Gildan (PPAI 250187, S13) was presented with the CSR Seal by the Fundación Hondureña de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial, better known as FUNDAHRSE, for its 2020 work in Honduras. This is the 14th consecutive year that the Montreal, Quebec-based supplier has received the award, which recognizes organizations that demonstrate leading practices related to human rights, labor practices, governance, environment, operational practices, and employee and community relations.

“2020 was a challenging year for all. In Honduras specifically, the spread of COVID-19 compounded by hurricanes Eta and Iota that struck the country made it a particularly difficult time for the company and our employees. But despite these hardships, we rolled up our sleeves and worked together to continue advancing our ESG commitments and supporting our employees and communities,” says Claudia Sandoval, vice president of corporate citizenship at Gildan. “Our inclusion in the FUNDAHRSE Seal during such a challenging year is a clear testimony of Gildan’s strong culture of responsibility and sustainability both at the top levels of the organization and on the ground.”

Gildan has been operating in Honduras for 24 years and has more than 21,000 employees in the country, making it Gildan’s largest hub. In 2020, Gildan made some strategic investments in Honduras aligned with its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and commitments. These include the continued application of strong human rights principles in its operations across Honduras, in line with the company’s longstanding priority to enforce and protect the fair treatment of workers. Specifically, Gildan supported manufacturing employees during the COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with local government officials, NGOs and union representatives in the country to ensure employees’ rights were respected and that employees were receiving constant support.

Gildan also initiated a humanitarian aid plan to support employees and local communities to recover and rebuild from the two back-to-back hurricanes in November. Gildan raised a little more than $165,000, which was donated directly to employees affected. Gildan also made a significant donation of garments and emergency kits for evacuated employees, as well as offered medical assistance at its on-site medical clinics, representing a total contribution of $920,000.

Additionally, Gildan committed $175,000 toward the Children’s Education and Transformation program by World Vision Honduras. This program is dedicated to improving the living conditions and opportunities of the most vulnerable children in the country by equipping parents, caregivers, teachers and children with the necessary knowledge and tools to engage on topics related to children’s rights, violence prevention and gender equality. This donation has brought Gildan’s investment to more than $600,000 since the inception of the partnership which has helped reach more than 147,000 children and 5,000 teachers across the nation.

Regarding environmental issues, Gildan piloted an Energy Management Information System (EMIS) to monitor its energy, water and wastewater performance in Honduras. The system helps the company make more timely and accurate decisions for managing energy and water consumption, and it plans to implement it across its worldwide operations by the end of 2022. Also, in 2020, Gildan installed a new air-conditioning economizer control system at its knitting facilities in Honduras, which determines when to reduce the cooling capacity required from the chillers. It also uses cool air in the evening, which reduces overall electricity use and steam consumption.

Find out more about Gildan’s ESG practices here and the 2020 ESG report is available here.