Creating Stronger Communities: A Look at Gildan's 2019 Sustainability Highlights
Following the release of Gildan’s 2019 ESG report, the Company revisits some of the progress it has made towards its focus around Creating Stronger Communities, which serves as the final of three pillars behind its Genuine Responsibility® strategy.
A large part of Gildan’s vision of Making Apparel Better® aims to create value that extends beyond the Company’s direct impacts by giving back to the communities across the regions where it operates. With this goal, the Company embraces its belief in serving as an active community participant, and to help achieve this, Gildan concentrates on encouraging sustainable development and community empowerment through sourcing locally while supporting programs which aim to strengthen its surrounding communities.
In 2019, Gildan enhanced its longstanding partnership with World Vision Honduras through an initiative focused on improving the quality of education. Thanks to this, Gildan was able to empower more youth by expanding the breadth and reach of schools supported by the Company, which grew from 21 to over 370 last year. Beyond this, Gildan invested over USD $1.5 million into community programs and other sustainable development initiatives, and over 12,700 Gildan employees came out to show their support as volunteers during a selection of these initiatives, which ranged from tree-planting and beach clean-ups, to fundraising for community cancer prevention, among others.
Across the regions where it operates, Gildan also aims to hire locally, and in 2019, 83% of all managers were local talent. In addition to this, Gildan invests significantly in purchasing local materials and services to encourage business opportunities and the growth of supply chain ecosystems: In 2019, these investments amounted to over USD $260 million purchased from regions in Latin America and Bangladesh where the Company has operations.
Finally, to better understand the economic impacts of Gildan’s community contributions, the Company conducted a Social Return on Investment (SROI) study in 2019 across its Central American locations, which showed that its community involvement was making quantifiable positive impacts in each region. For example, the study revealed that for every US dollar invested locally by the Company in Honduras, it generated an additional USD $13 in value for Honduran society. In Nicaragua, the return on each dollar was even higher, amounting to USD $19 in returned value for stakeholders across the nation. Gildan hopes to use the results of this study to guide its social responsibility strategy in the coming years.
If you’d like to learn more about how Gildan fulfilled its pillar of Creating Stronger Communities in 2019, read the full ESG report here.