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PGI Releases Inaugural Sustainability Report



Published January 14, 2010
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PGI has released its inaugural 2008 Sustainability Report prepared following the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework used by leading companies. Available online <http://www.polymergroupinc.com/en/about_us_sustainability.php>, the first report covers PGI’s sustainability initiatives in 2007-08.

PGI also has become an organizational stakeholder member in GRI, a worldwide network-based organization that pioneered the development of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide.

In addition, PGI is participating in a pilot program with the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop a globally standard sustainability tool kit for manufacturers. PGI also co-chairs the INDA Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry’s Sustainability Committee.

“PGI embraced sustainability many years ago and continues to adapt its approach as the concept itself evolves,” said Veronica “Ronee” Hagen, CEO. “This commitment is a reflection of our values and represents an integral part of the PGI brand promise, so sharing our results publicly is a natural and necessary progression for us.”

PGI named John Heironimus as its first chief sustainability officer early in 2009 and made GRI reporting a key goal. Heironimus also co-chairs the INDA Sustainability Committee and is active in making industry-wide progress on key issues. PGI will continue to report results on this basis annually and publicly report progress.

“GRI has become the standard for leading companies and that’s why we have chosen their approach. We support the OECD direction as well, as it logically builds on the GRI. While it took some work getting to this level of transparency, the process has helped us to identify key improvement areas and focus our efforts to the long-term benefit of all of our stakeholders,”Mr. Heironimus said. “I am very proud of the vision and commitment that our company has shown throughout this process.”

PGI followed the G3 Guidelines, which are the cornerstone of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework and include reporting principles and guidance, and standard disclosures. The format provides flexibility to allow organizations to plot a path for continual improvement of their sustainability reporting practices.

In the report, PGI outlined the following five corporate-wide sustainability goals that it will set out to achieve by 2014: Commercialize 10 new sustainable initiatives; achieve a 10 percent per square meter reduction in carbon footprint, consumption of water and non-renewable resources, and generation of solid waste; report sustainability results to GRI’s highest “A” standard; reduce recordable safety incidents to zero; and achieve a “ low-risk” employee engagement benchmark.