Gildan operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and the United States. The Company has offices in Canada, the United States, Barbados, Europe, and China and has an important contract manufacturing presence in Haiti.
In these countries, our operations and activities generate a social and economic added-value in the communities surrounding our facilities and offices, especially where Gildan is a major employer, such as in Honduras or Barbados.
Building on local management teams
Gildan has always placed emphasis on putting in place well-educated and highly motivated local management teams as the most effective way to develop and implement best practices in our manufacturing facilities.
Gildan’s common practice is to first look for local candidates. By providing employees in each of our operating regions with competitive compensation and benefits, along with training opportunities, we are creating both optimum conditions in our facilities and benefiting our employees’ families, the community and economy. This has been a key factor in our operational success.
In 2012, Gildan’s global proportion of local managers – director level and up – was 85.8%.
2012 Percentage of local managers (director level and up) by region
REGION 2012 ASIA 40% CARIBBEAN BASIN 47% CENTRAL AMERICA 72% NORTH AMERICA 98%
Contributing to the local economy
In addition to creating diversified employment opportunities, Gildan’s presence in a community generates a positive impact on a great variety of local businesses and service providers, for instance, transportation, food services and local suppliers for material such as dyes, buttons, zippers, boxes and office supplies. Although we do not have a formal policy regulating the use of local suppliers, we create business opportunities by buying the majority of our materials locally. Gildan’s common practice is to first look for suppliers that are local, which we believe to be a win-win situation as we benefit from the proximity of suppliers and share economic benefits of development with the people closest to our operations.
The table below presents the percentage of raw material, except yarn, which is mostly coming from the U.S., including thread, chemicals, dyes, buttons, zippers, labels and packaging, but excluding processes (energy use, etc.) and services.
2012 Percentage of non-yarn supplies purchased from local suppliers*
Addressing local specific needs
Gildan brings a significant contribution to community development through in-kind and cash donations, primarily to youth education and humanitarian aid related causes. These donations are managed locally, following the criteria set at the Company’s head office and included in Gildan’s Donation Policy. The vast participation of our employees in the various activities organized through our employee volunteering program has had an appreciative impact, and further accentuates Gildan’s impact within the local institutions.
At the beginning of 2011, in Nicaragua, we launched a program called “Part of Your Life” through which our employees are invited to provide ideas of community projects they would like the Company to be involved in. We continued this project in 2012 in Nicaragua and extended it to Honduras. Please read our Donations section to obtain more information on the projects that were selected from employee suggestions. These are only a few examples of the many initiatives undertaken by Gildan in each of the local communities in which we operate.
Relationships are also established with local authorities, such as the mayoral office, municipal authorities, local charities or education and health related institutions, in order to identify other projects that would benefit the whole community and in which Gildan could bring an added-value.
Measuring Gildan’s direct and indirect economic impact
While we are aware that Gildan’s economic impact goes beyond the scope of the organization itself, measuring our indirect economic impact, not only in the countries in which we operate, but across our entire supply chain as well, including cotton farmers and third party contractors, is a much more complex analysis. Such an analysis takes into account direct employment (number of employees), dependents (number of people or relatives depending on these employees) and indirect employment (number of jobs a company supports or creates within its supply chain or distribution chain).
As a first step, in 2011, we undertook the process of defining our impact in Honduras, where we currently employ the largest proportion of our workforce. In 2012, we did a similar study in Nicaragua and are currently evaluating our impact in the Dominican Republic.
Over the coming years, we will continue to work at better understanding and measuring these types of impacts throughout our global operations and incorporate our findings into our reporting process.