Gildan Activewear Inc. (PPAI 250187, S13), headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, has released its 15th consecutive Genuine Responsibility sustainability report, which shares the results of the supplier’s efforts in environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives in 2018.

“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 neighboring communities,” says 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.”

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, the company also made progress towards improving its landfill waste intensity compared to 2017, and is committed to implement new technologies and further improve its processes to reach its 2020 environmental goals.

In addition to fair compensation, Gildan contributes to its manufacturing employees’ standard of living by providing benefits such as 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access to free, onsite primary care medical clinics. Furthermore, in 2018, the company reported investing more than $13.6 million in supplemental benefits, such as subsidized meals, free transportation, vaccines, medicine and vitamins. It also offered more than 5.1 million hours of training to its employees.

Gildan also chooses 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 million. Gildan is also active in the community through its engagement programs which aim to advance access to education, promote healthy and active lifestyles, protect the environment and foster entrepreneurship. In 2018, Gildan invested close to $2 million in community giving.