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Energy consumption is directly linked to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Gildan’s main sources of energy include biomass, bunker fuel and electricity. Bunker fuel and biomass are used primarily to heat water necessary for our dyeing and compacting process and are classified as “direct energy”. The balance of required energy comes from purchased electricity, which is classified as “indirect energy”. Our textile and hosiery facilities as well as our yarn-spinning facilities located in the United States account for a large part of the electricity we use. Gildan established an energy intensity reduction target for our owned facilities of 10% by 2020, when compared to our 2015 baseline.  In 2016, our energy intensity decreased by 10% when compared to our 2015 baseline thus meeting our goal within our first year. We continue to increase our efforts on maintaining a trend of declining energy intensity in our operations, particularly as we expand our manufacturing base going forward, including investments towards the completion of a new textile facility in the Rio Nance complex. 

The main project identified in order to reach this target continues to be the installation of high efficiency chillers which run on steam that is produced by our biomass generation expansion. A second project identified in order to achieve this goal is the installation of hot water heat recovery systems at all of our textile facilities. This process allowed us to generate approximately 3,700,000 m3 of hot water from waste water. This project contributed to the reduction of approximately 140,000 tons of steam no longer required to heat the volume of water previously listed. Other projects include steam and condensate line insulation efforts in order to minimize loss, lighting retrofits and improved compressed air management practices. 

In 2016, energy intensity (GJ per kg of products) decreased by 10% across all Gildan facilities when compared to 2015. 

In 2016, the global energy consumption for all our facilities and offices, including direct and indirect energy, was approximately 6,214,952 gigajoules, compared to 6,633,851 gigajoules in 2015:

  • 56.5% of the energy consumption was from direct sources
  • 43.5% of the energy consumption was from indirect purchased electricity sources

(Please refer to the Energy Consumption by Type chart for more details)

In 2016, we saw an increase in bunker fuel consumption of 50% when compared to consumption from 2015. This is attributed to a combination of factors that include the decrease in use of biomass as a replacement for bunker fuel due to the quality biomass mix, changing market conditions and required support for current facility expansion and ramp-up efforts. Since 2010, our bunker fuel consumption has decreased by 63%.

Gildan’s numbers have been normalized according to an adjusted baseline to include mergers, acquisitions and divestitures since 2010. For more details on the methodology used for the baseline adjustment, please refer to our reporting section.