American-Canadian apparel manufacturer Gildan Activewear releases its 17th Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, which highlights Gildan's approach and commitment to ESG, the Company's 2020 performance outcomes, and major goals towards continuing its mission of Making Apparel Better®.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and two back-to-back hurricanes in Central America in 2020, the company faced unprecedented challenges. Despite these setbacks, Gildan finished the year on a strong note, demonstrating that operating and financial performance combined with a focus on ESG provide value for all stakeholders.
Glenn Chamandy, President and CEO of Gildan, said that they were able to see the strength and durability of their unique business model, as well as the relevance of ESG, more than ever last year. While they are happy with their achievements and accolades, there is still more to be done, and they are now developing their “Next Generation” ESG strategy and a new set of long-term targets, which they will publish later this year.
Gildan received a lot of recognition from organizations worldwide for its ESG practices in 2020 like Dow Jones Sustainability Index - 8th consecutive inclusion; FUNDAHRSE CSR Seal -13th consecutive inclusion; Fashion Transparency Index - top 25 brands; Top 100 Most Sustainability Managed Companies by The Wall Street Journal - ranked 32nd; SAM Sustainability Yearbook - 8th consecutive inclusion; and CDP's Climate Change Report - included in the Leadership Band with an A- score.
Gildan has been measuring, monitoring, optimizing, and reporting its environmental outcomes for over 16 years in order to reduce its environmental effect. Gildan completed its second set of five-year environmental goals in 2020, and while the company was unable to meet all of its objectives due to its focus and resources being diverted to navigating through the pandemic, responding to the aftermath of hurricanes, and putting its people first, it was still able to make significant progress.
Some of the key environmental highlights for 2020 includes 33% of Gildan’s total energy came from renewable sources; 11.4% reduction in water intensity achieved from 2015 to 2020; 33% of Gildan’s total energy came from renewable sources; 14% decrease in Gildan’s total waste from 2015 to 2020; and 88% of Gildan’s total waste was recycled or repurposed.
Gildan takes its role as an ethical producer very seriously. One of the Company's long-standing goals has been to ensure that individuals who make items are treated fairly throughout its supply chain. Gildan met the great majority of its social goals in 2020, maintaining industry-leading working conditions and labor standards by establishing safe and healthy workplaces, respecting human and labor rights, employees' freedom of association, empowering women, and providing competitive benefits.
Gildan believes that strong and transparent governance practices are critical to the company's overall success, and the company is committed to adopting and adhering to the highest governance standards in order to foster a culture of integrity, accountability, and transparency throughout the company.
Gildan has been disclosing its ESG performance in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Comprehensive) since 2008, and for the first time in 2020, it will do so in accordance with the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. Finally, in support of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate Change, 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.
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