Gildan Activewear Inc. announced it has released an updated version of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) website, GenuineGildan.com, presenting the Company's CSR programs and achievements for the 2013 fiscal year.
"At Gildan, we care greatly about our employees, the environment, our communities and the products we manufacture. These four pillars are the core of our corporate citizenship philosophy and guide our daily actions and operations," said Glenn Chamandy, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Gildan is committed to industry-leading working conditions for all of its approximately 39,000 employees. In 2013, it offered close to 1.39 million hours of training and provided more than 90,000 instances of medical attention free of charge to employees at its fully equipped medical clinics in its manufacturing hubs. Services offered at the clinics cover any health issues employees may have and include routine health checks, vaccination programs and pre-natal healthcare.
During 2013 a total of 228 internal and external audits were performed at the Company's owned facilities and at third-party contractor facilities, supporting Gildan's genuine commitment to the highest standards of labour practices and working conditions.
On the environmental front, 2013 was also marked by strong accomplishments. "Gildan has achieved, two years ahead of schedule, both its greenhouse gas emissions and waste reduction goals. Since 2010, it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 32%, and decreased by 25% waste sent to landfill," said Benito Masi, Executive Vice-President, Manufacturing. In 2013, 52% of Gildan's total energy was powered from renewable sources, compared to 36% in 2012.
Gildan also continued to play an active role in the community, investing in educational activities and infrastructure, with a special focus on the regions in which it operates. Examples include the inauguration of a new technical program at the high school level for the Guerra community in the Dominican Republic, as well as major repairs at one of the elementary schools supported by Gildan in Nicaragua.
In addition, as part of Gildan's community volunteering efforts, last year approximately 300 employees from facilities in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Honduras delivered more than 16,000 toys, which were donated by Gildan employees, to underprivileged children during the holiday season as part of the Giving Smiles with Gildan program.
With regard to product, while Gildan sources the vast majority of its cotton from the United States, this past year the Company established a cotton traceability assessment procedure for a subset of suppliers in order to ensure that the cotton provided by these suppliers does not originate from Uzbekistan where forced labour is used during the harvesting season.
The Company's various initiatives in CSR led to Gildan being one of only two North American companies to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods sector, with effect from September 23, 2013. The annual DJSI review is based on a thorough analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance carried out by RobecoSAM, an investment specialist focused exclusively on sustainability investing.