Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Biomass Makes Latest Fashion Statement At Gildan


The textile manufacturer, Gildan is constantly working on its sustainability programme whereby to reduce its carbon footprints. Amis many attempts, the company is practicing biomass generated energy usage on a large scale.

Biomass Makes Latest Fashion Statement At Gildan
Dailycsr.com – 21 August 2015 – Clothing being one of the essential basic needs of humanity is in great demand. The demand has given rise to “textile giant(s)” like Gildan, who need to avail a large quantity of steam, a costly deal indeed, almost to carry every process involved in manufacturing fabrics from raw materials which include:
“...knitting, bleaching, dyeing, finishing and cutting facilities”.
Earlier, the company used to produce blank sweatshirts and T-shirts upon which other companies printed their logos. However, at present it is a busy manufacturer of underwear, socks and activewear. In fact, Gildan’s manufacturing units are spread across the U.S, Caribbean to even Bangladesh whereby the company provides employment to “some 43,000 people worldwide”.
Thanks to an “environmental rethink” Gildan invested a significant amount of finance to shift from the traditionally used fossil fuels like bunker oil, to generate steam to biomass. Today, “53%” energy requirement of Gildan is being supplied through biomass. Gildan’s green attemos have indeed given some hopeful results, whereby:
“Bunker fuel consumption is down 70% compared to 2010 and greenhouse gas emissions down 45%. Waste recycling is up to 90% of total waste and waste sent to landfill down 21% (compared to 2010)”.
Gildan’s name figures in among the fifty best corporate citizens of Canada, as announced by the Maclean's Magazine. Moreover, the sustainable shift of the company has positively affected the environment, the financial aspect along with the local communities around it. In the senior vice-president of “public and corporate affairs”, Peter Iliopoulos’ words:
“Biomass energy is a reliable carbon-neutral energy supply and the impetus to move to biomass was initially environmental, allowing us to contribute to climate change mitigation by significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Biomass crop combustion also generates less ash than coal and the ashes generated are used in the maintenance of the roads at the company's manufacturing complex in Honduras.
“Over the past 10 years we have made significant investment in environmental and social compliance and developed robust programmes so that Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability are now central to our overall business strategy. I believe we are now an industry leader.”
The biomass used to generate steam include various “agricultural residues” combined with the company’s “non-fossil production” and waste remaining of packages like cartons, pallets and yarn cones. Gildan improvises its raw material for biomass keeping the local availability of its factories’ locations. Likewise, at places the “burning biomass” also includes various crop that cultivated and harvested as “agricultural energy plantations” while other places use African Palms for the same. This way, Gildan has helped to create jobs for locals by developing the practice of agro-industry culture. Furthermore, Iliopoulos adds:
“Biomass is a reliable, long-term fuel supply so we are able to insure ourselves against risks such as the increasing scarcity and rising costs of non-renewable energy”.
Over the year Gildan has perfected the recipes for feeding the biomass digester and even today it continues to get better. Moreover, Gildan is now attempting to explore more possibilities of turning energy consumption to biomass, like at some factories of Gildan, biomass generated stream also is used for running the air conditioners, while at other locations electric chillers are being replaced by the ones that run efficiently on steam. The company also paid particular attention to block all unnecessary outlets that lead to energy wastage. Besides, biomass energy production, there are more substantial efforts made by Gildan to reduce its carbon footprints through its “constantly evolving” “sustainability programme”.