Gildan Activewear has unveiled its Next Generation ESG strategy and future goals.
Embedded in the company’s new approach is a commitment to making meaningful advancements by 2030 in the following areas:
- Climate, energy, and water.
- Human capital management.
- Long-term value creation.
- Transparency and disclosure.
Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan, said: “From our beginning, we have been re-imagining and building the future of responsible apparel manufacturing. This has made Gildan the Company it is today; recognised for the apparel we make and how we make it.
“ESG has always been integrated into our business strategy and reflected in our market offering. This next generation strategy will push us to deliver even stronger ESG performance and continue to reinforce Gildan as a leading ethical, sustainable, and efficient apparel company.”
Gildan’s new strategy seeks to tackle global environmental and social priorities aimed at improving the lives of people who make Gildan garments, further protecting the environment, empowering neighbouring communities, and increasing the sustainability of products delivered to customers worldwide.
Peter Iliopoulos, senior vice-president of taxation, sustainability, and governmental affairs at Gildan, added: “Today, we are incredibly proud to unveil our new strategy and goals that were strategically developed to target key material issues that are currently faced by Gildan and, more broadly, the world. As a global, leading vertically integrated apparel manufacturer, Gildan has an opportunity to further its positive contributions in areas in which we can have the most meaningful impact, and from there have developed actionable key targets, some of which are highlighted below.”
Climate, energy, and water
Gildan commits to continuing its fight against climate change by paving the way towards a low carbon future, with a goal of reducing its scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 30% by 20301, aligned with the SBTi and the level of decarbonisation required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. To that effect, Gildan is pleased to share that the company has signed the SBTi commitment letter, joining companies worldwide in following a science-based approach in reducing carbon emissions. Gildan also commits to addressing water related risks linked to climate change. As such, Gildan plans to further invest in water efficiency and implement additional water reducing, reusing, and recycling options in its operations with the goal to attain a 20% reduction in water withdrawal from nature by 2030.
Gildan commits to fostering a circular economy to reduce its environmental impact. In doing so, Gildan intends to source more sustainable and transparent raw materials and enhance sustainable waste management initiatives. This includes sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 and 30% recycled polyester or alternative fibres and/or yarns by 2027. The company also plans to achieve zero manufacturing waste by 2027 and to use 75% recycled or sustainable packaging and trim materials by 2027.
Human capital management
Importantly, Gildan commits to continue ensuring human rights are respected in its supply chain. Further, Gildan will push health and safety performance to new standards by working to improve employee safety and reducing workplace risks across its operations. To achieve this, Gildan plans to attain the ISO 45001 certification at all its company-owned and operated facilities by 2028.
On diversity, equity, and inclusion, the company is setting a first-time goal to improve gender parity. Gildan has already attained gender parity globally in manager level and less senior positions, and by 2027 plans to achieve gender parity for roles at the director level and above.
Long-term value creation
Gildan commits to positively impacting economic development in regions where the Company operates with meaningful community engagement. Gildan intends to incrementally increase allocation of capital towards purposeful and value-driven projects in regions where the company operates and to gradually reach a contribution of 1% of its pre-tax earnings by 2026. In parallel, the Company will also engage one of its most important stakeholders, its people, and continue to facilitate and encourage employee volunteerism at all levels to further deepen local impact.
Transparency and disclosure
A key part of Gildan’s accountability in reaching these targets will be to transparently share the journey with stakeholders. To that effect, Gildan also commits to further enhancing and strengthening its ESG disclosure across its areas of focus, effectively allowing stakeholders to make more informed ESG-focused decisions and maintaining a high degree of trust and understanding of Gildan.
In 2022, Gildan is planning to further enhance alignment to the TCFD framework through a subsequent disclosure in a stand-alone report, which will detail Gildan’s climate-related governance, strategy, risk management and metrics, and targets.
Claudia Sandoval, vice-president of corporate citizenship at Gildan, added: “We are confident that this new strategy will propel our efforts to greater heights and allow us to become a stronger and more resilient company. While Gildan embarked on its ESG journey over two decades ago, we know that the path to sustainability is ongoing, which is why we will continue our journey forward to further strengthen our programs. We also know that it is not enough to set targets. Therefore, we are developing clear and credible roadmaps to address the challenges and opportunities we face to continue to make meaningful positive impacts, and we won’t be doing it alone. Our success depends on the collaboration of all key stakeholders, and we are excited to foster and leverage a global, collaborative approach to bring our goals to life.”
Learn more about Gildan’s Next Generation strategy and 2030 targets here