Peter Higgs: The Man Who Inspired Cascale’s Higg Index

  • Collective Action
  • Higg Index Tools
Black and white headshot of Lee Green
Lee Green
April 10, 2024

In the world of physics, few names carry as much weight as Peter Higgs.

Yet, it’s in the realm of sustainability where his legacy finds a surprising homage. Higgs, who died Tuesday at age 94 in Edinburgh, Scotland, received the Nobel prize for physics in 2013 for his work on the boson particle.

The Higgs boson particle would forever shape humanity’s understanding of atoms – and at Cascale, it served as inspiration for the Higg Index tools. Today, these tools are used by 24,000 businesses worldwide, empowering collaboration to drive equitable and restorative business practices in the consumer goods industry.

At Cascale’s recent rebrand celebratory event in London, co-founder Rick Ridgeway shared the story of how Higgs’ breakthrough announcement impacted the organization’s earliest days. “They had just discovered a subatomic particle [that] was going to unify the universe, Ridgeway said. “They were going to announce it about the same time we wanted to release our tool…I said, ‘If the Higgs boson atomic particle is going to unify the universe, the Higg assessment tool is going to save it.’”

Much of Higgs’ lifetime of work took place at Edinburgh University, and, in 2012, the institution set up the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics in his honor – the same year his theory was accepted and proven by scientists at The Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland. Decades of collaboration also went into the discovery: Higgs shared the Nobel prize with Belgian theoretical physicist François Englert, whose work directly contributed to the particle’s discovery.

Higgs’ legacy continues to inspire, as use of the Higg Index tools expands across the consumer goods industry, accelerating adoption of science-aligned targets through the Decarbonization, Manufacturer Climate Action Programs (MCAP), and other impact programs. This example is just one of the many synergies between industry and science in pursuit of a better planet.

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