Gildan Active wear Inc. (GIL; TSX and NYSE) has released its 2016 corporate, social and environmental responsibility (CSR) report on the Company’s dedicated CSR website genuinegildan.com. The report is aligned with the new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, offering a comprehensive online review on the progress of Gildan’s commitments to its people, communities, the environment and products.
“As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of apparel and socks, we understand that operating responsibly and integrating sustainable solutions drives our success and enables our future growth,” said Glenn Chamandy, President and CEO, Gildan. “Providing good working conditions for our employees, improving the communities where we operate and pursuing continuous improvements to reduce our impacts on future generations is at the foundation of our commitment.”
Making Apparel Better™
As a large scale vertically-integrated manufacturer, Gildan is able to maintain strict control over the conditions under which its products are manufactured. Close to 90% of Gildan’s revenues are derived from products that are manufactured in Company-owned and operated facilities. “Gildan was founded on the vision that owning its factories, investing in technology and pursuing continuous improvements was the best way to operate and to make better products,” said Glenn Chamandy. “Our continued investments in our vertical integration are at the foundation of our business strategy and the key to our ability to positively influence every part of the overall production process including all activities across our four CSR pillars: People, Environment, Community and Product,” he added.
Navigating the road towards Gildan’s 2020 environmental goals
In 2016, Gildan demonstrated good progress towards its 2020 environmental goals which call for a 10% reduction in energy, water, GHG emissions and landfill waste intensity, per kg of product, from owned operations, when compared to the 2015 baseline year.
In 2016, Gildan’s efficiency initiatives resulted in a reduction of its energy intensity by 10% and water intensity by 5%. The Company increased its industrial and domestic recycling programs globally to now recycle or repurpose 86% of total waste. Additionally, the Company powered 32% of its energy needs by renewable resources.
The Company is continuing to integrate manufacturing capacity from recent acquisitions and is firmly committed to meeting its 2020 GHG goal, by pursuing various initiatives including increasing its use of renewable resources such as biomass. The Company has a number of projects in research and development that hold promise to help meet its 2020 goals, and propel it along the next phase of its environmental journey.
Investments in Local Communities
As part of its commitment to Making Apparel Better TM, Gildan has contributed close to $2 million towards projects in local communities in the U.S., Canada and Latin America in 2016. Some of these projects include:
- The construction of a new infant ward for the Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in Honduras which provides care and services to more than 3,000 infants annually. The newly expanded ward will not only reduce overcrowding at the hospital, but also help to lower mortality rates.
- A partnership with World Vision Honduras for the “Building Safe and Healthy Environments for Children” program. In addition, Gildan made a commitment with the Ministry of Education to fully sponsor renovation projects for 10 schools in the Sula Valley, improving the school conditions for approximately 4,000 children.
- Over 450 scholarships awarded to Gildan employees and community members to attend professional and vocational schools in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America.
- Relief to communities in need due to several weather-related disasters that created difficult situations for residents:
Gildan donated to UNICEF and Americares for the relief efforts in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, as well as provided food and water kits to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
- During the Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfires, the Company donated clothing items, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear and socks to the over 88,000 evacuees.
- Gildan responded to the call for basic necessities for the families displaced by the Louisiana, USA floods, with the distribution of products including t-shirts, socks and underwear though the St. Vincent of Paul Society.