Cascale, Worldly Webinar Explores Links Between Higg BRM, CSRD, and CS3D

Jun 18, 2024 11:05 AM ET
Campaign: Cascale Events
Cascale and Worldly Webinar

On June 12, Cascale and Worldly co-hosted “Navigating Legislation & the Higg Index: Higg BRM with CSRD & More,” a webinar where industry experts discussed the importance of legislative frameworks such as the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D) in shaping the future of corporate sustainability reporting and accountability. The webinar focused on how the Higg Brand and Retail Module (Higg BRM) can support Cascale members and Worldly customers in meeting their reporting obligations under CSRD. This is the second webinar in the Navigating Legislation & the Higg Index webinar series.

Cascale’s Gabriele Ballero, policy and public affairs officer, moderated the webinar. Speakers included Elisabeth von Reitzenstein, senior director, policy and public affairs at Cascale; JR Siegel, vice president, sustainability at Worldly; Maravillas Rodriguez Zarco, senior director, Higg Index strategy and operations at Cascale; and Adrián Branco, senior manager, Higg Index brand and retail at Cascale.

Sustainability specialists, ESG managers, directors, public affairs professionals, sourcing and supplier traceability managers, buyers, consultants, and analysts tuned in live, raising many thoughtful questions about the intersection of the Higg BRM and reporting compliance.

During the webinar, von Reitzenstein explained CSRD, an EU directive aiming to enhance transparency in companies’ sustainability practices by requiring detailed disclosure of environmental and social impacts and related risks and opportunities. She outlined the adoption timeline, discussed the complementary relationship between CSRD and CS3D, and highlighted Branco’s expert contributions to the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to support the development of textile-specific European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS).

Siegel emphasized the importance of leveraging primary data for measurable impact, including emissions, energy consumption, water, waste, chemistry, and working conditions — all of which are included in CSRD. He emphasized that these topics align with CSRD requirements, which will serve as the roadmap for corporate sustainability teams over the next decade. Essential tools for supporting compliance include the Higg BRM, the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) for annual environmental data, and the recently launched Facility Data Manager (FDM). Worldly’s FDM tool enables monthly tracking of GHG emissions, waste, and water data from supply chain partners.

Rodriguez Zarco and Branco unpacked the potential of the Higg BRM, providing insights on how the tool can support Cascale members and Higg Index users in their reporting obligations under CSRD. They structured their technical discussion following the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), reviewing the most relevant topics and explaining how the Higg BRM is useful in each specific context. Topics included double materiality; entity-specific disclosures; governance; impact, risks, and opportunities; minimum disclosure requirements; topical standards; and more.

In exploring ESRS 1 and 2, they highlighted how the Higg BRM enhances sustainability reporting and compliance practices. The Higg BRM serves as a vital tool, supporting efforts that are compliant, impactful, measurable, and continuously improving. The tool aligns closely with the ESRS, covering more than 65 percent of its disclosure requirements.

Branco stressed that these pieces of legislation prioritize governance in a company’s sustainability reporting, underscoring that this shift towards holistic integration is crucial for building trust with stakeholders who are increasingly focused on a company’s commitment to ESG goals.

Outlining the next steps for the tool, Rodriguez Zarco said Cascale will publish a white paper on the Higg BRM, delving into how the tool supports companies in their reporting obligations under CSRD and including a detailed mapping between ESRS and the Higg BRM content. Additionally, Cascale plans to update the Higg BRM to improve its alignment with ESRS, set for release in 2025. This update will maintain the comparability of the questionnaire and scoring with previous versions to allow for tracking progress.

Working in close partnership over the years, Cascale and Worldly continue to align on the Higg Index suite of tools and resources that members and users need to address compliance. The co-hosted Navigating Legislation & the Higg Index webinar series is one of many resources with a timely and educational value proposition. It aims to guide over 24,000 Higg Index users through their compliance journeys with current and upcoming EU and national legislation by leveraging the Higg Index suite of tools.

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