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Gildan Announces New ESG Strategy and Future Targets

According to the company, embedded in its new approach is a commitment to making meaningful advancements by 2030

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(Image courtesy Gildan)

Gildan Activewear Inc. recently unveiled its next-generation ESG strategy and future goals. According to the company, embedded in its new approach is a commitment to making meaningful advancements by 2030 in the following areas:

  • Climate, energy, and water
  • Circularity
  • Human capital management
  • Long-term value creation
  • Transparency and disclosure

Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan, says, “ESG has always been integrated into our business strategy and reflected in our market offering. This next-generation strategy will push us to deliver even stronger ESG performance and continue to reinforce Gildan as an ethical, sustainable, and efficient apparel company.”

The company says its new strategy seeks to tackle global environmental and social priorities aimed at improving the lives of people who make Gildan garments, protecting the environment, empowering neighboring communities, and increasing the sustainability of its products.

“Today, we are incredibly proud to unveil our new strategy and goals that were strategically developed to target key material issues that are currently faced by Gildan and, more broadly, the world,” says Peter Iliopoulos, senior VP of taxation, sustainability, and governmental affairs at Gildan. “As a global apparel manufacturer, Gildan has an opportunity to further its positive contributions in areas in which we can have the most meaningful impact, and from there have developed actionable key targets, some of which are highlighted below:”

Climate, energy, and water

Gildan commits to a low carbon future, with a goal of reducing its scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, aligned with the SBTi and the level of decarbonization required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Gildan has signed the SBTi commitment letter and also commits to addressing water-related risks linked to climate change. As such, Gildan has the goal to attain a 20% reduction in water withdrawal from nature by 2030.

Circularity

Gildan commits to fostering a circular economy to reduce its environmental impact. In doing so, Gildan intends to source more sustainable and transparent raw materials and enhance sustainable waste management initiatives. This includes sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 and 30% recycled polyester or alternative fibers and/or yarns by 2027. The company also plans to achieve zero manufacturing waste by 2027 and to use 75% recycled or sustainable packaging and trim materials by 2027.

Human capital management

Gildan also commits to ensuring human rights are respected in its supply chain. Gildan says it plans to improve employee safety and reduce workplace risks across its operations. To achieve this, it intends to attain the ISO 45001 certification at all its company-owned and operated facilities by 2028.

On diversity, equity, and inclusion, the company sets a first-time goal to improve gender parity. By 2027, it plans to achieve gender parity for roles at the director level and above.

Long-term value creation

Gildan intends to incrementally increase the allocation of capital towards purposeful and value-driven projects in regions where the company operates and to gradually reach a contribution of 1% of its pre-tax earnings by 2026. It will also encourage employee volunteerism at all levels to further deepen the local impact.

Transparency and disclosure

Gildan commits to enhancing and strengthening its ESG disclosure across its areas of focus, allowing stakeholders to make more informed ESG-focused decisions and maintaining a high degree of trust and understanding of Gildan.

In 2022, Gildan plans to enhance alignment to the TCFD framework through a subsequent disclosure in a stand-alone report, which will detail Gildan’s climate-related governance, strategy, risk management and metrics, and targets.

Claudia Sandoval, VP of corporate citizenship at Gildan, says, “While Gildan embarked on its ESG journey over two decades ago, we know that the path to sustainability is ongoing, which is why we will continue our journey forward to further strengthen our programs. We also know that it is not enough to set targets. Therefore, we are developing clear and credible roadmaps to address the challenges and opportunities we face to continue to make meaningful positive impacts, and we won’t be doing it alone. Our success depends on the collaboration of all key stakeholders, and we are excited to foster and leverage a global, collaborative approach to bring our goals to life.”

Learn more about Gildan’s strategy and 2030 targets here.

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Marie Fennema

Marie Fennema is the editor of the GRAPHICS PRO Daily, covering news and guidance in apparel decoration, awards and engraving, and sign and digital printing.

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