During 2019, employees across the Company continued to participate in environmental volunteering and restoration activities. In the Dominican Republic, we made a donation of USD $8,576, which allowed 3,000 trees to be planted by 200 employee volunteers. In Nicaragua, we provided logistical support and a donation of USD $5,500, helping 6,000 forest plants to be planted. Gildan also created its own nursery at the Gildan Rivas facility, where more than 6,000 different forest species – including mahogany, royal cedar, oak, and teak – are grown to be used each year for reforestation efforts.
Our team in Haiti also held their first reforestation day in 2019: Approximately 500 trees of various species were planted by a group of 60 volunteers.
On Earth Day 2019, employees and their families across our Central American operations participated in environmental activities including various recycling challenges that aimed to proactively engage people about the benefits of recycling. Over 800 children participated in activities such as drawing contests that were aimed at helping kids learn about the environment while having fun.
In 2019, a total of 118 employees at various Gildan locations volunteered to clean beaches in Mexico, Honduras, and Barbados. In Honduras, more than 70 Gildan-volunteers participated in a beach clean-up event, where they collected 1.61 tons of trash from a public beach near our facilities; In Barbados, 18 volunteers removed two truckloads of garbage from a public beach area near our offices, which was taken to a landfill; In Mexico, more than 32 volunteers joined the Company's first beach-cleaning activity and managed to collect more than 600 kg of trash across 250 meters of a beach in Ensenada afflicted by pollution from garbage and debris which is difficult to clean, including cigarette butts, plastic, coal, and pieces of glass.