Note: This article predates our launch as Worldly.
With new hire, sustainability SaaS company signals focus on collaboration and data integration.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – Technology platform Higg has appointed James Schaffer as Chief Strategy Officer, in a new role to lead corporate development and partnerships. Schaffer’s experience devising industry-scale initiatives in the apparel sector, where Higg is widely used, will be instrumental in guiding the company as it expands its enterprise SaaS (Software as a Service) platform to deliver best-in-class sustainability data for consumer goods industries.
Schaffer brings more than 20 years of partnership and technology leadership experience to Higg, most recently as managing partner at Schaffer & Combs, the management consultancy he co-founded in 2009. There he worked with purpose-driven companies in the public and private sectors on both strategy development and organizational design. Previously, Schaffer served as CEO of Global Data Vault Corporation, a fast-growth data storage company serving businesses in the U.S. and U.K.
Last year, Schaffer spearheaded negotiations that established the industry alliance between the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Textile Exchange, the Apparel Impact Institute, and ZDHC to drive efficiencies and accelerate sustainability efforts within the apparel industry. The alliance – all connected to the Higg data ecosystem – has created an essential framework to help streamline global value chain sustainability initiatives. Schaffer was also instrumental in developing the strategy that led to Higg’s spin-off from the SAC in 2019.
“We’re thrilled to welcome James Schaffer as Chief Strategy Officer at Higg,” said Higg CEO Jason Kibbey. “James brings a level of expertise and experience I am confident will help accelerate Higg’s growth in the apparel sector and beyond as our platform and software capabilities continue to expand. His leadership working with some of the most prominent multi-stakeholder organizations as well as his background in technology will be instrumental in shaping our future success and impact.”
Continued platform investments have helped Higg realize significant markers of success in its first two years of operation, as indicated in its inaugural 2021 Impact Report: since 2019, manufacturer environmental scores have improved nearly 20%; Higg has broadened its reach from 20,000+ users to more than 45,000, including tens of thousands of manufacturers; and more than 500 fashion brands have committed to using its brand and retail tool. Users are completing their assessments faster, and nearly half of users have shared their results with more than one value chain partner, effectively improving transparency within the value chain and reducing audit fatigue, saving businesses time and money. With Schaffer’s leadership, customers can expect expanded partnerships and strategic offerings to support businesses’ race to limit global warming and accelerate value chain transparency.
“Consumer products industries are at a critical juncture,” shared Higg CSO James Schaffer. “Companies must effectively leverage complex supply chain data in order to drive sustainability performance, meet climate goals, and prove their commitments to ethical labor practices. With Higg emerging as the leading platform offering, I am truly honored to serve in this post and help the company accelerate its growth. I’ve dedicated the last several years of my career to driving impact improvements at scale and can think of no better team with which to continue this pursuit.”