FEM 2017 Verification Process – Brand

Please review the following information outlining Higg FEM verification for brands.  

  • If you are nominating a facility to conduct verification you must notify the facility directly.
  • Please carefully review the Verification Guide for Facilities to familiarize yourself with the verification process.
  • Either you or your facility will need to select a qualified verifier from the list of verifiers on – only the verifiers on this list are accredited to conduct Higg FEM verifications.
    • You or the facility must contact the verifier directly to arrange the verification (off-line process). Note: Sumerra does not select verifiers or arrange verifications.
  • After the verification is complete, the verifier will complete a verified module (vFEM) in the facility’s account on This is a separate module from the self-assessment - the facility will have one self-assessment (Higg FEM) and one verified assessment (vFEM).
  • The facility will choose whether to post/share their vFEM. Once posted, the vFEM will automatically be shared with all approved connections.
    • Note: once the vFEM is posted/shared, you will no longer be able to view the facility’s self-assessment (FEM). 

All 2017 Higg FEM verifications must be completed and uploaded by Dec. 31, 2018. 

How much will verification cost?

To ensure the independence of the verification, the verification fee must be pre-paid. The total verification price should be negotiated by the company requesting the verification (brand, retailer, or manufacturer). Pricing can depend on many factors including the country of execution, the size of the facility, and a facility's previous verification experience.  

Based on current experience the Higg FEM onsite review typically takes about two days. It can be less for smaller facilities with minimal environmental impact (e.g. small cut and sew facilities) or it can take 1-2 days longer for large, vertically integrated facilities that have several wet or chemically-intense processes. Note this is guidance only, and should be adjusted, as needed, to ensure the verification is accurate and of high quality. Verifiers should fully investigate all factors to determine the required time of the onsite verification.

Complexity Categories of Environmental Aspects 

The number of man days required for the Higg verification are based on three levels of complexity:

  • High – environmental aspects of significant nature and gravity (typically manufacturing or processing type organizations with significant impacts in most of the environmental aspects).
  • Medium – environmental aspects of medium nature and gravity (typically manufacturing organizations with significant impacts in some of the environmental aspects).
  • Low – environmental aspects of low nature and gravity (typically organizations that have low impacts within few environmental aspects).
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