In 2017, Benetton Group joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (), the largest alliance promoting sustainable production, including fashion, footwear and textile brands.
As SAC members, starting from 2018 we began to use the Higg Index, i.e. a series of tools that enable brands and retailers to measure their sustainability performance.
In particular, we invite our suppliers to adopt the Higg Facility Tool, which can be considered as:
A self-assessment regarding social and environmental topics that quantifies the supplier’s actual performance level, the critical areas and the opportunities for improvement;
A first step towards information sharing and the beginning of a path leading to the standardization of assessment tools.
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The Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) monitors the environmental management systems, the use of energy and water, the emission level, the wastewater treatment, the waste management, the use and the management of chemicals. The Higg FEM replaced the previous internal procedure used to verify the environmental impact of the facility, as part of the company’s Detox Program. Thanks to the Higg FEM, we assessed a significant percentage (approximately 80% by garments volume) of wet processes. Finally, the module enabled the Group to quantify the impact of wastewater along the value chain: in 2019, the plants of Olimpias, a strategic supplier to Benetton Group, discharged 1 312 526 m3 of water. Nearly the total amount of wastewater was conveyed to treatment plants.
The Higg Facility Social Labour Module (FSLM) aims to promote fair and safe working conditions along the supply chain and to evaluate the effectiveness of the social management systems. This tool is still under development and in 2019 Benetton participated in a pilot phase, involving some Chinese suppliers.
Finally, Benetton undertakes to satisfy the transparency requirements coming from its stakeholders by evaluating its activities’ impact through the implementation of the Higg Brand and Retail Module (BRM). The module is an integrated tool designed to measure the overall sustainability performance of an organization, in order to clarify the strategic goals and monitor the progresses, in an effort to improve working conditions and environmental protection.