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GHG Emissions

The relationship between greenhouse gas generation and climate change is clear and  is widely recognized. This reality poses a number of legislative, operational and financial challenges to our operations.

Gildan is committed to lessening our GHG footprint through energy conservation efforts and by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We aim to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by finding alternate sustainable energy sources and production processes. Adopting such strategy has additional benefits such as  lower operational costs and improved efficiencies. 

Our new GHG emissions intensity reduction target seeks to achieve a 10% reduction by 2020, for company owned operations, when compared to our 2015 baseline. 

Since 2015, Gildan increased its GHG emissions intensity resulting from its owned operations, per kg of product by 5%. Although we saw an increase in our GHG footprint for 2016, Gildan continues to be committed to meeting our 2020 goal. Due to changing market conditions and in order to support current facility expansion and ramp-up  efforts, 2016 saw an increase in the use of diesel and bunker fuel use when compared to 2015. This had a direct impact on our GHG footprint.      

Projects identified in order to achieve this goal include: steam and condensate line insulation efforts in order to minimize loss, lighting retrofits and improved compressed air management practices. 

Gildan’s numbers have been normalized according to an adjusted baseline to include mergers, acquisitions and divestitures since 2015. For more details on the methodology used for the baseline adjustment, please refer to our Reporting section.

  • Measuring GHG emissions

    We have been measuring our GHG emissions at Gildan owned facilities and offices since 2006. Gildan has also been participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2008. Concurrently, we have concentrated our efforts on the implementation of energy efficiency projects as well as renewable energy initiatives, in order to reduce our GHG emissions.

    In 2016, the global absolute GHG emissions (direct and indirect) from all our manufacturing facilities and office locations, increased by 9.2% when compared to those of 2015. Specifically, in 2016, our absolute GHG emissions were measured at 475,515 tCO2eq, compared to 435,697 tCO2eq in 2015.

    • 23.2% of these emissions were direct emissions

    • 76.8% were indirect emissions from purchased electricity

    Gildan’s GHG emissions intensity (tons of CO2eq per kg of products) across all Gildan facilities increased by 5% when compared to 2015.

    GHG emissions originate from:

    • Purchased electricity;

    • Combustion of fossil fuel used to generate electricity, heat and steam, transportation of raw materials and finished products and transportation for employees using Gildan owned vehicles;

    • Fugitive emissions, mainly from the handling and use of refrigerants.

    Each activity has a specific emissions factor used to calculate  its corresponding GHG emissions. Electricity represents the main source of emissions for all our operations. Bunker fuel remains the second major source of GHG emissions, despite the fact that we have converted a significant proportion of our steam generation process to biomass.

    Absolute indirect GHG emissions are generated at sources owned or controlled by other organizations with the use of purchased electricity.

    Sources for the Emission Factors used for the calculation of our GHG emissions can be found here (pdf - 175.1Kb).

  • Risks related to greenhouse gas emissions

    Our manufacturing plants generate air emissions which are mitigated by the installation of specific chimneys and filters. In 2016, the environmental protection requirements with regards to the Company’s operations did not have a significant financial or operational impact on our capital expenditures, earnings and competitive position. To manage our exposure to regulatory changes, we continue to work with our local management teams. Our teams seek to be regularly informed on potential changes to regulations that might be instituted by local governments. This allows us to be proactive and to continue improving our processes and technologies.

    Physical impacts related to climate change can affect individual facilities. Most of our facilities are located in geographic regions that are exposed to the risk of, and have experienced in the past, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, and any such events could have a negative impact on our business.