At Gildan, one of our key objectives with regards to environmental sustainability is waste reduction through recycling and the establishment of waste prevention measures at all stages of the production cycle. Gildan has established the following target related to waste: reduce waste sent to landfill resulting from Gildan’s operations by 20% by 2015 from our 2010 baseline. Since 2010, Gildan decreased its waste sent to landfill by 1%.
Gildan’s Waste Management System, developed in 2007 and implemented over the course of 2008 and 2009, is based on the 4R-D concept: source Reduction, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery, and Disposal. It consists of identifying and quantifying all waste by type and weight on an annual basis, and ensuring effective waste management and control.
Implementing this Waste Management System involved several key steps representing best practices, which were communicated to supervisors and production staff at each facility in Central America and the Caribbean Basin through comprehensive training sessions. Dedicated on-site environmental staff supported key steps of the program, including:
- Overview of waste classification
- Process for handling each type of waste
- Site-specific information for cafeteria, office and facility waste reduction and streaming
- Creation of additional facilities to store waste where necessary
- Process for documenting and reporting waste data
- Identification of the impact our business has on the environment
- Identification of opportunities to continue raising awareness and integrating waste management practices
The best practices that are part of Gildan’s Waste Management System are designed based on the highest of the following: our own corporate standard or what is required by the laws in the countries in which we operate.
Our total waste intensity decreased by 4% in 2012 compared to our 2010 baseline and we managed to recycle 87% of our total waste. We plan on further reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill by finding reusable solutions for shipping material for immediate transport, further evaluating waste-to-energy opportunities for the feeding of the biomass, collaborating with suppliers to further minimize packaging and other materials received, or establishing take-back programs, and developing a reduction plan for categories of waste that are more difficult to divert from landfill, such as cafeteria and office waste, as well as intermediate packaging or single use items within Gildan’s manufacturing processes.
Gildan’s 2010 baseline year numbers have been normalized according to an adjusted baseline including Gildan’s mergers, acquisitions and divestitures since 2010. For more details on the methodology used for baseline adjustment, please refer to our reporting section.