Five of HanesBrands’ manufacturing plants have earned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star Challenge for Industry awards by reducing energy use by an average of 18 percent. The plants—in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Thailand and Vietnam—bring to 23 the number of the company’s manufacturing facilities that have earned the honor. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as apparel supplier Hanes/Champion (UPIC: HBIINC).

To earn Challenge for Industry status, manufacturing plants must reduce their energy use by 10 percent within a five-year period. HanesBrands attributes the facilities’ success to a coordinated company-wide energy management initiative and employee-driven energy-saving ideas, as well as investments in technological improvements, including advanced heat recovery, air conditioning and compressed air systems.

“The employees at all five plants should be commended for their success in reducing energy use and protecting the environment,” says Jean Lupinacci, the EPA’s director of the Energy Star commercial and industrial branch.

Hanes owns the substantial majority of its manufacturing supply chain, and since 2007 has reduced its energy use by 23 percent, carbon emissions by 25 percent and water use by 31 percent. More than a quarter of the company’s worldwide energy use comes from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal and biomass.

“Sound environmental practices make good business sense, although achievement requires significant planning and effort,” says Kurt Schwalbe, Hanes director of engineering and energy management. “We are proud of our organization’s commitment to environmental practices from the executive suite to the plant floor. That’s why we are the only apparel company to be a multiyear sustained excellence award winner from EPA Energy Star.”