Should the SAC drop the Higg MSI single score?

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The news that the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) will ditch the aggregated single score used by the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) next month has brought mixed responses from industry groups – including repeated calls for its full suspension.

The SAC says its decision to retire the MSI is part of a planned shift of focus from the environmental impacts of raw materials to product level assessments. It also coincides with the launch of the new Higg Product Module (Higg PM) where MSI users can use five individual impact area scores to determine the environmental credentials of their products, and ahead of the second version of the Higg PM this spring, which for the first time considers product use and product end-of-life.

The move has been given a cautious welcome by some groups, including the cotton sector. “Eliminating the single aggregated score in the Higg MSI is a positive step,” noted Michele Wallace, Director, Product Integrity at Cotton Incorporated.

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