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Measuring Sustainability: Balanced Scorecard Approach to Higg Index

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the challenges related to measuring sustainability within the textile industry. The study concentrates on the industry-specific self-assessment tool Higg Index and strives to point out the challenges of using the tool. In order to find a solution for the measurement problems, the purpose is to investigate how the current, non-financial Higg Index indicators could be translated into financial ones.

The nature of the research is qualitative and it comprises of two parts: structured interviews and a desk research. Methodological triangulation is used in order to gain data on different levels – both from the users of the Higg Index and from literature. The data collection has been conducted through four structured interviews with the users of the Higg Index. The second part of the thesis is concerned with converting the non-financial indicators of the Higg Index into financial indicators using the balanced scorecard approach.

Measuring sustainability has been considered difficult due to the qualitative nature of the measured matters. Higg Index has proven to be a comprehensive self-assessment tool for organizations in the textile industry to use. It is considered to enhance communication, increase information sharing, and facilitate benchmarking.

However, in order to develop the tool and make it more attractive to non-users, there are opportunities for improvement. These opportunities include adding verification and making the data collection easier. Transforming non-financial indicators of the Higg Index into financial indicators can simplify the data collection and increase the attractiveness of sustainability performance measurement tools.
Source: University of Borås
Authors: Alhainen, Noora | Järvinen, Janne

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