Higg Helps Hydro Flask Track 94% Improvement in Supplier Performance
Hydro Flask is an award-winning leader in high-performance, insulated stainless steel flasks and soft good innovations. Hydro Flask products are the trusted sidekick to nearly any excursion – from a walk around the block to a mountain trek – and the brand embraces its hand-in-hand relationship with nature.
But the outdoors is more than just a place to play. For Hydro Flask, it’s also where future generations will continue to enrich their own lives. For this reason, the brand strives to leave the planet better than we found it. – Hydro Flask Corporate Responsibility Journey
Hydro Flask’s myriad sustainability programs demonstrate its commitment to the planet and its people. From working toward 100% recyclable or recycled packaging, to offering braille water bottle engravings, its initiatives are wide reaching. Hydro Flask is also working toward Science Based Targets for carbon reduction set by parent company Helen of Troy. By fiscal year 2030, Helen of Troy aims to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 46.2%, as well as reduce third-party manufacturers’ emissions by 42%.
Indigo Teiwes, Hydro Flask’s Director of Corporate Sustainability, helps steer the brand toward these ambitious goals and programs. To stay on track, the brand embraces data and a spirit of collaboration across the supply chain.
Teiwes oversees both environmental and social initiatives at Hydro Flask while also leading impact communications. Hydro Flask has used Higg since 2017 to help measure the brand’s supply chain impact. “We found Higg while searching for a solution that would help us collaborate with suppliers and provide vetted sustainability data,” Teiwes explains.
Hydro Flask’s peers from the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group suggested using Higg Facility Tools, which collect an abundance of factory data – from energy and water use to working conditions.
The more Hydro Flask learned, the more it made sense to use Higg. “Hydro Flask loved the idea of a tool that was easy for suppliers to complete, and the recommendation to use Higg from our peers at the Outdoor Industry Association carried weight. It gave us confidence knowing we were using a credible tool used by others in the industry,” explains Teiwes.
Higg tools helped establish supplier trust and collaboration
Hydro Flask began utilizing Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) in 2017. The brand worked with its suppliers to complete the self-assessment version of the FEM, which helped build a mutual understanding of Hydro Flask’s supply chain impact and expectations for how they are managed. “The Higg FEM helps drive knowledge building between Hydro Flask and our suppliers,” Teiwes explains. The brand used this information to identify areas of improvement at factories, such as reducing water and increasing energy efficiency.
The following year, Hydro Flask had the suppliers’ data verified by an independent third-party. Verification helped Hydro Flask feel confident the brand was collecting accurate, high-quality data from its suppliers via Higg FEM.
Over the first three years of using Higg FEM, Hydro Flask and its suppliers worked together to build a shared understanding of the brand’s sustainability goals and how they could mitigate the impacts of climate change. During this time, Hydro Flask also established a training and support program led by the brand’s Asia-based team, ensuring their suppliers had on the ground support. During this short period of improved collaboration and more diligent data collection, Hydro Flask’s suppliers improved their FEM scores by 94%. “Higg helped Hydro Flask better align with our suppliers while also building trust. We gained more visibility into our global supply chain, and identified areas to improve social and environmental performance,” explains Teiwes.
Hydro Flask also uses additional features on the Higg platform that deepen engagement with its suppliers. For example, Hydro Flask has utilized the platform’s supplier engagement capabilities, the Adoption Tool. This helps Hydro Flask communicate with suppliers and keeps them on track to complete Higg assessments on time.
Higg has been instrumental in helping Hydro Flask standardize supplier data collection and strengthen communication across the supply chain. Hydro Flask looks forward to continuing its use of Higg tools to identify important areas of improvement and work together with suppliers to advance sustainability performance.