The number and diversity of vegetal and animal species is a key indicator of the health of any ecosystem and ultimately influences quality of life for people living in or adjacent to this ecosystem.
Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes a Biodiversity and Soil Use procedure that specifies that for every tree we cut, we replant ten.
On a global scale, in 2012, Gildan planted more than 2,114 trees, along with 2,887 plants and shrubs through reforestation activities led by our employees.
Since 2008, Gildan has planted more than 18,500 trees and 20,000 shrubs.
Gildan employees: making an environmental difference around the world
At Gildan, we are passionate about not only preserving, but enhancing the environment in which we live and work. With this philosophy in mind, we celebrate environmental events such as Earth Day and Environment Day at each of our facilities in Central America and in the Caribbean Basin.
As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting biodiversity, our employees participated in various reforestation activities throughout 2012.
During the week of April 23rd, 2012, Gildan organized various activities to celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness about environmental issues amongst its Honduran community partners. A total of 45 employees from our Villanueva sewing facility participated in a reforestation activity held at the Ramon Rosa School, which is located close to the facility. Gildan’s Environment, Health & Safety team in Honduras was also involved by offering students from Ramon Rosa and Antonio C. Rivera schools a series of speeches about the importance of recycling and reforestation. Coloring books and T-shirts were raffled amongst the participating students.
In September of 2012, more than 400 volunteers from our textile and sewing facilities joined the Choloma Red Cross in a reforestation activity to plant 1,000 trees in the community. The activity formed part of a reforestation program led by the Red Cross to protect the environment of Choloma and its surrounding communities. This is the first time volunteers from Gildan participated in this initiative, which took place in the surroundings of the Choloma river near the community.
On July 8th and 9th 2012, 240 volunteers participated in the reforestation activity organized as part of the Environment Day Celebrations. The volunteers planted 600 trees and plants during this activity. The volunteers from San Marcos visited the Carrusel Preschool in a small neighborhood called JAAZ, while volunteers from our Rivas sewing facility developed the reforestation activity along the road to the communities of La Virgen and San Juan del Sur.
In June 2012, a group of approximately 90 employees from our textile and sewing facilities in the Dominican Republic volunteered in a vast reforestation activity at Lagunas del Toro to celebrate Environment Day. This was the second time Gildan participated in the Quisqueya Verde Plan, which is a national reforestation program.
Gildan offered transportation, T-shirts, water and food for volunteers, as well as the needed materials. During that day, our volunteers planted 2,000 trees.
In addition, in April and May, Gildan was greatly involved with the four schools sponsored by the Company in the Dominican Republic as part of the Eco Schools program in order to organize activities linked to Earth Day and Environment Day. Gildan provided the needed support in terms of logistics and materials to hold one reforestation activity at each school. During this activity, students planted trees around their school and in their community. We also provided support to allow students from the sponsored schools to participate in a recycling project along with their teachers and community representatives. The participants were offered a workshop about recycling during which they learned how to separate the different types of waste and how they could re-use it in a creative and productive manner.
Approximately 60 trees and 350 plants and shrubs were planted around the integrated facility in Bangladesh by the administration and the Environment, Health and Safety department.
Gildan also sponsored environmental activities at some of the other schools it supports. For more information, please visit our community section.
Every two years, as part of our overall environmental impact assessments, we conduct, through a third party, biodiversity inventories in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
The most recent inventory of our land in the Dominican Republic, performed in April 2012 revealed increased biodiversity:
- 33 bird species (a decrease of 2 from 2010)
- 5 reptile species (an increase of 1 from 2010)
- 1 amphibious species
- 3 fish species
- 3 mammalian species (an increase of 1 from 2010)
The species were qualified based on their abundance in the area assessed.
In addition, 21 of the above species were also found to be living in or around the Gildan Biotop® wastewater treatment plant.
Our biodiversity inventory process confirmed once again that the Dominican Republic’s national bird, Cigua Palmera (Dulus dominicus), a locally protected species, continues to live and thrive in the environment of our Biotop® system. Certain species considered as being endangered according by the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora were found in the surroundings of our Dominican Republic facilities. Amongst these species, we find the blunt-headed green treesnake (Uromacer catesbyi) and the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). The inventory also revealed the presence of the Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo (Saurothera longirostris), which is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The ruddy duck (Oxiura jamacensis), which is classified as being an endangered species (in the category “vulnerable”) was also reported to be living in close proximity to our facility. These are all species which have migrated around the Biotop®, which is now part of their living environment. In fact, in the last few years we have observed an increase of the biodiversity, both plants and animals, around the Biotop®.
In April 2011, the first inventory at our Honduran manufacturing complex revealed that 33 animal species were living in or around the Gildan Biotop® wastewater treatment plant:
- 25 bird species
- 3 reptile species
- 5 amphibious species
The next inventory is planned for 2013.
Coastal Cleaning Volunteering Day in the Dominican Republic
On September 15, 2012, Gildan organized its first Coastal Cleaning Volunteer Day with the Vida Azul Foundation, which is the Ocean Conservancy’s representative in the Dominican Republic. Approximately 200 Gildan employees participated in this volunteering activity which took place at Boca Chica. They collected 6,993.5 pounds of organic waste and 354 pounds of plastic, for a total of 7,347.5 pounds of waste.
This activity was organized by Gildan to contribute to the conservation of the biodiversity in this area. In fact, untreated waste, such as windblown trash, lost fishing nets, or street-wash during a rainstorm, can have many different ways of entering marine and coastal environments where it can become a significant threat to wildlife. Entanglement and ingestion are the primary causes of wildlife damage while the marine litter itself can absorb and concentrate other toxic pollutants in the environment. Marine litter can smother out plants and destroy habitats on the seabed and coasts, interfering with the biological productivity of the area.
Green Initiative in Barbados
In Barbados, we shred used paper and donate this to companies who utilize it in their day-to-day business and to community based individuals such as farmers, who use the paper mainly as bedding for livestock.
Gildan is also involved in environmental awareness campaigns in the communities where we operate. For more information, please visit our community section.