By Sourcing Journal
This article was published in Sourcing Journal May 2, 2022.
Higg, a sustainability insights platform for the consumer goods industry, has announced its $50 million Series B funding round.
The funding will be used to accelerate Higg’s delivery of innovative technology solutions and its rapid expansion into new consumer goods categories such as outdoor, home goods, automotive and toys. The funding was co-led by technology growth investor Silversmith Capital Partners and Tom Steyer and Katie Hall’s Galvanize Climate Solutions, along with participation by Series A partners Titan Grove and Buckhill Capital.
With close to 50,000 brand and manufacturer users in 100+ countries, Higg enables continuous improvement of supply chain sustainability across carbon, water, energy and labor impacts. Higg said its new funding comes as companies face growing expectations for ESG (environmental, social, and governance) accountability and disclosure.
Regulations are currently being developed in the European Union and United States for supply chain due diligence, in addition to new guidelines for product labeling and sustainability claims. Higg noted that shoppers are also seeking greater product-level transparency about the goods they purchase.
“In this new era of expectations, more businesses will be required to have credible impact data about their supply chains,” Higg CEO Jason Kibbey said. “The truth is that measuring owned operations is easy. For consumer products companies, the challenge is obtaining accurate data on the non-owned factories that make the goods, and on the materials and products themselves. That’s why we’re thrilled to have Silversmith and Galvanize supporting us.”
Kibbey noted that Silversmith brings experience in SaaS innovation that’s needed to scale Higg’s technology and Galvanize complements that with its emphasis in climate solutions.
“We’re excited to tap into their expertise so that Higg becomes a critical source for ESG information through the value chain and across sectors,” he added.
Employed by major brands and tens of thousands of manufacturers across the world, data on the Higg platform is used to design more sustainable products, expand worker well-being, and identify suppliers with reduced impact across emissions, water, chemicals and waste. While many sustainability solutions offer high-level estimates of a business’ impact, Higg stressed that its platform provides primary data specific to a business’ sourcing and value chain, within consistent, comparable industry frameworks.
“What the Higg team has done in marrying powerful and easy-to-use software with proprietary sustainability data has the opportunity to transform the footprint of entire industries,” said Todd MacLean, managing partner at Silversmith Capital Partners. “In this case, software is not only eating the world, but changing it for the better. We are excited to partner with Jason and his entire team as they continue to scale and ensure consumers have better insights on environmental and social impact when making purchasing decisions.”
Steyer, co-chair of Galvanize Climate Solutions, said while improvements are needed in carbon and clean energy, Higg is accelerating transformation across the board.
“Reimagining sustainability within consumer goods is an interconnected challenge and Higg’s technology addresses this throughout the supply chain, he said.
Higg was launched in 2019 as a public-benefit technology company to build software for the Higg Index tools developed and owned by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. This standardized measurement framework for environmental and social performance has become the most widely used within the apparel and footwear industry.
Recently, Higg has begun to host additional assessments, partnering with the Apparel Impact Institute to offer a new carbon management program for manufacturing facilities. Higg has also expanded the capabilities of its platform to include advanced analytics, supplier performance dashboards and product-level impact disclosures, and now enables integration of its data into external product lifecycle management systems.
“Higg is uniquely driving reduced carbon emissions in the world’s largest emitting markets, including China and India, as well as global improvements in labor conditions,” Jeffrey Tannenbaum, chairman of Titan Grove, said. “The new capital and strategic partnerships with Galvanize and Silversmith empower our exceptional executive team to enter new industries and to dramatically accelerate our urgent work toward global carbon reduction.”