A Third Of Gildan’s Total Energy Comes From Renewable Sources And Other Highlights In Latest Report

Gildan Activewear (PPAI 250187, S13) has published its 17th Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report. The Montreal, Quebec-based supplier’s 2020 ESG report showcases its approach and commitment to ESG, its 2020 performance results and key priorities toward continuing its vision of “Making Apparel Better.”

In 2020, along with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gildan faced two back-to-back hurricanes in Central America. Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan, says, “Last year, more than ever, we were able to witness the strength and resiliency of our unique business model and the importance of ESG. While we are pleased with the success and recognition we have achieved, there is still more work to be done and we are now working on our ‘Next Generation’ ESG strategy and a new set of long-term goals, which we will announce later this year.”

For more than 16 years, Gildan has measured, monitored, optimized and reported its environmental results aimed at lowering its impact on the planet. In 2020, it completed its second set of five-year environmental targets. Due to the pandemic and hurricanes, the company reports that it was unable to meet all of its targets but was able to still make some progress. Environmental highlights in 2020 noted by Gildan include: 33 percent of its total energy came from renewable sources, 88 percent of its total waste was recycled or repurposed, it achieved an 11.4-percent reduction in water intensity from 2015 to 2020, and a 14-percent decrease in its total waste from 2015 to 2020.

Gildan reports that in 2020 it achieved the majority of its social goals and maintained working conditions and labor practices by creating safe and healthy workplaces, respecting human and labor rights and employees’ freedom of association, empowering women and offering competitive benefits.

Key 2020 social highlights include the mobilization of a team of experts to develop and implement stringent biosecurity protocols in its facilities to protect employees during COVID-19, the activation of a humanitarian aid and disaster-relief program to support employees and local communities affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota, the evaluation of employee wages in 100 percent of Gildan-owned manufacturing facilities based on the FLA data-collection tool, the coverage of 53 percent of employees by a collective bargaining agreement, the representation of 97 percent of employees by formal health and safety committees, the dedication of 207,000 hours of employee training to occupational health and safety (OHS) and the donation of $1.3 million to community projects in regions where Gildan operates.

Gildan says that strong and transparent governance practices is an essential factor in the organization’s overall success, and that it is committed to adopting and adhering to the highest standards in governance to foster a culture of integrity, accountability and transparency throughout the organization. Since 2008, Gildan has disclosed its ESG performance according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Comprehensive), and for the first time in 2020, Gildan disclosed its data aligned with the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. Finally, Gildan completed its first climate change disclosure in 2020 in support of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

Key 2020 governance highlights from the company include that nine out of 10 of Gildan’s board of directors were independent, 40 percent of Gildan’s board of directors identified as being a member of a “designated group” as defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act, with three directors identified as being women and one as a member of a visible minority group, and two-thirds of Gildan’s three board-level committees are chaired by women.

In 2020, Gildan’s ESG practices were recognized by several organizations. This includes ranking 32nd among the Top 100 Most Sustainability Managed Companies by The Wall Street Journal, its eighth-consecutive inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, its eighth-consecutive inclusion in the SAM Sustainability Yearbook and its 13th-consecutive inclusion in the FUNDAHRSE CSR Seal. Gildan was also was in the Leadership Band with an A- score of the CDP's Climate Change Report and it was named a top 25 brand by the Fashion Transparency Index.

Gildan’s 2020 ESG report is available here.

filed under September 2021 | Gildan
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