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Energy Efficiency Projects

Improving energy efficiency remains a priority at all of our facilities.

Gildan’s current condensate return rates at all of its textile and hosiery facilities in Central America and the Caribbean Basin are close to 90%, and close to 70% at its Bangladesh integrated facility, which translates into substantial conservation of both energy and water. Condensate is the liquid resulting after steam energy has been used in a heat transfer process. Condensate is warm water containing chemical additives that can be reused to produce steam, at just one-third of the cost of generating steam from fresh water and new chemicals.

Much of the energy consumed in our processes is used to heat the water used in the fabric dyeing process. Several heat recuperation systems have been incorporated into the condensate return loop, boiler’s surface and bottom purges - used to clean solids accumulations. By using these heat recovery systems, we are able to pre-heat water and have it available when required by our different processes, thus reducing the amount of steam needed to reach the process temperature. This way, Gildan reduces its energy consumption costs and engages in effective water conservation.

  • Gildan’s achievements in reducing various types of energy consumption

    2016 Achievements

    • 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. 
    • Steam and condensate line insulation efforts in order to minimize thermal loss. 
    • Improved air management practices including compressed air leak load management, installation of high efficiency air guns. 
    • The installation of frequency drive controls, timer controls and flow meters at well pumps to prevent overflow and reduce pump running time.  

    Past Achievements

    • In 2015 the lighting system of our Villanueva sewing facility as well as some specific target areas of our Rio Nance 1 textile facility in Honduras was upgraded to a LED lighting technology, which not only increased the lighting level (lumens) in those areas, but also improved the working conditions of the employees. These two projects are resulted in combined approximate annual savings  of $110,500 and 150,000 kwh. The maintenance team at our Villanueva sewing facility in Honduras was encountering a voltage stability problem originating from the Honduran electricity grid. This issue was causing damages to our production equipment, air conditioners, as well as compressed air equipment. As a result, a thorough analysis was conducted by our electrical engineers, which led to the replacement of electrical cables and created approximate annual savings of $130,800.
    • Energy audits conducted by our maintenance team encountered annual savings of approximately $490,000 in our facilities in Honduras. 
    • In 2014, Gildan had a complete energy efficiency audit conducted by external biomass experts and their report identified a number of significant areas for improvement including changes required to the biomass boilers in order to improve energy efficiency and emissions. As a result, in 2015, Gildan made the aforementioned changes to the boilers and in addition, redesigned the biomass fuel feeding system. This project resulted in an increase of the steam produced while decreasing the fuel consumption, creating a 20% annual saving.
    • In 2014, Gildan installed hot water heat recovery systems with lint filtration at all of our textile facilities. This project resulted in over 82 million kwh savings since its inception. Furthermore, the lint recuperated by the filtration system resulted in a reduction of up to 70% of all the solid material contained in the wastewater sent to the Biotop lagoons for treatment. This helps in improving the Biotop’s efficiency in cleaning our facilities’ effluents.
    • In 2013, hot water heating projects were completed at all of Gildan’s textile and hosiery facilities in Central America and the Caribbean Basin.. Also noteworthy, the bunker heating control system and condensate recovery process at our three textile facilities and two hosiery facilities in Honduras have resulted in a savings of approximately 10,000 gallons of bunker fuel per month.
    • In 2013, exhaust heat recovery units have been installed at the top of each dryer at one of our hosiery facilities in Honduras. The captured heat is then recirculated back into the dryers, thus saving energy and reducing dry times, which improves throughput. Overall, with this measure alone, energy use has been reduced by 45% at this facility. A similar project at one of our textile facilities also allowed us to reduce energy use by 10% at this facility.
    • In 2014, for one of the stages of production, we have changed from cold water use to hot water use at all of our textile and hosiery facilities in Honduras, thus reducing our bunker consumption by 200 gallons per day. Instead of filling the machines with water at a temperature of 25°C to 30°C and then heating that water to 80°C with steam, we now use water at a temperature of 45°C to 50°C and heat it to 80°C, which reduces the need for the use of steam.
    • In 2012, at our San Miguel sewing facility, at one of our hosiery facilities and at our newest textile facility, all in Honduras, and also at two of our sewing facilities in Nicaragua, the lighting system was changed from 75W lamps (wattage originally installed in the facilities) to 59W lamps. This reduced our energy consumption without impacting workers’ vision, safety or production quality.
    • In 2012, skylights have been installed at our three textile facilities in Honduras to improve the lighting of the facilities with natural light. We also upgraded the lights at one of our textile facilities in Honduras which has been put on photo cells control, reducing the time that lighting is turned on. We expect this upgrade to generate approximately 2,400,000 kwh in annual energy savings.
    • In 2012, the vacuum system has been optimized at two of our hosiery facilities in order to reduce the pressure required during use. This was achieved by closing up all unnecessary outlets in the vacuum system, and has resulted in a total annual energy savings of approximately 688,000 kwh.