Gildan Report Highlights 2017 Results, Key Priorities And Future Plans
Gildan Activewear, Inc. (PPAI 250187) has released its latest corporate responsibility report (CSR), Genuine Responsibility 2017. The report highlights the Montreal, Quebec-headquartered supplier’s 2017 results, key priorities and future commitments. Gildan was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth consecutive year in 2017. It is the only North American company in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods industry group listed in the World Index.
The company has 50,000 employees worldwide, and to support them, their families and their communities, it has implemented programs that in 2017 delivered two million hours of training and development, more than 181,000 free medical consultations, $4.8 million toward free transportation and $15.8 million in subsidized meals for employees. Gildan has also pursued a variety of initiatives designed to provide development opportunities to women, including the Women’s Empowerment Program in collaboration with World Vision Honduras, the Women’s Leadership Series and other initiatives. Currently, more than 42 percent of Gildan’s management positions are filled by women.
In 2017, Gildan reduced its water intensity per kilogram of production by 10 percent through investments in new technologies and innovation. Gildan is piloting several research projects to reduce its water extraction loads by reintegrating recovered water back into its processes. Biomass steam generation operations allowed it to generate 43 percent of all energy used from renewable sources in 2017. Gildan made further investments into technologies such as absorption chillers, which harness thermal energy from steam to create cool air for the company’s air conditioning systems in several facilities, significantly reducing energy demands and corresponding emissions.
To support its commitment to generating positive economic impacts in the regions in which it operates, Gildan purchased $150 million from local suppliers in 2017 and prioritized hiring of local talent. As a result, 83 percent of all management positions in its operations are held by local employees. Gildan has also invested in developing infrastructure in its communities to support health and education. In Honduras, the company contributed $518,000 towards the refurbishment of the newborn unit at the Mario C. Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula. This new facility will provide care and services to more than 3,000 infants annually, addressing both acute and chronic illnesses.
Through its American Apparel Pencils of Promise campaign, Gildan contributed more than $200,000 to help raise awareness and support for child literacy, building new schools, improving infrastructure and providing support to teachers in Guatemala and Ghana. And in further support of youth education in developing countries, the company donated $75,000 to Room To Read to implement a girls’ education program in Bangladesh, and established a library and literacy program at a school in Dhaka.
“We are pleased to share the social and environmental results from our operations in 2017,” says Claudia Sandoval, vice president, corporate citizenship. “This year we have reset our strategic priorities, based upon an extensive materiality assessment performed with our stakeholders. We have also anchored our focus to specific United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as part of a larger collective vision for affecting change in the protection of our planet and the well-being of its inhabitants. As a company, we understand that our continued growth and success demands that we proactively implement sustainable solutions throughout our operations and honor our commitments to caring for our people, conserving the environment and creating stronger communities.”
Gildan has published a dedicated CSR website, www.genuineresponsibility.com, featuring more information from the Genuine Responsibility 2017 report.