Facility Site Information & Permits 2020

Table of Contents

1. Facility Site Information

2. Permits

Facility Site Information

Your responses to the site information questions will be used to categorize your factory for comparative analytics. Please complete this section first before moving on to other sections of the module.

You will also be asked for information on your site’s permits on this page. The purpose of this section is to determine your compliance status with relevant environmental permits. Please include adherence to any rules or regulations your facility is required to follow such as permits, authorizations, licenses, registrations, certificates or other compliance documentation. Examples of non-permit requirements to include are annual required government reports and required registration of specific chemicals.

Please note that the Site Info and Permits section is NOT SCORED. This means that you do not get points for being in compliance. However, you must have a valid operating license to earn any points in the Facilities Environmental Module. If you answer “No” to “Does your factory site have a valid operating license?”, you will score ZERO for the entire module.

Country or Region

Select the country or region your facility is located in

Industry Sector

Select which sectors apply to your facility’s production (i.e. the types of products you are manufacturing or processing)

Facility Type

Please select all types that apply to your site

Example: If you are a Cut-Sew facility that also does screen printing or wet processing on site you would select both Final Product Assembly AND Printing, Product Dyeing and Laundering.

Final Product Assembly – facilities involved in finished goods production/ final product assembly

Printing, Product Dyeing and Laundering – facilities that are involved in the printing and dyeing of materials, including wet processing, and laundering.

Material Production (textile, rubber, foam, insulation, pliable materials) – facilities that manufacture and assemble materials (e.g. textiles, leathers, plastics, insulation, foams, etc.)

Hard Product Component &Trim Production (Plastic, Metal, Wood)– facilities that manufacture product trims (e.g. zippers, buttons, labels, etc.)

Chemical & Raw Material Production– facilities that manufacture chemicals and raw material

Packaging Production– facilities that manufacture packaging materials

Other

You will be asked to select which processes are conducted at your facility based on the facility type you select. (E.g. printing, gluing)

Facility Processes

Select which manufacturing processes apply to your facility

Material Types

Select material types that your facility either produces OR works with/processes. See definition of materials in the How to Higg guide glossary section.

How many days did your facility operate in this reporting year?

Enter a total number (not a range) of days that the facility operated in the reporting year. Operating days are considereddays when production and/or production related activities (e.g. product/raw material loading/shipment) were conducted at the facility.  Any operating day where the number of hours in operation OR the number of workers is less than 50%, then count the day as 0.5 day. Where the number of hours in operation OR the number of workers is greater than 50%, then count the day as 1 day.

Total Number of Employees: please enter the average number (not a range) of full-time and temporary employees that worked at the facility in this reporting year.  The calculation guidance below applies for both full-time and temporary employees.

How To Track Facility Data:

Facility’s should establish a process to track the number of workers in each pay period (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). The average number of employees (full-time or temporary) can then be determined using the following guidance:

  1. Add the total number of employees your facility paid in all pay periods during the year.
  2. Count the number of pay periods your facility had during the year.
  3. Divide the number of employees by the number of pay periods.
  4. Round the answer to the next highest whole number to get the annual average number of employee (full-time or temporary)
 

For example:

  • Pay period 1: 520 employees
  • Pay period 2: 525 employees
  • Pay period 3: 545 employees
  • Average number of employees: 530 [(520+525+545)/3]

For FEM Verification, it is recommended that summaries of this data available in a format that is easy to review [e.g. spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Excel) or similar data analytics program that allows export of data in a human readable format (e.g. Excel, csv)] and any relevant supporting evidence be readily available for review.

How This Will Be Verified:

  • Documentation Required
    • Payroll/accounting records that show number of each worker category (full-time and temporary) in each pay period.
    • Payroll/accounting records that show the number pay periods in the reporting year.

What was your facility’s annual volume?

Report the total amount of product shipped/sold in the last calendar year.

Total amount of product shipped/sold should not include the total amount of rejects in the last calendar year.

Why we use shipped/ sold quantity instead of annual production output?

The main rational is to create a consistent production metric that all facilities are able to track and the data are more comparable for industry benchmarking at the end. Besides, using shipped/ sold amount as the metric is to discourage excessive or unnecessary production including leftover, semi-products, samples and rejects which are also an environmental concern.

We understand that some products may have to be shipped / sold after the calendar year that they are actually manufactured. The limitation of using shipped/ sold quantity is – the reported energy, water and waste amounts are not covering  the products being made in the same calendar year but shipped in the following year, instead they would cover some products which are shipped in the same year but actually being produced in the previous year. By considering this as a usual practice in the factory every year, the impact to the total shipped/ sold quantity should be relatively limited. However, if there is any exceptional case that may cause a significant impact on the environmental performance of the facility (e.g. demonstrate improved energy / water consumption), we encourage the factories to communicate to relative stakeholders to explain for their situation if needed.)

Select a unit:

  • Cubic meters (m3)
  • Kilogram
  • Meter
  • Standard Allowed Minutes (SAM)
  • Square yard
  • Unit (piece or pair)

UNITS Your annual unit will be used to normalize baselines, targets, and reductions in the Higg Energy, Water, and Waste sections and may also be used for benchmarking purposes. Please select the unit that best represents how your factory tracks annual volume. This may mean that you need to do a unit conversion in order to select a unit from the provided list. For example, if you track annual volume in square feet you will need to convert to square yards.

Reporting Standard Allowed Minutes in the FEM

Different products utilize different amounts of time and resources during production which will in turn will influence resource consumption (i.e. energy, water used, etc.). The unit Standard Allowed Minute (SAM) is a metric that provides an indicator of the time allowed to produce a product by workers including general allowances (e.g. efficiency, machine, personal, fatigue allowances, etc.). This production metric can be used to then relate resources consumption and the environmental impact to different types of products or be added together and used as a metric to normalize resource consumption and environmental impacts for production over period of time (e.g. a calendar year). It should be noted that the SAM will vary by the type of product (e.g. shorts versus a jacket).

Year on year, tracking of SAM against energy, water and other parameters will allow facilities to review the efficiency of resource consumption and help inform performance improvement.

When reporting production volume in SAM, the user must report the TOTAL SUM of SAM for the reporting year and not the INDIVIDUAL SAM for each product type that is manufactured in your facility.

Once individual SAM values are known for a specific product, the product SAM can be multiplied by the number of products shipped / sold. This is done across all product types / categories and the total is calculated to arrive at the TOTAL SAM. This total is reported as the “Annual Volume”.

Example:

Product typeProcessesSAM per pieceNumber of products shipped/ sold in reporting yearTotal SAM per product type
Polo shirt

Cutting

Sewing

Packaging

15100,00015 x 100,000= 1,500,000
 
V-neck shirt

Cutting

Sewing

Packaging

12500,00012 x 500,000 = 6,000,000
Total SAM7,500,000

There are different approaches to calculating SAM, however if a consistent methodology is used across all products, this will produce comparable data that can be compared year over year.   Below are some resources that look at the different methods of determining SAM (which is often used interchangeably with Standard Minute Value or SMV):

 

If you would like to request the addition of a missing unit, please go to https://support.higg.org and select “Feedback” to submit feedback for consideration.

How To Track Facility Data:

Facility’s should establish a process to track the amount of product shipped/sold in the last calendar year. For FEM Verification, it is recommended that summaries of this data (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly records) be tracked in a format that is easy to review [e.g. spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Excel) or similar data analytics program that allows export of data in a human readable format (e.g. Excel, csv)]  and any relevant supporting evidence be readily available for review during Verification.

How This Will Be Verified:

  • Documentation Required
    • Production, sales, product shipment records that show the quantity of products shipped/sold in the reporting year.

Does your facility have onsite water treatment (i.e. Pre-treatment and/or Wastewater treatment)?

Suggested Upload: Facility’s water treatment process flow and/or hydraulic diagrams

Reference: https://www.wateractionplan.com/management-and-use-of-chemical-products

How This Will Be Verified:

Yes

  • Documentation Required
    • Facility’s water treatment flow chart and hydraulic diagrams
    • Permits, if required

Permits

The purpose of this section is to determine your compliance status with relevant environmental permits. Please include adherence to any rules or regulations your facility is required to follow such as permits, authorizations, licenses, registrations, certificates or other compliance documentation. Examples of non-permit requirements to include are annual required government reports and required registration of specific chemicals.

Please note that all documents uploaded, including required upload and suggested upload, throughout the Higg FEM are visible to the stakeholder that your facility shared their module to.

Please note that this section is NOT SCORED. This means that you do not get points for being in compliance. However, you must be in compliance to earn any points in the Facility Environmental Module. If your factory site does not have a valid and current operating license you will score zero points for the entire module.

Please upload a copy of the operating license

What is the intent of the question?

Your factory must meet basic local regulations before proceeding to beyond-compliance sustainability behavior. This question is intended to confirm that you have a valid operating license before proceeding on to complete the Higg Index.

Technical Guidance:

If you answer “No” or “Unknown” to “Does your factory site have a valid operating license?”, you will score ZERO points for the entire Facility Environmental Module. This is because a valid and current operating license is required to score points in the Facility Environmental Module.

If you have an expired operating license, you must answer “no” to this question, even if you are in the process of updating your operating license. A current and valid operating license is required to answer “yes” to this question.

If an operating license is not required by law, you should answer “Yes” to this question and upload proof that an operating license is not required by local law.

How This Will Be Verified:

Yes

  • Documentation Required
    • Copy of update-to-date business license, if applicable and any other relevant licenses
  • Interview Questions to Ask
    • Who in the facility is responsible for ensuring the business license is kept up to date?
    • What is the procedure for updating the business license?
    • Should the person responsible for updating the business license be out of the office, what is the backup plan to ensure the business license is up to date?
  • Inspection – Things to Physically Look For
    • Name on Business License matches the business name found on the facility premises.

If yes, please describe the violation and your site’s action plan to improve

Suggested Upload: Copies of violation notices

Does your facility currently have any records in the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) database?

Suggested Upload: IPE database records

If yes, has your facility supplied enterprise feedback to the database and/or taken steps to remove the record(s) from the database?

What is the intent of the question?

Your factory must meet basic local regulations before proceeding to beyond-compliance sustainability behavior. This question is intended to confirm that you have a process to manage local permits and compliance.

Technical Guidance:

IPE Guidance (Chinese Links)

If based in China, here is the link to the IPE Database references in this question: http://www.ipe.org.cn/IndustryRecord/Regulatory.aspx

Record removal:

IPE Guidance (English Links)

If based in China, here is the link to the IPE Database references in this question: http://wwwen.ipe.org.cn/IndustryRecord/Regulatory.aspx.

Record removal:

  • Record removal guidance document (English) (click “Approaches to Record Removal”): http://wwwen.ipe.org.cn/GreenSupplyChain/SupplyGCA.aspx
  • If your site has a violation record and would like to supply enterprise feedback to IPE and/or take steps to remove the record from the database, please contact ipe@ipe.org.cn.

New to IPE? To get started with IPE, please visit their informational pages here:

How This Will Be Verified:

Yes

  • Documentation Required:
    • Copy of government-issued violation record
    • IPE database records
  • Interview Questions to Ask:
    • Reason for the government-issued violation record?
    • Have the issues listed in the violation record been addressed? Please describe how and provide evidence (e.g. new equipment installed and operating, test results showing compliance, etc.)
    • What steps have been taken to remove the facility from the IPE list? (if applicable)
  • Inspection – Things to Physically Look For:
    • Evidences of issues listed on the violation record in the facility
    • Action plans to address issues along with responsible staff and tracked progress
    • Communications with IPE showing how the issue is being addressed (if applicable)

Please note that licenses/permits for hazardous waste contractors will be requested in the Waste section.

Technical Guidance:

Maintenance of environmental permit requirement and compliance status is recommended as part of your environmental management processes. Some examples of permits are:

Air permits

  • Include permits or requirements for air emissions from stacks of utilities (boilers, diesel generators, etc.)

Chemicals permit may include:

  • Requirements for chemical management permit or agreement, such as an approved chemical list, chemical classification system, safe chemical handling procedures or chemical disposal (ZDHC Chemicals Management Manual)
  • Compliance with REACH (ZDHC Chemicals Management Manual)
  • Include compliance or all laws / regulations / permits needed for specific chemicals. For example: Potassium Permanganate is controlled for purchasing and registration with police office is required in some locations. This is not a permit, but registration required by law – therefore it must be included here.

How This Will Be Verified:

  • Documentation Required:
    • Copies of ALL up-to-date environmental permits/registrations which are applicable to the facility as at the date/year when the verification takes place, as well as any applicable permits/registrations for the reporting year.
  • Interview Questions to Ask:
    • Who in the facility is responsible for ensuring permits are kept up to date?
    • What is the procedure for updating the permits?
    • Should the person responsible for updating the permits be out of the office what is the backup plan to ensure permits are up to date?
  • Inspection – Things to Physically Look For:
    • Name on permits matches the business name found on the facility premises.
    • Address on permits matches the location of the facility.

 

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