Gildan Activewear has released its 15th Genuine Responsibility 2018 Sustainability report, which shows how the company has invested in environmentally friendly power generation and community projects across its key Central American manufacturing base. This year’s report, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, highlights the company’s 2018 results, key priorities and future commitments towards its vision of ‘Making Apparel Better’. Gildan owns and operates vertically-integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities which are primarily located in Central America, the Caribbean Basin, North America, and Bangladesh.
“We are pleased with the progress that we are making to improve people’s lives in the regions where we operate, to continually implement innovative environmental solutions to positively impact our footprint and to improve the livelihood of our neighbouring communities,” said Claudia Sandoval, Vice- President, Corporate Citizenship. “Part of the advantages of owning and operating the facilities where our clothes are made, is that we have the power to provide good, stable jobs and benefits, and safe and healthy work environments for our employees.
“In addition, by running our own operations we can ensure that our products are made through processes that are respectful of the environment. As we continue this journey, we remain focused on making tangible progress on the material issues important to our stakeholders and continue to strengthen our sustainability commitment by aligning our efforts with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” she added.
One of Gildan’s primary areas of focus has been to optimize its energy consumption through investments in biomass steam generation systems and other innovative energy initiatives. The company’s biomass systems in Honduras and the Dominican Republic generate steam and thermal energy from burning agricultural and production waste in highly efficient boilers. The biomass systems, in combination with other initiatives, have allowed the company to generate 40 percent of its total energy needs through renewable sources in 2018.
During 2018, Gildan also made progress towards improving its landfill waste intensity compared to 2017.
Gildan also highlighted how it continues to create many business opportunities in the regions it operates in by choosing local suppliers for the procurement of various goods and services required for the production of its products. In 2018, the company’s total expenditures for materials and services with local suppliers in Central America and the Caribbean Basin were close to $200 mn.
Gildan is also an active member of the community through its engagement programs, which aim to enrich people’s quality of life by advancing access to education, promoting healthy and active lifestyle, protecting the environment and fostering entrepreneurship. In 2018, Gildan invested close to $2 mn in community giving.
With approximately 54,000 employees worldwide Gildan operates with a strong commitment to industry-leading labour and environmental practices throughout its supply chain in accordance with its comprehensive Genuine Responsibility program embedded in the Company’s long-term business strategy.