RECOGNITION TIME: PVH Corp. has been selected as one of two winners of the 2018 U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence. The award recognizes U.S. firms that uphold high standards of responsible business conduct. PVH will be presented with the award in a ceremony on Oct. 5 at the State Department.
PVH is receiving the Sustainable Operations award as lead investor of a best-in-class apparel manufacturing facility in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The honor recognizes the company’s unwavering commitment to people, the environment and the communities where it operates.
Emanuel Chirico, PVH’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are in a unique position to make positive impacts in the places around the world where we work and live. One of those places is Ethiopia, where we set out almost five years ago to create a sustainable, vertically integrated, apparel manufacturing industry.”
The apparel firm in 2014 approached some its best suppliers to share its vision for Africa. PVH implemented international standards and practices in building, fire and worker safety, environmental sustainability, as well as human rights to establish a manufacturing economy.
According to the State Department, the facility — an industrial park — features state-of-the-art fabric mills and apparel factories powered by renewable energy, beside a zero liquid discharge treatment plant. It noted that the industrial park is expected to provide about 60,000 Ethiopians with work over the coming years. Further, the State Department said more than 80 percent of the employees are women, and that the facilities will provide valuable opportunities for them, given the country’s high female youth unemployment rate.
“We have focused on protecting the local environment, using sustainable energy and ensuring sufficient supplies of clean water. Creating a safe and inclusive workplace is also a priority, which provides real opportunities for the residents of the surrounding area. We are honored to receive this award and are proud of the operation we have established there,” Chirico said.