by addressing the issues that need to be solved and provides a view on the hotspots for improvement in line with how organizations structure their sustainability strategies.

If you are a facility, sourcing agent, vendor or any other organization you can access a brand or retailers BRM results.

Below is an outline of the Pillars, Impacts and Topics that are covered in the BRM:

Pillars Impacts Topics
Risk management and policies connected with environmental impact areas
Energy, GHG emissions
Water scarcity, water quality
Waste generation and impacts, waste management, circularity (product, packaging, other)
Chemical management system, MRSL, wastewater, RSL
Land use, habitat protection, degrowth
Risk management and policies connected with social impact areas.
Human rights, labor practices, responsible purchasing practices
Employment, regular work and stability
Accessible and inclusive products and services, responsible marking, safe products and services
Community rights, community contributions
Risk management and policies connected with governance impact areas
Structure and Management
Board composition, board oversight and control, board accountability, performance and incentives
Ethics and Behavior
Transparency, grievance mechanisms, stakeholders engagement

3. What results does the Brand & Retailer Module provide?

The BRM has been designed to create an industry specific method to report on ESG performance. By completing the assessment brands and retailers are able to understand their ESG progress. They will also be able to share this with internal and external stakeholders, including users such as your own organization. 

By completing the BRM a company receives the following results, which can be shared with your organization:

  • One Total Score – Each completed BRM self-assessment will result in one finite score out of 100 i.e. a percentage. We have created one score that is simple to communicate, and easy to understand. This can be used to benchmark the organization against peers and share with consumers.
  • ESG Scores – In addition, each company will receive a score for each pillar of activity –  Environment, Social and Governance with detailed scores on each impact area within the pillar. This is a useful way to show how the company is progressing in each area.

Any communication of BRM Assessment results must follow the Communications Guidelines (See Communicate BRM Results).

4. What is the verification process for the Brand & Retailer Module?

After an organization has completed the Self-Assessment, they can then work towards externally verifying the BRM to ensure their organization’s data captured is accurate and trusted. The process of verification is generally similar to other sustainability report assurance/verification processes, and is initiated with an approved verifier once the complete BRM Self-Assessment has been submitted.

5. What can be shared about the Brand & Retailer Module results?

Placing value and communicating ESG initiatives can be extremely complicated, so BRM results can support companies to explain their actions in a more comparable and transparent way.

Self-Assessment results can be shared internally and externally with wider stakeholders. The self assessment (verified or unverified) together with the scores can also be shared, on the Higg platform with business partners and suppliers who are Higg users.

As a User you may request BRM results from the different partners that you work with annually. This can be used as part of any risk, procurement or contractual guidelines you may have regarding sustainability.

It is important to note that any wider public communication of BRM results will only be enabled once an organization’s score has been Verified by an Approved Verifier. Whilst we encourage all BRM data to be as transparent as possible, we aim to keep scores balanced, trusted and credible, hence why we only allow Verified results to be publicly disclosed.

Having received this information via the Higg platform following approval from a Brand or Retailer, you must also respect the Communication Guidelines accordingly.

Want to understand the sustainability performance of one of your business partners?