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The number and diversity of vegetation and animal species constitute a key indicator in measuring the health of any ecosystem, as they ultimately influence the quality of life of the people living in or adjacent to this ecosystem.

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes a Biodiversity and Soil Use procedure which specifies that for every tree we cut, we plant ten. When the need to cut a tree arises, the facility must ensure that they have an environmental permit to do so. In addition, each instance must be recorded along with the total number of trees planted to replace the trees cut.

Each year Gildan organises volunteering reforestation activities in many of the communities where our facilities operate. Gildan also plants trees and shrubs outside of these employee-led reforestation activities. In 2016, Gildan planted more than 21,500 trees, plants and shrubs through reforestation activities led by our employees, compared to only 3 trees cut in the year, thus going well beyond its commitment to plant ten trees for each tree cut. Since 2008, Gildan has planted more than 67,300 trees and 24,000 shrubs.

Employees around the globe take these initiatives to heart and contribute in many ways. For instance, colleagues in our Barbados office planted an herb garden and fruit trees as part of the landscaping of the office and surrounding buildings.

  • Biodiversity Inventory

    As part of our overall environmental impact assessments, we conduct third party biodiversity inventories in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Annual inventories are conducted in the Dominican Republic as it is a legal requirement in this country while bi-annual inventories are conducted on a voluntary basis in Honduras.

    Dominican Republic

    The most recent biodiversity inventory in the Dominican Republic was performed in February 2017. It revealed a similar number of animal species when compared to studies of previous years, i.e. 47 species distributed in the following categories:

    • 37 bird species
    • 5 reptile species
    • 1 amphibious species
    • 3 fish species
    • 1 mammalian species

    The species were qualified based on their abundance in the area assessed. 16 of the above species were found to be living in or around the Gildan Biotop wastewater treatment system.
    Our biodiversity inventory process confirms once again that the Dominican Republic’s national bird, the Cigua Palmera (Dulus dominicus), a locally protected species, continues to live and thrive in the environment of our Biotop system.

    Certain endangered species, as classified according to the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, were also found in the vicinity of our Dominican Republic facilities. These species include the blunt-headed green treesnake (Uromacer catesbyi) and the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). The ruddy duck (Oxiura jamacensis), also classified as an endangered species (“vulnerable” category), was also reported to be living in close proximity to our facilities.

    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.

    In December of 2015, the third bi-annual inventory at our Honduran manufacturing complex revealed a total of 24 animal species living in or around the Gildan Biotop wastewater treatment plant. The identified species include:

    • 38 bird species (a decrease of 23 from 2013)
    • 5 reptile species (a decrease of 1 from 2013)
    • 1 fish species (an increase from 1 from 2013)
    • 1 mammalian species

    The decrease from last year can be attributed to the fact that this year, the study was conducted in March. We were not able to conduct the study at the same time as in previous years due to the constant bad weather we were experiencing. In March, the majority of the bird species have already migrated back to the North thus explaining the decrease.

    All 38 bird species included in the inventory are part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species in the category “minor preoccupation."

    The fourth bi-annual inventory at our Honduran manufacturing complex is scheduled for 2017.