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Message from Management

GRI Content Index
  • Message from the President and CEO

    Genuine Responsibility™

    As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of apparel and socks, with control over almost the entire production process, we understand firsthand that operating responsibly and integrating sustainable solutions drives our success and enables our future growth.

    In fact, Gildan was founded on the vision that owning our factories, investing in technology and pursuing continuous improvement is the best way to operate and to make apparel better.  Today, we stay true to this belief and are proud to state that over 90% of our revenues are generated from products that are manufactured in Gildan-owned and operated facilities.  

    Our vertically integrated model is at the foundation of our business strategy and the key to our ability to act as a leading corporate citizen. It allows us to positively influence each part of the overall production process and all activities across our four CSR pillars: People, Environment, Community and Product.

    From 2011 to 2016, Gildan has invested more than $1 billion in capital expenditures, with over $400 million spent within our U.S. yarn-spinning operations. These investments in our five yarn spinning plants in the U.S. exemplify our strong commitment to U.S. manufacturing and cotton. As one of the largest domestic consumers of U.S. cotton, sustainably grown and ethically harvested by proud American farmers, we joined the Cotton Leads® program this year. This program is representative of a shared commitment between producers and buyers to sustainable, responsible and transparent cotton growing and harvesting practices. 

    2020 Environmental Goals  

    We have already made good progress towards our 2020 environmental goals which are a 10% reduction in energy, water, GHG emissions and landfill waste intensity, per kg of product, from our owned operations, when compared to our 2015 baseline year.

    In 2016, we reduced our energy intensity by 10% and water intensity by 5%. We also increased our industrial and domestic recycling programs globally to now recycle or repurpose 86% of total waste. Additionally, we powered 32% of our energy needs by renewable resources.

    Exceptionally this year, Gildan saw an increase in our GHG emissions intensity by 5% due to changing market conditions and facility expansion and ramp-up efforts. Although this resulted in an increase of our GHG footprint for 2016, Gildan remains firmly committed to meeting our 2020 GHG goal, which we expect to achieve by continuing to favor renewable resources such as biomass. 

    Gildan also experienced an increase in our landfill waste intensity in 2016 due to refurbishment efforts in several facilities, in addition to the ramp up of our largest new yarn-spinning facility in Mocksville, NC. Despite this increase in landfill waste for 2016, we remain committed to our 10% reduction goal by 2020.

    We understand that this will require innovative thinking, increased collaboration with external partners and more investments in emerging technologies. We have a number of projects in research and development underway to help meet our 2020 goals and propel us along the next phase of our environmental journey.

    Creating Value in Everything We Do

    Gildan’s mission is to create value in everything we do. We create value for communities by acting responsibly; for employees by empowering them to achieve success and for the environment by endlessly pursuing continuous improvements to reduce our impact on future generations. It is our belief that if we stay true to our mission each and every day, we can continue to achieve remarkable results.

    Foremost, our goal is to ensure safe, healthy and fair work environments and opportunities for our employees to grow and develop with Gildan. In our manufacturing facilities, our employees are provided free onsite medical clinics, staffed with doctors and nurses who provide pre and postnatal care, vaccinations, preventative screenings and health education on topics such as the Zika virus, HIV awareness and heart health.

    As part of their overall benefits, employees are entitled to free medication and subsidized meals, and we also provide transportation to and from work for 18,500 employees daily. We encourage and promote continued education through a variety of initiatives including an internal training academy for technical professions, high-school equivalency programs and university scholarships.

    In an effort to further create and foster an inclusive workplace, one in which employees can bring their whole selves to work, we launched the Company’s first Diversity and Inclusion Policy in 2016. Through various programs and initiatives, we aim to better support a culture that encourages the development of each individual, enabling them to recognize and reach their full potential.

    We also work hard to ensure that our efforts to provide good working environments for our employees extend to our suppliers’ operations. In support of this commitment, we recently updated our Code of Conduct to better align its principles with those of the Fair Labor Association. The most significant change was to the compensation provision, which now supports the notion that employees are compensated sufficiently to meet their basics needs and have some discretionary income.

    Supporting Our Communities

    As part of Gildan’s Community Investment program during the 2015-2016 period, Gildan donated U.S. $3.5 million to special community projects aimed at improving education, health care services and living conditions in the northern region of Honduras. One of the main areas we focus our community engagement on is youth education, with the goal of helping youth acquire the job and life skills necessary to contribute to the future of their communities.

    In 2016, we donated over $1.9 million for projects in local communities such as a new infant ward for the Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in Honduras, the construction of ‘La Caverna’, a permanent exposition in the Museum for Children in El Pequeño Sula in Honduras, which showcases the pre-historic era, and school infrastructure renovation projects to benefit children in our communities across Latin America and Bangladesh. Additionally, Gildan provided over 460 scholarships for employees and community members to attend professional and vocational schools in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America.

    Every year, Gildan organizes the Glow Run in Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic, a fun interactive 5k race for employees and their families to raise funds for community projects. In 2016, over $100,000 was raised thanks to 13,000 participants and volunteers. Through these events, we aim to encourage our employees and their families to engage in physical activity while contributing to the needs of their communities.

    In 2016, there were several weather-related disasters that created difficult situations for our local communities. In Haiti, we contributed to the relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew with a donation of $50,000 to UNICEF and Americares, as well as food and water kits to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  The Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfires in May displaced over 88,000 residents, who were forced to flee their homes and take up residence in neighbouring towns and cities. For these evacuees, we donated clothing items, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear and socks valued at approximately $400,000. Similarly in Louisiana, we responded to the call for basic necessities for the families displaced by the floods, with the distribution of t-shirts, socks and underwear though the St. Vincent Society.

    Industry Leadership in CSR

    We are very proud to have maintained our standing in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World Index) for the fourth consecutive year. Once again, we were the only North American company in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods industry group listed in the DJSI World Index. Gildan was also named to the DJSI North America Index for the first time. This recognition is testimony to our efforts to distinguish ourselves in our industry, by having a uniquely different approach to the way we produce apparel.

    Always Striving to Be Better

    Our Genuine Responsibility™ program provides a robust and transparent framework for all of the Company’s activities and is a critical part of our overall corporate strategy.  As we look to the future, it is important to understand that our journey towards Genuine Responsibility™ is never-ending. We must remain committed to continuous improvement objectives and look beyond ourselves to uncover innovative and sustainable solutions that can drive positive outcomes for all stakeholders.  

    I would like to thank all of our employees, as well as our customers, shareholders, partners and suppliers who contribute to making Gildan a great place to work, a valued member of its communities and a recognized leader in the industry.


    Glenn J. Chamandy
    President and Chief Executive Officer