Gildan Launches Its 2018 Genuine Responsibility™ Sustainability Report and Updated CSR Website
September 9, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL: TSX and NYSE) announces the release of its 15th Genuine Responsibility™ 2018 Sustainability report available on its dedicated website www.genuineresponsibility.com. This year’s report, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive option, highlights the Company’s 2018 results, key priorities and future commitments towards its vision of Making Apparel Better™.
“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.
Conserving the Environment
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% 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. Gildan’s management remains committed and focused on continuing to implement new technologies and further improve its processes to reach its 2020 environmental goals.
Caring for People
In addition to fair compensation, Gildan contributes to a higher standard of living for its manufacturing employees by providing benefits that help to enhance their quality of life, such as 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access to free on-site primary care medical clinics. Furthermore, in 2018, the Company invested more than U.S. $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.
Creating Strong Communities
Gildan 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 U.S. $200 million. 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 U.S. $2 million in community giving.
Gildan is a leading manufacturer of everyday basic apparel which markets its products in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, under a diversified portfolio of Company-owned brands, including Gildan®, American Apparel®, Comfort Colors®, Gildan® Hammer™, Prim + Preux®, Gold Toe®, Anvil®, Alstyle®, Secret®, Silks®, Kushyfoot®, Secret Silky®, Therapy Plus™, Peds® and MediPeds®, and under the Under Armour® brand through a sock licensing agreement providing exclusive distribution rights in the United States and Canada. Our product offering includes activewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and legwear products sold to a broad range of customers, including wholesale distributors, screenprinters or embellishers, as well as to retailers that sell to consumers through their physical stores and/or e-commerce platforms, and to global lifestyle brand companies. In addition, we sell directly to consumers through our own direct-to-consumer platforms.
Gildan owns and operates vertically-integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities which are primarily located in Central America, the Caribbean Basin, North America, and Bangladesh. 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. More information about the Company and its corporate citizenship practices and initiatives can be found at www.gildancorp.com and www.genuineresponsibility.com, respectively.
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Vice-President, Investor Communications
Director, Corporate Communications and Marketing