Since 2018 is measured on a calendar year, will facilities be advised that they should update or add to any information that they add in November/December 2018?
No. The questions in the assessment are framed to capture the full calendar year and you do not post the modules until December for that reason.

Will there be guidance explaining the changes that have been made for FEM content?

We will have a guidance to show the changes that have been made for FEM content and the How to Higg guide.

If a facility is not applicable to fill out a section, how does that impact their Level and Score?

If a section is not applicable to the facility then they do not have to fill it out and it will not impact their level or score.

Would the facility not receive a Level classification then? Or would they be given Level 0?

The facility would receive a Level 1 with a score of 100, indicating there is no need for it to proceed to level 2 or 3 as this does not apply to the factory. Level achievement is defined as being able to demonstrate implementation of all practices asked about within that level (answering yes or partial yes to all level 1 questions means they’ve achieved level 1).If the level is not applicable to them they are not measured on it

How will these changes to the FEM effect the Bulk Export next year? Will there be any new/removed columns, or will the structure be the same?

There may me some slight adjustments, but the changes will be minor (potentially for the 2-3 questions where we’re adding a new answer option). We will be sure to flag and outline any changes to the bulk export from 2017 to 2018 so users can track and account for these changes.

This scoring way (scoring after completing/posting, 25%-50%-25% weighting) is the same as 2017 cycle, correct?

Yes, that is correct.

Is the import/export Excel assessment applicable for on-going assessment only or can we export the final results as well?

Both in progress and final assessments can be exported as Excel.

Can a factory input the Higg FEM in Excel offline and then import the Excel to upon completed?


Can we export the final assessments with questions, answers and evidence that we provided?

You may download an Excel document from the site. This is the same document we will be providing in November. Supplemental files (upload PDFs etc.) will not be in the Excel document but available individually.

Since the Excel export function is available, so can the factory update the 2017 FEM excel and update the 2018 FEM? Or it should wait till the file and download in Nov?

In November, you can transfer data from the 2017 FEM assessment into the 2018 assessment automatically on You cannot edit a 2017 module.

Will 2018 data reporting be available on the Higg Data Site?

Data reporting will be integrated into by Q3 2019.

What is Higg FEM? 

The Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) is a sustainability assessment tool that standardizes how facilities measure and evaluate their environmental performance.

• This facility-level self-assessment tool enables rapid learning through identification of environmental sustainability hot spots, existing level of performance, and improvement opportunities. 

• The Higg FEM informs organizations of their strengths and weaknesses, drives business value throughout the value chain by presenting opportunities for cost-savings and innovation, and catalyzes sustainability education and collaboration. 


Which Higg FEM sections have applicability tests?

Water, Wastewater, Air, and Chemicals have applicability tests:

  • Wastewater has 8 categories for various combinations of onsite/offsite treatment and domestic/industrial wastewater. 
  • Water has 2 categories: heavy/high risk water users and light/low risk water users. 
  • Air has 4 categories: no emissions to air, production emissions only, operation emissions only, and both operations and production emissions. 
  • Chemicals has 2 categories: use chemicals in production processes (e.g., leather tanning) and do not use chemicals in production processes (e.g., cut and sew).

Can I receive partial credit for in-progress work in my factory?

Yes. Several questions have "partial yes" answer options. This allows a facility to get credit for making progress. However, we did not allow for partial points where we were unable to objectively define what counts for "partial" achievement. This is because we've received feedback to reduce the number of subjective decisions that are left up to verifiers. All expectations must be clearly defined for both facilities and verifiers to follow.

Do I have to answer all Higg FEM questions or do I start with the basics first?

Facilities will need to satisfy requirements for Level 1 before moving on to Levels 2 and 3. This is because it's critical to have basics in place before moving on to advanced practices. Users gave feedback that the updated Higg FEM should show "where to start" if they are just beginning sustainability improvements. For example, a factory cannot demonstrate a water reduction if its water use is unknown. Or a facility cannot have chemicals traceability if it does not have an inventory. To satisfy requirements for Level 1, a factory must answer "Yes" or "Partial Yes" to a question.

How does this tool relate to other chemicals tools in the industry, such as Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) or the Chemicals Management Module?

The Chemicals Management section resulted from a collaborative effort to converge ZDHC's Audit Protocol and the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) Chemicals Management Module into one set of questions. We will continue to collaborate with these organizations to provide additional resources and technical guides to support these questions. 

Will my work on Higg FEM be saved?

Your module will automatically save your answers as you complete the questions. You do not need to click a "save button" to save. This is important to avoid losing work due to slow internet connections.

How does scoring work?

Please see document here:

Why can I no longer see my score and weights per section as I complete the module?

Based on user feedback, we learned that live scoring motivates users to give answers based on scores rather than reality. We pressure tested the new approach, only showing scores and results once a module is completed. We received good feedback from this approach. Since showing results at the end enables more realistic responses and is cleaner to implement, this was included as a new feature for Higg FEM in the 2017 cadence.

What is the purpose of the suggested upload?

Suggested uploads reflect requirements for verification. The purpose of these suggestions is to prepare a factory for verification by suggesting supporting documents that will be requested. 

How long does it take to complete a module? Facilities that require a language translation cannot start their assessment until their language is launched. Will they receive an extension for posting completed modules?

Module completion takes 3 to 6 weeks, on average. The SAC provides a 7-month completion timeline allowing sufficient time for module completion in any supported language. 

If a facility in China fills the Higg in Chinese, can the person in the Hong Kong head office read the filled module in English (if they cannot understand Chinese)?

No, we will not provide reverse translations in the first year. We have received feedback that Google Translate would be the best option but does not offer business-quality translations for many languages.

Can a facility post modules for different sites?

Yes. One module should be completed for each facility site.

What if two factories are located in the same place and have only one water meter for two factories? Can we have one account for two factories?

Factories should setup one account and complete one module per site.

Definition of Facility Site: A single functional unit of an organization or a combination of units situated at one locality under one ownership, which is geographically distinct from other units of the same organization. Sites may be part of the same organization or independent legal entities. The facility site is: 
• Responsible for the transformation of a raw material into finished apparel and footwear for consumption
• An integral part along the apparel/footwear supply chain by providing and utilizing material for further processing
• Manufacturing, assembling, dyeing and finishing of a material, component, product along the apparel/footwear supply chain
• The facility in which a production or processing operation is taking place, or at which control or ownership of the raw material and products occurs.

Typical examples of activities at facility sites are:
• Apparel: ginning, spinning, weaving/knitting, dyeing/printing, finishing, packaging, etc.
• Footwear: cutting, embroidering, screen printing, lasting, buffing, curing, packaging, etc.



Are production volume and number of employees mandatory to input in permit sections?

Yes, they are mandatory.


Can facilities freely choose a metric (such as number of piece, length of fabric, weight, etc) to report production volume?

The units available in the Site Info production volume question are: Square yard, meter, kilogram, or unit (piece or pair).

Is there score deduction for environmental law violation as it is asked in “Site Info” section and it is not scored?

The only score impact is if they answer "No" to "Does your facility have a valid operating license, if required by law?" If they answer "No," they get a zero score for their module. All other permit questions are not scored.

Is OIA integrated in chemical section? What is the role of OIA Chemicals Management Module in Higg FEM?

The Higg Chemicals Management section was developed collaboratively by converging OIA's Chemicals Management Module and ZDHC's audit protocol into one section.

In pre-training, we were told that normalized target and baseline will be auto-calculated by the platform. Are all targets mandated to use the same production volume metric to normalize?

Yes. The factory will set their production unit in Site Info and that will be carried through all normalization questions in Higg FEM.

What information will be available in the platform? Will it allow names & emails from facility accounts that have shared with a brand?

The email will be visible if there is a sharing connection. 

When a module is shared what exactly is shown?

When a posted module is shared, you can see the full module with all the questions. You will be able to download that with an Excel or CSV file in the system.

How were all FEM language translations prioritized?

Translated languages were prioritized based on several factors, including number of users by country, number of requests in certain languages, number of posted modules per country, member feedback, and Higg usage growth in countries in the future.

Who is performing the translations and how are they paid?

We have contracted the translation work to an outside organization that was selected through our standard request for proposal (RFP) process and review and comes out of the SAC approved budget. We will have SAC members also performing an additional quality assurance review for each language to make sure we adhere to content intent.

Is normalization within the factory data or is it industry level normalization?

Factories will be able to enter their own normalized targets, but they will be required to use the production unit set in Site Info. The tool can auto-calculate progress against targets and reductions using tracking and baseline information. We will provide a set of training a materials on this with demonstrations to ensure it's clear. 

Can membership see the normalized calculation of their shared facilities?

When a posted module is shared, you will be able to see all data in the module. This includes normalized information.

What are the drop down options available for production volume. Is this from a list or can we include our own measure of production volume?

The production volume options include: square yard, meter,kilogram, and unit (piece or pair).


What is the difference between a posted module and a verified module?

A posted module is a self assessment. A verified module is one that has been verified by an SAC-approved verifier.

What are the timelines to complete the Higg FEM?

The self-assessment must be completed no later than May 31, 2018.

Do we need to fill out one module for each brand?

No but if you have multiple facilities and environmental management staff for each of your brand customers, you may find it necessary to complete multiple modules. If you have further questions about how many modules you will need to complete please visit or email

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  • 3

    I do not get modul yet

  • -2
    Grace Tjandra

    I cannot find "My Modules" page

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