Shima Seiki
Techtextil North America & Texprocess

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Industry Talk

Gildan publishes ESG report for 2020

Report showcases Gildan’s approach and commitment to ESG, its 2020 performance results, and key priorities towards continuing its vision of Making Apparel Better.

31st August 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Montreal, Canada

Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear

Gildan Activewear has published its 17th Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report. The 2020 ESG report showcases Gildan’s approach and commitment to ESG, the company’s 2020 performance results, and key priorities towards continuing its vision of Making Apparel Better.

In 2020, Gildan faced unprecedented circumstances due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and two back-to-back hurricanes in Central America. Gildan says that, despite these challenging events, it ended the year on a strong note, demonstrating that operating and financial performance combined with a focus on ESG creates value for all stakeholders.

“Last year, more than ever, we were able to witness the strength and resiliency of our unique business model and the importance of ESG,” commented Glenn Chamandy, President and CEO of Gildan. “While we are pleased with the success and recognition we have achieved, there is still more work to be done and we are now working on our “Next Generation” ESG strategy and a new set of long-term goals, which we will announce later this year.”

In 2020, Gildan received some of the following recognition from organizations worldwide for its ESG practices:

-Top 100 Most Sustainability Managed Companies by The Wall Street Journal - ranked 32nd

-Dow Jones Sustainability Index - 8th consecutive inclusion

-CDP's Climate Change Report - included in the Leadership Band with an A- score

-SAM Sustainability Yearbook - 8th consecutive inclusion

-FUNDAHRSE CSR Seal -13th consecutive inclusion

-Fashion Transparency Index - top 25 brand

Gildan’s 2020 ESG report is available here and 2020 highlights from the report can be found below:


For over 16 years, Gildan has measured, monitored, optimized, and reported its environmental results aimed at lowering its impact on the planet. In 2020, the company completed its second set of 5-year environmental targets, and while it was not able to meet all of its goals as it diverted attention and resources to navigating through the pandemic, responding to the aftermath of the hurricanes, and putting its people first, the company was still able to make some important progress.

Key 2020 environment highlights include the following:

-33% of Gildan’s total energy came from renewable sources

-88% of Gildan’s total waste was recycled or repurposed

-11.4% reduction in water intensity achieved from 2015 to 2020

-14% decrease in Gildan’s total waste from 2015 to 2020


Gildan says it takes its responsibility of being an ethical manufacturer seriously. One of the company’s longstanding priorities has been to enforce and protect the fair treatment of the people who manufacture products throughout its supply chain. Gildan says that in 2020, it achieved the vast majority of its social goals and maintained industry-leading working conditions and labour practices by creating safe and healthy workplaces, respecting human and labour rights and employees’ freedom of association, empowering women, and offering competitive benefits.

Key 2020 social highlights include the following:

-Gildan mobilized a team of experts to develop and implement stringent biosecurity protocols in its facilities to protect employees during COVID-19

-Humanitarian aid and a disaster relief program were activated to support employees and local communities affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota

-Employee wages in 100% of Gildan-owned manufacturing facilities were evaluated based on the FLA data-collection tool

-53% of employees were covered by a collective bargaining agreement

-97% of employees were represented by formal health and safety committees

-207,000 hours of employee training were dedicated to occupational health and safety (OHS)

-$1.3M was donated to community projects in regions where Gildan operates


Gildan considers strong and transparent governance practices to be an essential factor in the organization’s overall success, and says it is committed to adopting and adhering to the highest standards in governance to foster a culture of integrity, accountability, and transparency throughout the organization. Since 2008, Gildan has disclosed its ESG performance according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (Comprehensive), and for the first time in 2020, Gildan disclosed its data aligned with the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. Finally, Gildan completed its first climate change disclosure in 2020 in support of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

Key 2020 governance highlights include the following:

-9 out of 10 of Gildan’s Board of Directors were independent

-40% of Gildan’s Board of Directors identified as being a member of a “designated group” as defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act, with three Directors identified as being women and one identified as a member of a visible minority group

-Two thirds of Gildan’s three Board level committees are chaired by women.

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