Higg BRM Benchmarking Guidance

Our Initial Approach to Benchmarking – Why We Chose It

When initial benchmarking for the BRM was being developed, a range of questions and question categories were explored. We considered what had been developed for the FEM, what would be most relevant for the unique BRM audience to drive performance improvement, and what would be the most efficient place to start, as we know from experience that much is learned from use and feedback during a first iteration cycle.  

Specifically for the filter categories, we looked at what questions would have the biggest impact on the scoring outcome, adhere to our equal partnership principle, and be the most feasible. Ultimately, we selected most of the questions from the Company Profile section (the exception was the  number of units sold, as that was an open number question without bands, and there was fortunately another question that could be used initially to indicate size – revenue).

For the scoring categories, we considered the need for a balance of social and environmental indicators, coverage across the full value chain, as well as equal partnership and feasibility. In the end, we chose the areas that seemed the most logical – the categories that were already scored in the module (the environmental and social sections and lifecycle stages) – as well as the most essential (the critical issues). 

We also selected a visualization style that would be simple for anyone to quickly understand, knowing that BRM users need to enlist the internal support of a wide range of departments and individuals within their organizations to drive progress.

There is an infinite range of other indicator combinations to benchmark. We know since we explored some of them during this initial benchmarking development process. Those ranged from specific impact areas to question levels to types of actions, such as those highlighted by frameworks such as the OECD and UNGP due diligence processes. Given the possibilities ahead, we are excited to receive your feedback during this first iteration (please submit feedback through the support button at the top right of your higg.org page). Your feedback, as you engage individuals and departments as champions of change in your organization’s sustainability journey, is essential for us to learn about what areas would be most impactful for you and ultimately determine next steps for this valuable feature.

Introduction

To make social and environmental improvements in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry, we must compare year over year performance and track progress, both as an organization and among peers. The Higg Index benchmarking feature enables users to do that, promoting continued sustainability performance improvement over time. In their first year, organizations can use the Higg Index to establish a point of reference across social and environmental areas from which future measurements may be made.

Higg BRM Benchmarking

The Higg.org platform currently offers benchmarking for the Higg Brand and Retail Module (Higg BRM). Facility and brand account holders may access this feature. 

The Higg BRM benchmarking feature on Higg.org currently includes the following:

  • Critical issues
  • Scores – Social and Environmental Sections and Life Cycle stages

Who can use the benchmarking feature on Higg.org?

Brands and Retailers

Use the benchmarking feature to compare your own Higg BRM or shared Higg BRM self-assessments with other similar brands and/or retailers across the industry.

Facility and other users

Compare Higg BRM self-assessments shared with you to other similar brands and/or retailers across the industry.

Who can access Higg BRM Benchmarking on Higg.org

  • Brands and Retailers who posted their 2019  Higg BRM by Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Brands and Retailers who have received a shared Higg BRM that was posted by Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Facilities who have received a shared Higg BRM that was posted by Sept. 30, 2020.

* In line with our policy on FEM benchmarking, if you did not post your Higg BRM by the Sept. 30 deadline you will not be included in or be able to access the benchmarking feature until the second round (released Q1 2021) OR until you have received another shared Higg BRM that was posted by Sept. 30, 2020.

For additional information about the BRM and scoring, please see the BRM How to Higg Guide and the BRM Scoring System Guidance.

Overview 

Filters: 

1. On the left side, there is a navigation bar with single selection and multiple selection conditions. Two rules for the conditions:

  • The more conditions you select, the smaller the scope of modules with which you will compare.
  • After you choose a condition, if there is no related data reflected for critical issues, it means that this condition is not applicable for “my modules” or “shared modules” or all modules. 
  • Please note, if there are less than 3 modules that meet your selection criteria no industry data will be displayed.

2. Individual filters

  • My Modules/Shared with Me:
    • My Modules: selecting this will compare your modules with all similar brands in the industry.
    • Shared with Me: selecting this will compare all shared modules you have received with all similar brands in the industry.
  • Module Type:
    • 2019 BRM: The BRM module completed in 2020, with 2019 calendar year data. 
  • Verification Status:
    • BRM: self-assessed BRM data
    • vBRM: verified BRM data – currently unavailable (expected for 2021). 

3. Multiple selection condition – from the Company Profile section of the BRM

  • Location: where the headquarters are located
  • Ownership: whether the company has public, private or subsidiary ownership
  • Retailer: do they purchase products from other companies to sell
  • Brand: do they create their own product
  • Stores: do they have physical stores
  • Distribution: online vs in-store distribution
  • Product Type: what type of product do they sell
  • Company revenue: annual revenue in USD 
  • Regions sold: in which regions of the world do they sell products
  • Employees: total number of employees 
  1.  

Critical Issues

There are currently nine questions in the Higg BRM that have been identified as critical issues throughout the Higg BRM development process. These critical issues are intended to highlight some of the actions that are most urgent for organizations to take

Critical Issues Flags

  • My Modules: The amount of Critical Issues flags in your completed Higg BRM, or the average number for your shared Higg BRMs. 
  • All Other Modules: The average number of Critical Issue flags for all other posted Higg BRM modules

Critical Issue Questions 

  • Each of the nine Critical Issues questions has a card and displays the question 
  • Your answer is displayed in the center of the card. The percentage of Shared Modules and All Other Modules that answered the same way will be displayed below. 
    • If your answer has a red flag next to it, that means your answer is problematic and a critical issue that you need to address urgently. 
  • For further guidance on the 9 critical issues and how to address them, please see the guidance here. 

Scores

The Higg BRM scores are reflected through three different areas of the module: Environmental section, Social section, and Lifecycle Stage. Each question is equally weighted across the entire module. Additionally,  all scores are displayed as percentages to allow for comparability across all BRM modules. Please refer to the scoring overview on How to Higg for more detailed scoring information.

Environmental 

  • My Modules: your completed Higg BRM or shared  Higg BRM modules 
  • All Higg BRM Modules: all industry Higg BRM modules 
  • For each section of the Higg BRM, the industry average score will be displayed. For all applicable sections of your module or shared modules, the average scores will be displayed.
  • Average total environmental score is displayed on the far left. 

Social 

  • My Modules: your completed Higg BRM or shared Higg BRM modules 
  • All Higg BRM Modules: all industry Higg BRM modules 
  • For each section of the Higg BRM, the industry average score will be displayed. For all applicable sections of your module or shared modules, the average scores will be displayed.
  • Average total social score is displayed on the far left. 

Lifecycle Stages 

  • My Modules: your completed Higg BRM or shared Higg BRM modules 
  • All Higg BRM Modules: all industry Higg BRM modules 
  • For each lifecycle section of the Higg BRM, the industry average score will be displayed. For all applicable sections of your module or shared modules, the average scores will be displayed.

 

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