Gildan Inc. has been recognized with a Distintivo ESR 2016 award by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility.

The award is given to companies in Latin America that are considered leaders in their corporate social responsibility efforts. These organizations measure the CSR activities of Latin American companies, selecting those that are most successful in meeting designated standards within strategic areas of corporate social responsibility.

The Distintivo ESR award recognizes the efforts of companies that voluntarily and publicly commit to implementing a social responsibility and continuous improvement management system, and fully integrate it into their culture and business strategy. Gildan is the only company in the apparel sector listed this year.

Benito Masi, executive vice president of manufacturing at Montreal-based Gildan, said the recognition was satisfying given “the efforts that we are making to provide good working conditions for our employees, minimize our environmental footprint and nurture the communities in which we operate.”

“At Gildan, we have a strong commitment to operating responsibly and sustainably, as a core element of our business model and key driver of our future growth and success,” Masi said.

Gildan is committed to providing safe, ethical and fair working conditions for employees, with additional benefits, such as free medical care and subsidized transportation and meals. The company said its responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of its employees, the safeguarding of the environment and adherence to its Code of Conduct are supported by a rigorous auditing process.

Gildan also works to assess the needs of the communities in which it operates and over the past years has undertaken projects to improve schools’ infrastructure, implement health programs and offer educational programs, to improve the quality of life of its employees and their communities. The company said it works in a spirit of collaboration and maintains ongoing constructive dialogue with internationally recognized and local non-governmental organizations to address issues within the apparel industry.

Gildan was bestowed this distinction in Mexico as part of the Latin American Conference of Socially Responsible Companies.

Gildan sells its products under a diversified portfolio of company-owned brands, including the Gildan, Gold Toe, Anvil and Comfort Colors, as well as the Secret, Silks and Therapy Plus brands. The company also has the U.S. sock license for Under Armour, and licenses for the Mossy Oak and New Balance brands. It distributes its products in printwear markets in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Gildan owns and operates vertically integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities primarily in Central America, the Caribbean Basin and the U.S. It has over 42,000 employees.

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