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Case studies

We are committed to our CR programme and around the world our business units are undertaking initiatives and projects that support this.

The case studies below explain some of the activities under way and demonstrate how we are meeting our corporate responsibilities and developing best practice that we can share across our global operations.

Our Standards

Coats operates to the highest business and employment standards wherever we operate.  We maintain a working environment that we can be proud of and this is a shared responsibility.

It is vitally important that everyone who works for Coats (or acts on our behalf) understands their role in upholding our responsible approach to business and abiding by our Ethics Code. Everyone in the business needs to take responsibility for setting, and living by, the highest standards in terms of ethical behaviour, and the laws relating to anti-corruption and fair competition.

Our ethics training programme was originally developed in 2011 and consists of three online courses, covering:

1. Ethics in general including:

- Fraud

- Conflict of interest

- Environmental

- Health and safety

- Employment

2. Bribery and corruption

3. Competition law

On an annual basis, between 2011 and 2014, all 4,500+ senior employees and those with externally facing roles successfully completed the online training by passing a test on each subject.  This confirms that they have read and understood the relevant company policies.  The courses have been translated into the 18 most common languages across Coats, and have been included in the onboarding process for new recruits.

During 2016, we have updated and re-issued our global code of conduct and ethics code to reflect changes in policy and legislation. All 4,500+ senior employees and those with external facing roles received refresher training during 2016 in ethics, anti-bribery and corruption, and competition policies and laws.

During 2016, we have also developed a new ‘data protection’ training module to reflect our global cyber security programme and upcoming legislation changes. 1,775 employees had completed the ‘data protection’ training module by the end of 2016 and 4,374 by the end of January 2017.

We believe that this approach is an effective way to ensure that Coats senior employees, and those engaged in sales and procurement roles, have a clear understanding of our expectations.

Coats operates to the highest ethical, social and environmental standards at all of our manufacturing sites across the world. Our internal code of business conduct states our commitment to good business practice and to meeting recognised international human rights and labour standards, including:

  • The United Nations (UN) Declaration of Human Rights
  • The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Eight Fundamental Conventions
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. 

Our efforts to uphold these high standards have been recognised by the ‘Garments Without Guilt’ campaign in Sri Lanka. This campaign, set up by the Sri Lankan apparel industry, aims to boost the reputation of the sector and make the 'Made in Sri Lanka' label synonymous with quality, reliability and social and environmental accountability.

Garments without guiltIn 2014, Coats Sri Lanka was presented with the ‘Garments Without Guilt’ certificate in recognition of being:

  • Free of child labour
  • Free of forced labour
  • Free of discrimination
  • Free of ‘sweatshop’ practices, including limits on working hours
  • Guaranteeing workers the right to freedom of association
  • Requiring that workers receive all legally required pay and benefits
  • Ensuring that workplaces are safe, with specific requirement for the management of these issues
  • Observing responsible environmental practices

The certification process is conducted by an independent third party, under the auspices of SGS, one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies, and Coats is the only thread company in Sri Lanka to have been awarded the certificate. 

Find out more about the Garments Without Guilt movement on its website by clicking on the link above.

Our People

Our global Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) network held four virtual meetings during 2016, featuring guest speakers which were open to everyone across the business.  At least 150 of our employees regularly join the calls and we have a dedicated intranet microsite which holds key diversity resources and materials, accessible by some 7,500 employees. 

The themes for the four network calls this year were:

  • the conceptual case for gender and ethnic diversity;

  • local diversity programmes in the US and Turkey;

  • inclusive leadership and bias in business decisions.

This year several local action plans have been developed/built as part of the global initiative, including in Turkey, China, Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

We’ve also had some local events focusing on D&I taking place in addition to the International Women’s Day event. In Vietnam, for example, Anna Mitchell, MD, Online Business, Industrial and leader of the D&I programme attended the event for female managers of Coats Phong Phu, hosted by Bill Watson, Managing Director. During the meeting Anna shared her experience to date and how it has led her to becoming a senior leader at Coats. Attendees spoke about the challenges they face balancing their responsibilities inside and outside work as well as discussing some ideas that the company could implement to support working women.

In November, similar events were held in China and Brazil. Anna Mitchell attended the event in China and Stuart Morgan, Chief Legal and Risk Officer and Group Secretary, attended the one in Brazil. Anna and Stuart talked about the importance of the Coats D&I programme and the global actions that took place throughout 2016.

In addition, both events included a summary of local activities:

  • In China an Employee Communication Forum has been set up along with a suggestion scheme.  A workshop on women’s lives in modern society also took place.

  • In Brazil ethics workshops for all employees and a development programme for people with disabilities has been set up.

We employ over 19,000 people worldwide and we value our workforce highly. 

Our employees are from many different cultures and are based in 60 countries all around the world.  It is vital that we listen to what they think about Coats to help us create an excellent working environment and to retain and motivate our people across the company.

One of the ways we do this is through our annual employee engagement survey that we’ve been conducting for the last seven years. In 2016 we continued to have a high participation rate – a fantastic 97% of our employees took part.

Research has shown that organisations with high employee engagement scores also have better customer service, enhanced performance (productivity, sales, profit), and reduced absenteeism.  Our 2016 overall engagement score (which shows how proud people are to work at Coats and how willing they are to work towards achieving common goals) is 83% (same as last year and two points higher than 2014).  Such a high engagement score maintains our position in the top 10% of all globally surveyed companies.  These results are testimony to the efforts of the many employees and managers who strive to make Coats a great place to work.

We are particularly proud of the favourable responses to the CR-related questions within the survey - all increased from their already high levels.  92% of our employees feel that Coats is socially and environmentally responsible, 95% believe that we are committed to employee safety, and 90% feel that our senior leadership is committed to ethical business practices and conduct.

This is very good news at the group level, but we know there are some areas of the business which need attention.  Our challenge for 2017 will be to maintain these high levels of engagement and work with individual teams to develop action plans and reach higher scores throughout.

The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority in everything we do.

In December 2015 an H&S Climate Survey took place for the first time at Coats, in Turkey. The survey was then rolled out to the rest of the organisation during 2016. In total, 47 units participated across 30 countries worldwide.

The aim of the Coats H&S Climate Survey was to review the organisation’s existing level of safety culture, identify perception gaps, determine positive and negative aspects of our current arrangements and help identify opportunities for improving how we work.

The Coats survey was based on the UK Health & Safety Laboratories (HSL) Safety Climate Tool* and investigated safety culture across 47 Coats Units, including manufacturing sites, warehouses and offices.

The 40 question survey covered 8 different topics:

1.Organisational commitment

2.Health and safety oriented behaviours

3: Health and safety trust

4: Usability of procedures

5: Engagement in health and safety

6: Peer group attitude

7: Resources for health and safety

8: Accident and near miss reporting

Coats’ global average ’Safety Climate Score’ came out higher than the HSL’s all industry average scores across all 8 categories.  Individually, 57 % of the 47 Coats units achieved a score higher than HSL’s average.  

The Climate Survey results were communicated to all employees and small facilitated focus group sessions were held to agree actions that should be taken in response to the feedback, including how to balance a culture of H&S with production outputs.

We intend to repeat the survey again in 2018.

* www.hsl.gov.uk/products/safety-climate-tool

At Coats, safety is our number one priority.  The well-being of our employees is vital to our business and we therefore take health and safety standards very seriously.

In China, the local management has made extensive improvements and raised awareness of health and safety issues to ensure a safe working environment.  Here are some examples.

Hearing protection assessment and training

At the Jinying plant Coats China carried out some hearing protection assessments and training programmes.  In our production facilities our employees are often exposed to high levels of noise stemming from machines and engines.  Workers wear hearing protection to reduce the sound level.  In August 2015, engineers from 3M – the personal protective equipment manufacturer – visited the Jinying plant to assess how people were wearing their 3M earplugs and earmuffs, and how well they worked for all our employees.  They also held detailed training sessions with Coats employees to explain the risk of hearing-impairment and the importance of wearing ear protection at work.

Improving Chemical Handling in the Dyehouse

In 2015, Coats Shanghai improved its health and safety procedures when handling chemicals onsite.  This included a number of upgrades to standard operating procedures and its behaviour-based safety management system.  For example, the chemical measuring process has been changed to make it more accurate, and it is now carried out at a dedicated station.  All chemical weighing operators also wear protection masks, safety gloves and goggles when working with chemicals.

In March 2015 Decathlon Bangladesh held its annual supplier meeting in Dhaka for senior managers in its Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.

Three men holding the Decathlon award 

This year’s meeting also included an awards presentation.  Coats was the proud recipient of the Sustainable Development award in recognition of our performance in the area of ‘Human Responsibility in Production’.  In Decathlon’s supplier compliance inspections which focused on health and safety (with emphasis on fire safety and chemical handling) and a number of other aspects such as employee welfare and care for the environment, Coats performed very well.  Decathlon first inspected our Chittagong site back in 2013 and then again in 2014.  Notably Coats was the only Tier 2 supplier to win an award at the event.

Kunal Kapur, Sales and Marketing Director, and Stephen Cox, Manufacturing Director, collected the award on behalf of Coats. 

Close up of the Decathlon award

At Coats, we take a genuine interest in the well-being of our employees, and not only during working hours.  Traffic accidents are a major cause of injury, disability, death, vehicle and property damage.  They also create a financial cost to society and the individuals involved, so our employees are being trained in road safety to help them stay safe on their way to and from work.

Roadsafety

We reinforced the training by holding a global conference call, involving 193 managers and supervisors from 35 different countries.  The objective was to raise awareness of commuter safety and underline the duty of care that Coats has for all employees travelling between their home and work.

‘Road Safety Champions’ are being appointed at each site, with the task of addressing the local commuting issues. Local workshops have been conducted at every site and their feedback is being consolidated into immediate and longer term corporate action plans.  Additionally, special advice sheets have been prepared for pedestrians and bus users, as well as motorcycle users and cyclists.

Roadsafety 2

In 2015, Coats Mexico’s Tlaxcala plant was the proud recipient of the ‘Socially Responsible Company Certificate’ granted by the country’s Ministry of Labour.  The plant, which manufactures apparel and footwear thread, was recognised for its achievements in employee welfare.  

The site’s Employee Engagement Survey results for 2015 showed improvement across all dimensions compared to the previous year as a result of a planned programme of initiatives across the site to support the feedback from employees.  The site scored above 80% in all dimensions of this year’s survey and over 90% in some dimensions such as ‘Safety’ ‘Future / Vision’, ‘Community, Diversity & Ethics’, ‘Employee Engagement’ , and ‘Customer Service / Orientation’.

Coats Mexico is proud that these efforts have been recognised by the Ministry of Labour and continues to work hard to build on these achievements.  

Certificate from Mexican government body

Our employees are the core of our business and their well-being is very important to us.  We continuously improve our health, safety and welfare programmes to ensure a safe working environment.  This way we can minimise accidents and keep our employees safe.

Hand injuries are the most common type of injury in Coats.  Our operation in Bangladesh decided to specifically address this issue and over the past two years has reduced the numbers of hand injuries very successfully.  In 2013, over 40% of all recordable accidents at our Gazipur plant were hand injuries.  Since then the site has raised awareness on the safe use of cutting tools and has managed to bring the numbers of injuries down quite significantly.  While there were 34 hand injuries in 2013, a year later the site reported only five hand injuries.  In 2015 it reduced this even further to three hand injury incidents.

Coats Bangladesh started this initiative by conducting a survey among the employees to see how they were using knives and blades.  As a result of the feedback the Gazipur plant issued special hand safety instructions and introduced a number of policies on the safe use of knives.  For example, the plant now only allows the use of self-retracting cutting devices, non-standard knives can no longer be used, and signs on the walls remind employees which knives are allowed.  To increase the safety standards still further, employees now wear safety gloves when using the self-retracting knives.  The plant also held awareness sessions with the employees to teach them about the safe use of knives and blades.

Bangladesh Hand Injuries

 

At Coats, the well-being of our employees is very important to us, and not only during working hours. Traffic accidents are a major cause of injury, disability, death, and vehicle and property damage. They also generate financial costs for the individuals involved and society as a whole.

Coats Indonesia has been improving employee road safety through its Behaviour Based Safety Programme. The programme covers the risks associated with walking, cycling, driving and taking public transport. For example, an initial assessment of employees’ motorcycles found that 24% of them had safety issues (due to faulty lamps, brakes, etc) – so something had to be done.

Under the programme, employees have received training on how to cycle and drive safely, how to make sure that their vehicles meet proper safety standards, how to cross roads safely, and how to understand traffic signs. Coats Indonesia has also helped improve the local infrastructure near the factory, introducing zebra crossings, speed bumps, better lighting, and safety signs for pedestrians.

Employee road safety awareness has improved thanks to the training, and we’ve also helped make the surrounding communities safer. We look forward to continuing the project in future years, for our employees’ benefit, for the Company’s benefit, and for the benefit of the local communities.

Safety compliance check lists and inspection
Safety compliance check lists and inspection

safety banner safety poster
Safety banner and poster

Safety cycling and driving training
Safety cycling and driving training

At Coats, we take pride in the way that we openly and honestly communicate with employees.  We give them confidence to come forward with ideas, helping creativity to flourish and encouraging positive behaviour.  We believe that if people genuinely feel that they have the power to make a difference, they will excel.  This rewards them with personal fulfillment and drives the business to better results.  

In 2014, Coats Phong Phu, Vietnam, was recognised for its outstanding commitment to empowerment by winning the Supply Chain People Empowerment Award.  The award was granted by Vietnam Supply Chain (a not for profit association for supply chain professionals) at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, attended by over 300 business leaders and industry experts.  

Coats Phong Phu proved its talent for employee engagement (engagement being a key component of empowerment), culture of continuous improvement, and ability to actively listen to employees’ ideas.  It has implemented several employee ideas, and by doing so, has made improvements to working conditions, productivity and safety.  For example: our employee Sáng Kiến Của reduced the breakdown rate of a thread winding machine from 39% of the time to 1%, by designing and installing a simple device to stop the thread becoming stuck in the roller.  There are many other stories like this one.  

Coats Phong Phu collecting awardCoats Phong Phu award

In the Awards summary, Coats Phong Phu was referred to as an “inspiring company with amazingly committed people … thriving for common success.  It has built its people strategy around care, trust, innovation, and long term success.  It listens and implements staff ideas and has reached a people engagement level of 80% in an industry that barely reaches half that.”  

We feel that these comments could equally apply to Coats as a whole – empowerment is one of our strengths and something we value highly.

Our number one priority is to keep our employees safe, and we are very proud that our operations in the USA have been publically recognised for that.      

In March 2014, Coats and Clark won two first place awards at the Georgia Association of Manufacturers’ Annual Safety Conference, held in Atlanta.  The Toccoa Plant received first place in the small size manufacturing plant category and the Albany Distribution Centre (pictured) received first place in the small size distribution facility category.           

US Safety awards 1

Our Sevier Plant (pictured) was also honoured at a safety banquet hosted by Commissioner Cherie Berry of the North Carolina Department of Labor.  The plant received two awards: The Gold Safety Award for achieving an incident rate 50% lower than the industry average, and the Million Hours Award for accumulating one million employee working hours without injuries or illnesses that required days away from work.      

US safety awards 2

All in all, a resounding success.

Our people are central to our business at Coats.  It’s obvious to us that creating a safe working environment is not only the right thing to do, but also vital to the success of our business.  Therefore, we take health and safety in the workplace very seriously.

During 2013, Coats Phong Phu in Vietnam held their first Health and Safety Week.  The aim was to build safety awareness and commitments amongst employees.  The week was supported at the highest level of the company by our group Chief Executive, Paul Forman, who attended in person (see the first photo below).

Over 800 employees participated in health and safety activities, which included:

  • A fire extinguishing competition
  • A class on how to use a water hose to fight fires
  • A first aid competition
  • Developing a safety handbook and distributing it to colleagues.
  • We also involved Coats families by organising a health and safety themed painting contest for children

The week was a resounding success, successfully promoting our health and safety culture at Coats.

Health and Safety Week Vietnam 2013

 

Health and Safety Week Vietnam 2013

Behaviour Based Safety

The safety and well-being of Coats employees is a top priority and is reflected in our low group-wide accident rate.  In addition to reducing safety risks we promote a Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) approach that pre-emptively improves working conditions.  In Morocco, the team has used their BBS programme to further develop the overall site safety and comfort, enhance productivity and employee welfare.  Apart from BBS, Coats Morocco has been embracing the CR spirit in a number of other ways…

Oversight and communication

A Health and Safety Committee has been established and meets monthly to set and manage actions that will improve working conditions.  Information is shared with everyone on site by displaying objectives, hygiene and safety rules, as well as Coats’ principles.

Health

A healthy workforce is essential and in Morocco efforts are made to provide access to good healthcare.  An infirmary is open twice a week for workers to see a nurse and once a week the factory is visited by a doctor.  During ‘flu season’ a vaccination campaign is run to help avoid seasonal illness.

A safer place to work

Ensuring safety standards is paramount for the team in Morocco.  For example, personal protective equipment is available to workers and is kept accessible in the place where they perform their jobs. 

Behaviour Based Safety Morocco

Renovations and improvements on site

The site has recently implemented a series of improvements in key areas.  These included building dining halls for the office and factory floor workers, renovating the chemical and dyeing storage facilities, and repainting the whole site.  In addition, an investment in window blinds has reduced glare from the sun and has meant that air conditioning can be used less frequently, improving the workplace environment and reducing energy use. 

Team-building exercises

Initiatives to enhance company pride and promote teamwork have also sparked the creation of a committee to organise social and sports functions.  Below is a photo of the Coats Morocco employees participating in a team-building event.

Morocco team

It is important that our people have the skills they need to do their job effectively and to create a safe and pleasant workplace.  This is vital for our business to operate and enhances employee job satisfaction and well-being.

In Tunisia, the local management have implemented extensive annual training plans for their employees.  In 2012, 196 participants received 3,635 hours of training, which amounts to 19 hours of training per participant.

To help bolster customer service and day-to-day tasks, external courses in English, Excel, and customer relationship management were given.

To support managers in improving their ability to lead their teams, sessions on leadership, coaching, and team building were given by experts from outside Coats.

Making Coats a safe and secure workplace is of paramount importance.  Therefore our people are trained regularly on health and safety.  In 2012 the employees in Tunisia received training on first aid, using a defibrillator, and fire safety.

In addition to offering professional training courses, Coat Tunisia makes sure the internal knowledge and skills are shared through internal training sessions.  In 2012 these focused on internal systems and processes, health and safety, the use of electronics, and management software.

Looking ahead to 2013, priority areas for training will include training trainers, stress management, internal systems, and English.

Our People 2012-1 Image 1

 

Our People 2012-1 image 2

Our Products

Coats’ Product Safety programme ensures that all products supplied to the customer are safe to use and do not contain any potentially allergenic or harmful substances.  The programme is underpinned by rigorously enforcing our Coats Restricted Substance List (CRSL), which is now in its twelfth year of operation.

Our CRSL is drawn from the current legal regulations and directives in all of the countries in which we operate, as well as our customers’ and brands’ own restricted substances lists.  It extends to some 800 chemicals and 160 restricted dyes and all of our suppliers are required to comply with it.

800+ chemicals covered by our CRSL

In 2016, we split the potentially hazardous substances into two separate lists to make our requirements clearer for our suppliers and thus make our Product Safety program more robust:

  • A Coats Product Restricted Substance List (CPRSL), which states the absolute concentration limits that cannot be exceeded in our final products.
  • A Coats Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (CMRSL) which defines the limits which our raw materials and process chemicals must meet before entering our manufacturing process

We also introduced a more restricted version of the CRSL for industrial products that don’t have end consumer contact, which focusses more on safety of our operators and those of our customers and environmental impacts.

In September we wrote to all of our chemical and raw material suppliers asking them to confirm compliance with the updated CMRSL, setting out the substances that are restricted or banned from all goods and materials sourced by Coats.

We have also taken on board the ‘Joint Roadmap to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals’, published in November 2011 by several leading fashion brands and retailers such as Nike, adidas, Puma, Li Ning, C&A and H&M.

One of the goals set by this group is to have all 11 ‘priority chemicals’ eliminated or substituted from members’ products and their manufacture by 2020, and we are taking steps towards achieving this goal:

By 2012, we had placed a ‘Usage ban’ in our CRSL on all of these 11 hazardous chemicals.  We worked with our suppliers who used some of these substances in the production of our process chemicals to first of all identify them in their base chemicals and intermediates, and then systematically purge them from their supply chain.

For example, in June 2012 we found very low, but detectable levels of one of these ‘priority chemicals’ – an alkyl phenol ethoxylate (APEO) – on one of our thread products.  APEOs, although commonly found in washing and cleaning products, are becoming banned since they are endocrine disruptors in humans and animals.  Even though the measured amount of APEO in this thread product was well below the current industry limits, we immediately tracked down the APEO source and worked with the raw material supplier to replace the non-compliant spin finish with an APEO-free alternative.

In 2014 we embarked on a project to replace all long chain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) used in our water resistant products with less harmful ‘C6’ perfluorinated chemicals.  Extensive trials were carried out on a number of products to achieve optimal performance and with no deterioration after prolonged use.  We completed the progressive transition from C8 to C6 to C4-based PFCs before the end of 2015, thus, we have eliminated from our supply chain all traces of two of the most persistent carcinogens associated with water resistant textile finishes - Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Now all of our thread and zipper products are APEO, PFOS and PFOA-free and there will be none detected in effluent from our facilities.

These are just some of the ways our CPRSL and CMRSL are setting industry standards.

Recently launched by the Speciality team, Coats Vulcon is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly treatment which provides excellent adhesion to rubber and can be applied to a variety of raw materials, including polyester, nylon, aramid and hybrids.

An alternative to RFL (a chemical coating), Coats Vulcon uses a unique nano-reinforcement protein platform technology which is safe (non-toxic) and resilient. It is mainly based on a synthetic protein, carbon black and synthetic latex and is water based.

The protein was originally extracted from aspen trees, but modified versions of the protein are now produced by industrial fermentation and hence no trees are cut down in the process.

The proteins can be modified to adhere to a variety of materials, for example rubber on one side and textile on the other.  Coats Vulcon is therefore an adaptable technology that can easily be modified for different applications and markets. It can be used in the production of industrial and automotive hoses (pictured), tyres and power transmission belts. Its benefits include an extended shelf life (can be used after months in storage), high UV resistant adhesion, low energy consumption during the production process, it maintains original yarn flexibility and it is cost friendly when compared to other eco-friendly treatments.

www.coatsindustrial.com/en/products-applications/engineered-yarns/vulcon

Coats is a world leader in developing innovative industrial thread and consumer crafts products.  In 2014 we launched our latest pioneering product – Coats Insectiban, the world’s first range of sewing threads and zips that helps protect against bed bugs.

Insectiban 1Bed bugs are an increasing problem. They typically live in the seams and tape edges of mattresses and upholstered furniture, where they hide and lay their eggs.  Their bite is painless but their saliva is an irritant and can cause inflammation and secondInsectiban 2ary infections from scratching.  We are proud to create a product that helps combat a public health issue.

In addition, we are currently working with a mattress manufacturer to produce mattress encasements with an enclosed zip and seam structure.  These will provide a physical barrier to bed bugs in addition to the insecticidal barrier.

How does Coats Insectiban work?

Our treated sewing threads and zips help control an infestation of bed bugs, even if other parts of the bedding have not been treated.  The treatment is an insecticide, which (like any ‘biocide’) suppresses the harmful organism – in this case, bed bugs.  However, while other biocides can be hazardous to humans and harmful to ecosystems if released into the environment, the treatments we use are based on naturally occurring durable plant extracts and oils.

Therefore we see Coats Insectiban as a triple win: a health win for the consumer, a health win for the environment, and a commercial win for Coats.

For more information about Coats Insectiban, please go to our dedicated page here.

Recycling is becoming increasingly important in a world coming to terms with the challenges of environmental and climate change.  At home we are all learning to recycle glass, paper and plastic and for many of us recycling has become a part of our lifestyle.  At Coats we also take this issue very seriously and have developed products made from recycled raw materials in our Industrial division.  

EcoVerde sewing and embroidery threads  

Ecoverde We recognise that consumers increasingly want to know more about the sustainability of the products they buy and how they are made.   Coats EcoVerde is the umbrella brand that we use for our range of environmentally friendly products which are intended for the garment industry.  Coats EcoVerde recycled polyester, the first of these products to be launched, is a sewing and embroidery thread range made from recycled plastic (PET) bottle flakes.    The PET bottle is a very useful container but it is a problem for the environment as it is non-biodegradable.  With millions of such bottles being produced daily around the world, the disposal of the used bottles has become a major concern, but the EcoVerde range gives them a new lease of life!  The bottles are collected, washed, sorted, and ground into flakes which are then depolymerised back into their original components.  When this material is re-polymerised into chip form, extruded and drawn, it becomes a purified filament yarn from which EcoVerde recycled polyester sewing and embroidery threads are made.    

Ecoverde 2      

Three versions of the thread have been produced: two designed for use in lockstitch and chain stitch and a trilobal version of EcoVerde recycled polyester, which has heightened lustre, for use in embroidery.  

EcoVerde Zips  

Ecoverde 3To extend its commitment to sustainability further along the apparel supply chain, Coats Opti has pioneered the development of Opti S EcoVerde.  This is a unique spiral zip made from polyester multifilament and monofilament yarns manufactured from polymer generated from recycled plastic bottles.   Opti S EcoVerde delivers the twin benefit of reducing the amount of landfill space needed to breakdown the bottles after use as well as avoiding the use of finite fossil resources to produce the yarns.  

At Coats we consider the direct impacts of our product manufacture and the indirect impacts that occur throughout the lifecycle of our products’ development and their use.  In light of pressing environmental and climate challenges, we are looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint and at the same time lower our costs.  Recycling and reusing materials are great ways to achieve this. 

Our packaging can be made of a number of different materials.  There is cardboard, paper and plastic for our cones, and poly bags, labels and packaging materials for shipping the finished goods.  We follow the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra to minimise our waste.  We try to reduce the volume of virgin materials in our packaging, we reuse materials where we can, and we try to recycle materials as much as possible.

Since 2011, we have made great progress in increasing the amount of recycled materials in our source packaging.  Six years after starting this initiative, on average more than half of our packaging now comes from recycled materials.

In 2016, on average 58% of our packaging came from recycled materials – that’s 2% more than in 2015!  We are doing particularly well in using recycled materials for cardboard and paper cones, and packing/shipping supplies.  88% of our cardboard comes from recycled materials, while 77% of our paper cones are recycled and our packing/shipping supplies are at 89%.

Coats is working hard to find more ways to reuse our materials and purchase from recycled sources so that our packaging becomes more ever more sustainable.

Our Manufacturing

As a manufacturing business we depend on water as a resource and we are very conscious of using water in a responsible and efficient way.  In some areas where we operate, water might be scarce and availability limited, so we are always looking for alternatives to using water from the local municipal supply, so that our process water is not automatically taken away from local communities.  Where this is not possible, we try to recycle the water we extract so that it can be re-used in our manufacturing processes.  Suitable effluent treatments then help us to return clean waste water to the environment.

In 2016, we recycled 8.3% of the water used in our global operations, we’ve almost doubled the percentage of water recycled compared to 2015 (4.2%).

In 2014, Coats India introduced a new water treatment system in their Faridabad site.  It aims to keep the usage to a minimum and use water as efficiently as possible.  To minimise its impact on the local ground water, Faridabad has installed a reverse osmosis plant (RO) which recycles its waste water back into its processes.  After a year of running the RO plant, the site had saved over 35 million litres of water.  As a result, both the availability and quality of the ground water has improved.  In 2016, the RO plant in Faridabad, has continued to increase the amount of water recycled which now stands at 47.5%, with 53 million litres being reprocesses.

Additionally, our plant in Shenzhen has also made some progress in their recycling capacity, which resulted in a 45% increase in the percentage of water used being recycled at the plant (in 2015 13.9% of the water used was being recycled compared to 59.2% in 2016).

Our Sri Lanka site also started recycling water used in their site during 2016. In their first year, they recycled just over 20% of their water used.

We are determined to continue using and conserving water in an efficient way.  We will keep looking for more ways to save water going forward.

At Coats, we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and at the same time lower costs.  Our manufacturing team in Turkey has managed to significantly reduce energy consumption by making changes in its working routines, alongside a number of adjustments to the spinning process.

The team made a number of modifications to the existing machinery to reduce power consumption (eg suction fans reduced from 50 Hz to 40 Hz) and to avoid compressed air leaks (jack adaptors added to the air-lines).  It also implemented regular deep clean exercises of all spinning machines to get rid of any fibres/debris that may be reducing the machine efficiency.  Alongside these activities, it also involved the workers in the programme and educated them on how they can contribute to energy savings at the site.

This ongoing programme of simple changes has reduced the site energy consumption (kWh per kg of dyed product) by 11% since 2013 as shown in the chart below.

Water scarcity is a pressing issue in several parts of the world where we operate.  It threatens ecosystems and communities, and it can be a material risk for businesses like ours that depend on water.

To help address the issue, Coats is working hard to reduce water consumption at our manufacturing sites.  Dyeing and finishing processes can be particularly water intensive.

In 2014, our site in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, reduced water consumption by 26% in just six months.  The site had been using 115 litres of water per kilo of thread produced (L/Kg), but through careful monitoring and smart investment, by the end of the year it was down to 85L/Kg.

The site invested in 17 water meters to track precisely where the water was being used.  This helped identify some serious leaks and over-usages, which were then rectified.  In six months the improvements saved the site US$35,000.

Coats Ho Chi Minh City is now aiming to reach a level of 70L/Kg by the end of 2015 and has several actions lined up to reach that goal ahead of schedule.  

Engineer working on water pipes

At Coats, we see energy efficiency at our factories as both a financial and an environmental opportunity. New technologies can help us reduce energy use and save money.

In 2012, our Coats Sevier plant in North America was using high wattage lighting, consuming a significant amount of electricity. Realising this, Joe Cordell and Jackie Thomas, two of the plant’s electricians, began replacing the 400 watt bulbs inside the plant with 132 watt T-8 fluorescent lights, and outside the factory, replacing the 250-400 watt bulbs with 54 watt T-8 fluorescent and LED fixtures. During the two year conversion period, nearly 4,000 high wattage bulbs were replaced with lower wattage equivalents.

These simple changes have successfully improved the energy efficiency of the plant. In 2014, the plant’s total energy consumption was 21% lower than in 2012. Meanwhile, energy costs fell by 18%, saving nearly $120,000 over the two year period, exceeding our target by almost 20%.

Last but certainly not least, safety has improved at the plant thanks to the better lighting.

Before…

The plant with old lighting

 

After...

Safety has improved at the plant thanks to the better lighting

At Coats, we are always looking for ways to improve efficiency at our manufacturing sites.  This helps us cut costs but also minimises the impact we have on the world around us.  As a significant energy user, this is one of the inputs we strive to reduce.  

In 2014, our spinning plant in Tianjin, north China, spent nearly US$150,000 to replace and upgrade 45 sets of ventilation fan blades.  The new blades (see picture 1) are a highly efficient, aero-dynamic design, made from a composite resin which is lighter than conventional metal blades (see picture 2).  They use 24% less energy than the original blades, saving the business 2,000,000kwh per year, which in monetary terms is around US$200,000 per year.  

This is an excellent example of how careful investment in new technology can achieve a double dividend – cost reduction and positive environmental stewardship.    

Picture 1: the new composite resin fan    

Energy China 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 2: the original fan

Energy China 2

As a business, we depend on clean and reliable water supplies.  In several parts of the world where we operate the availability of water is under threat, and we are acutely aware that the textile industry is one of the largest consumers of water worldwide as fibre dyeing is a particularly water intensive process.  We therefore have a business imperative to use water as efficiently as possible.    

We are lucky to have employees who are constantly looking for ways to improve our manufacturing processes.  Since starting a water-saving project in 2011, Coats Colombia has made great progress, and in 2014 – thanks to the project – Coats Colombia met 42% of its water needs through a combination of rainwater harvesting and water recycling.  This is a 46% improvement on 2011.  

The team at Coats Colombia is determined to continue using water responsibly, and will be looking for more ways to save water going forward.

Rainwater 1

Rainwater 2

At Coats we are committed to running operations efficiently by reducing the resources we use. To achieve this our local site managers and teams draw on their knowledge and experience to find improvements in techniques, processes and systems which will help generate cost savings and reduce overall environmental impact.  

Coats Indonesia recently achieved this with two ‘Go Green’ manufacturing initiatives

Rain water harvesting - Thread dyeing typically requires a great deal of water which is often drawn from pipes or wells.  The team in Bogor saw an opportunity to do things differently by using rain water instead - rain is so frequent in Bogor that it has been nicknamed the “Rain City”.  To take full advantage of this natural water source, the site installed a system which harvests water from the factory roof and substitutes this for the well and pipe water previously used. With average rainfall levels the new system manages to collect over five million litres of rain water a year!

 Rain water collection in Indonesia

Image above: Gathering rain water from roof. Saving water.

Use of natural light - Another recent initiative that contributed to reduced resource use has been to take advantage of natural daylight. The factory roof in Bogor has been fitted with transparent material which allows natural light to flood into the factory and during daylight hours minimises the use of electric light bulbs. This has led to estimated savings of some 110,000kWh per year! 

Transparent roof at Coats Indonesia saves electricity

Image above: Natural light from transparent roof. Saving energy. 

At Coats, we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and at the same time lower costs.  Coats is an advocate of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle waste hierarchy – first we try to reduce the volume of materials in our products, what we can’t remove we try to reuse, and what we can’t reuse we try to recycle.

A high percentage of the 7-inch plastic cones we use for our textured thread (as well as some of the 4-inch cones) can be reused if they are recovered from our customers and properly cleaned and sorted.

For the last three years Coats Honduras has been running a cone recovery programme, symbolised by “Duty”, our friendly cartoon cone character.  The project involves recovering the plastic cones from our customers and reusing them in the production process.  

To start the project, Coats Honduras hired a waste contractor to collect as many used cones as possible – the contractor buys, cleans and packs the cones and finally delivers them back to Coats.

Since the project started in 2011, we have successfully reused 5.9 million cones, saving over 140 tonnes of plastic. The next stage of the project is to look to recover cones from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, where products made by Coats Honduras are also sold.

Reusing cones in Honduras

Our production processes rely heavily on the use of water and energy.  We encourage our sites to improve efficiency where they can, to reduce resource use, save money, and help protect the environment.  

In Korea, waste water from the dyeing process, still hot from production, is stored so that the heat can be recovered and re-used.  A recent leak meant the system needed to be replaced and gave the team the opportunity to think about improvements that could be made.  

They decided to replace three water tanks, each with a five tonne capacity, with one that holds twenty-five tonnes.  This increased storage capacity by two-thirds.  The larger tank is also more efficient, allowing more heat to be retained as the water can now be kept 20ºC warmer.  The new system has generated a 28% reduction in fossil fuel costs at the plant, 6% savings in electricity, and nearly a quarter less in water costs.  

During the changeover…

Energy savings before

..and after the work was completed…

Energy savings after

Our group-wide commitment to the environment is continually being driven forward by our production teams, who innovate wherever possible to reduce the resources used to make our products. 

In China, successful zip engineering has meant our Opti S series is now made with less material - yet the superior strength and reliability which defines this range is maintained.  In addition to saving valuable resources in production, the zips have further potential to reduce the environmental impact after they leave our factory… 

…the sturdiness of Opti zips make them ideal for use by luggage makers whose bags and suitcases repeatedly end up as air cargo.  The saving of material and weight of a zip can have a knock-on effect.  The typical reduction per product is 28 grams.  So, every time the traveller takes a flight with his or her slightly lighter luggage, less fuel will be consumed and therefore fewer carbon emissions generated.  Although this may not sound like much, for the many flights over the life time of the bag, it can really add up!


Zip picture

At Coats we work to manufacture our products in the most efficient way possible.  This not only saves us time and money but helps us reduce our impact on the environment.  

In our production process we use water which is a scarce resource in many areas.  The team at our Faridabad factory in India recognises the importance of reduced water use to the local community.  In 2012 this drove them to make a number of improvements that achieved dramatic results – water use dropped by 40% and they eliminated wasted water in the factory’s production system. 

To accomplish this, they embraced “Zero basing” techniques (part of Lean Six sigma manufacturing philosophy) to look closely at their existing process.  To start, the team installed water meters to gain an accurate picture of how much water was actually being used.  This was then compared to the amount of water known to be needed in manufacturing.  They discovered that 12% of the water was unaccounted for in the existing process.  By closely examining the system the team was able to cut out all waste and make design changes that improved the entire structure.  The result of greater efficiency and lower water usage was reached without a large capital investment – just good factory management.

Our Environment

World Environment Day was celebrated at various locations across India in June 2017. The aim was to create awareness among employees of the importance of taking positive environmental actions to protect nature and the environment.

Activities included promotional videos, briefing sessions, gardening, and drawing and quiz competitions.

For example, all the employees, across the different Coats India sites, had the opportunity to conduct various tasks including:

  • Planting trees on our compounds

  • Quiz competitions

  • Drawing competition

We recognise that the Earth’s climate is changing, and as an energy user we have a role to play in reducing our contribution to it.  The burning of fossil fuels for power and heat is the single largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.

At Coats, we constantly review our manufacturing processes to improve efficiency, not only to minimise the cost to our business but also to minimise the impact we have on the world around us.  As such, we have focused on reducing our energy consumption and have seen a significant reduction in our carbon footprint since 2011.

In 2016 we used 829 million kWh of energy (electricity and fossil fuels) in manufacturing our products, which is an overall reduction of 0.5% in total energy use from 2015 (833 million kWh) and 3.4% from 2014 (858 million kWh).

Even though our processes are ever more energy efficient, the total carbon footprint of our manufacturing operations this year (Scope 1 and Scope 2*, **) was 319 thousand tonnes, 4% up compared to the previous year (305 thousand tonnes). In terms of the products we manufacture, we have increased slightly our greenhouse gas emissions per unit of dyed product to 4.6 kg CO2e per kg (compared to 4.5 in 2015).

Although we have used less energy across the company during 2016, the overall increase in our carbon footprint derives from:

  • a shifting balance of production between countries
  • an increase in in-house electricity generation in Bangladesh due to shortages in grid supply
  • a 2% increase in orders for manufactured goods

Despite the latest annual fluctuation in our GHG figures, our overall carbon impact has reduced by 17% since 2011, our new base line. The reduction to date has been achieved through a combination of investment in energy efficiency – such as using better manufacturing schedules, regular maintenance and optimising building management – as well as investment in new technology. In addition, we have actively sought out increased renewable energy sources for our electricity use across our operations. Over the last six years, our renewable energy consumption has increased by over 300% compared to 2011.

 

*Based on IEA CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, OECD/IEA, Paris, 2016 and the 2016 UK DEFRA GHG reporting guidance and conversion factors. Includes Scope 1 – direct emissions from the combustion of fuel (gas, coal and oil) and Scope 2 – indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity.

**Emissions reported are from energy consumption in our global operations, and exclude emissions from refrigerant usage and business air travel, which each represent less than 2% of GHG emissions resulting from our manufacturing operations.

In our production processes we use water, which is a scarce resource in many areas in which we operate.  We believe it is our responsibility to use water as efficiently as possible, reuse as much as we can and return the waste water to the environment in a clean state.  This helps us to minimise the impact we have on the world around us. 

Coats Sri Lanka built and started-up a new Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) with a capacity to treat 800 cubic metres of effluent per day.  This is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and we are very proud of it!  The plant treats the effluent using cutting edge technology and recycles the cleaned water back for reuse in processing. The plant recycles 95% of the waste effluent back for dyeing purposes.

Currently the primary source of water supply around the area where we operate our facility is ground wells. With the new ETP, the Coats factory can also reduce its water extraction from ground wells by 90% - a big step towards becoming a self-sustainable plant.  By recycling and reusing water we can minimise our water outtake and ensure that water is not taken away from the community’s water bed.

 

 

 

At Coats, we follow an industry recognised waste management hierarchy – if we can’t reduce the materials used, we reuse them.  If we can’t reuse them, we recycle them. Throwing away is always a last resort.

Increasing plastic recycling by 5%

In 2015, Coats India managed to increase its plastic recycling by nearly 5% compared to 2014, saving almost 200 tonnes of plastic.  It did this by recycling the plastic multiplex cone centres used in the dyeing process.  The site also started using reusable metal dye centres, reducing its plastic consumption by another 9 tonnes.  Together, the site saved in total more than 200 tonnes of plastic during the year.

At Coats India, the undyed grey thread arrives at the plant wound around a multiflex centre.  This core is collapsible and can only be used once.  After dyeing the thread, the cores usually become deformed and have to be thrown away.

The site came up with a clever solution.  Rather than discarding these deformed plastic cores it recycled them into the plastic cones and tubes that are used for the finished product.

Multiflex centre:

Multiflex centre cone

Metal dye centre:

Metal dye centre

Finished product cones made from recycled plastic:

Recycled cones used in India

 

 

Crude oil spills can have very serious consequences for the environment.  It is less well known that cooking oil, too, can be very harmful.  Every litre of cooking oil spilled down the drain can result in many more litres of contaminated water.  This in turn may kill fish and cause gastrointestinal illnesses in humans.  Incorrect disposal of cooking oil is also challenging for hygienic reasons.  Spills can cause blockages and smelly odours in the drains.  As a great food resource they can also attract rats and cockroaches.   

To address this issue Coats Mexico has implemented a system to recycle used cooking oil and transform it into biodiesel. Coats employees bring bottles of used cooking oil from home to an onsite collection point. A company then recycles the oil to biodiesel which is used as fuel for car engines.  Approximately one litre of cooking oil can be transformed into one litre of biodiesel.

To create the biodiesel the cooking oil goes through a multi-step process.  As a first step the oil is processed and ground to produce ‘raw oil’.  Next the raw oil is refined before it goes through ‘transesterification’ – a chemical process to get the final output biodiesel.  As a by-product, glycerine is produced from the process.  This is often used in cosmetics as a skin moisturiser.

The use of biodiesel from cooking oil has a number of environmental advantages including minimising the impact on wastewater treatments, less river pollution and reduced CO2 emissions.  By running this project Coats aims to reduce the private household waste of our employees and encourage the correct disposal of cooking oil.  The project has been carried out in collaboration with Environmental Department of the State (SEDEMA).

“Limiting our impact on the environment is a fundamental part of our business and is something everyone in Coats takes seriously. Coats senior management will define objectives and targets to achieve the highest practicable standard of environmental performance for the Group.”   

Coats Environmental Policy

We have a responsibility towards the environment and to the communities where we operate and we take that responsibility very seriously. Treating our effluent properly is a vital part of it.  One of our goals is for all our sites to comply with local regulatory requirements and meet Coats’ ambitious global Environmental Standards (which often go beyond local law).

In 2014 Coats Egypt celebrated the installation of a new effluent treatment plant (ETP).  This has improved wastewater quality from the site by reducing temperature and several other quality indicators including chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), oil and grease, and acidity/alkalinity (pH).

The wastewater conforms to the local regulatory requirements and further improvements are underway to reach Coats’ global Environmental Standards.

Picture 1: New effluent treatment plant
New effluent treatment plant

Picture 2: The Coats Egypt team
The Coats Egypt team

Picture 3: Wastewater management
Wastewater management

 

Reducing our environmental impact is very important to Coats. To help achieve this we expect our sites to continually look for improvements in their techniques, processes and systems which will help generate efficiencies and reduce our impact.  

At the beginning of 2013, our Sevier plant in Marion, North Carolina installed a new solvent distillation unit to recover waste ethanol used in the bonding process.  Before the unit was installed, the process of bonding generated hazardous waste which by law had to be shipped to a specialised processing company - in 2012 this waste amounted to almost 20 tonnes.

Now the new waste recovery system allows the Bonding Operations team to safely recover the ethanol and eliminates the generation of hazardous waste.  The by-product of the distillation process is inert, round ‘cakes’ of nylon resin that can be disposed of without damaging the environment. 

This has been a postitive initiaitve for the environment and for plant’s balance sheet. By installing the waste recovery system the Sevier plant has made cost savings in the following ways:

  • having to buy less virgin ethanol and fewer shipping drums
  • reduced hazardous waste shipping and waste permit fees
  • fewer regulatory requirements and hazardous waste training costs

Ethanol waste as a nylon resin cake

Coats’ influence often extends beyond the perimeters of our operating sites.  With many of our employees coming from and living in the local community, we believe that we have a responsibility to make a positive impact locally.  One way we can do that is by maintaining and improving the neighbourhoods local to our factories.

Coats Egypt has completed a project to clean and improve the area around its factory.  30 employees took part, collecting rubbish from the major road outside the factory and planting, trimming and watering plants.

The project noticeably improved the whole area, not just the section in front of the Coats site.  One positive outcome was that neighbouring factories were so inspired by the team’s work they did the same in front of their sites.

Coats employees are proud of this project.  Arriving at the factory every day surrounded by the clean and the green has boosted morale and brought a positive energy to the site. 

Coats Egypt project

As a major manufacturer, we are always looking for ways to lessen our impact on the environment and, to this end, aim to reduce, recycle or re-use wherever we can, thinking creatively about all the materials we use in our production processes.

In Mexico, this has led to a saving of the timber used in the production of around 3,400 pallets annually.

Coats Mexico’s Distribution Manager, Julian Gonzalez, explains how this came about.

‘We looked at how we were shipping export materials from Mexico, which involved using wood-treated pallets. One tree produces wood for up to 10 pallets and from 2006-14 we had bought 95,452 pallets. That is around 9,500 trees; approximately 46 acres – or the equivalent of 64 football stadiums.

‘As an environmental initiative, we asked ourselves if we could employ any of our waste to create an alternative and began looking at the plastic waste from our empty dye-springs. We got in touch with a number of companies and, after much research and testing, got the go-ahead from Novatec, a plastics manufacturer specialising in pallets and containers.

‘We export around 4,200 pallets a year, and calculate that we can change about 81%, so moving from wood to plastic will allow us to avoid using around 3,400 wooden pallets. We think we can reuse around 30% of the plastic pallets, including some that we receive from Coats & Clark, and Coats American. And, since these plastic pallets are cheaper than wood, we also get to save some money while we are looking after the environment.’

Plastic pallets in Coats MexicoPlastic pallets in Mexico_2
Platic pallets in Coats Mexico are made from plastic waste

In 2013 Coats India invested in a wood-fired thermic fluid heater for its interlinings manufacturing factory in Ambasamudram, India.  The new system generates heat by burning bush wood collected from wastelands in Tamil Nadu.

The decision was taken partly in reaction to the unprecendent rise in the price of fossil fuels during 2011 and 2012, which pushed up manufacturing costs, but also from the fact that burning sustainable biomass is a more atttractive alternative to fossil fuels since it has a much lower environmental impact.

The bush wood used in the heater grows quickly and doesn’t require any irrigation.  Biomass fuels are also considered a carbon neutral fuel source because the plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmostphere during growth.  Burning fossil fuels on the other hand generates greenhouse gas emissions which drive climate change.

The equipment took three months to install and commission and was delivered early in 2013.  To date it has already generated cost savings and overall the project has been been good for the environment as well as the local economy as local people collect and sell the wood that is used.

Coats India Wood Fired Boiler

At Coats we aim to reduce the impact our operations has on the environment.  In addition, we support those initiatives that engage our employees and inspire behaviour change that can reduce carbon emissions. 

Depending on the distance and mode of transport, travelling to and from work every day can create considerable greenhouse gas emissions.  Many of us use our own cars and motorbikes which create higher per mile emissions than public transport or walking or cycling.

As part of their wider ‘Go Green’ programme our team in Indonesia is encouraging its employees to leave their cars and motorbikes at home and come to work by bicycle.  Thursdays are ‘Coats Biking Days’ which help make cycling more than just a solo activity – lots of colleagues are doing it! 

Cycling not only reduces individual carbon emissions, it is also a way to add more exercise into our daily routine.  To encourage cycling any day of the week, the Coats Indonesia has also made investments in bike parking areas, showers and changing rooms which make arriving to work after a bike ride more convenient and pleasant.  For those new to cycling or concerned about safety, training courses in safe riding have also been offered.

The initiative has many benefits – it is good for the planet, it helps our people be healthier, it builds team spirit and for many it is just good fun!

Bike to Work Indonesia

 

Wherever possible, Coats aims to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.  As a result of our focus on converting demand to renewable sources and improving our energy efficiency, emissions of greenhouse gases from our global operations were reduced by 11% in 2012, and by more than 50% compared to 2000. 

In the Tamil Nadu region of India, the state run energy grid has proven inadequate to meet the demands of industry, resulting in inconsistent power supply and power cuts that can last for many hours.  In addition, the limited state supply has seen energy costs increase by 37%.  This has impacted our mills in Madurai, Ambas and Tuticorin, and to maintain production, our Indian team had to run costly diesel generators to supplement the energy available from the grid.  

A longer-term solution to reduce reliance on the grid and the generators was needed.  The management in India considered electricity from wind power as one option amongst a choice of other private producers who used coal, gas or bio fuel.  However, the desire to reduce carbon emissions and source non-polluting energy was a big influence on the team’s final choice.   

As a result, Madura Coats in India is now sourcing renewable energy from a company that uses wind power to generate electricity.  20% of the electricity used in Coats India now comes from a clean source, emitting zero emissions from its generation.   Furthermore, the price of wind power is less likely to vary over time and is lower in cost than the state owned supply.

India wind turbine 3

 

Improving the environmental footprint of our operations is a priority for Coats.  Where possible we encourage our local teams to save energy or find other efficiencies which will reduce carbon emissions. 

At Coats Shenzhen, in southern China, many of our employees stay in a dormitory on site.  Until recently the heating of the hot water for the dormitory was generated using a combination of a diesel boiler and solar panels.  The system was expensive and inefficient and limited hot water availability in the dormitory to certain hours a day.  Relying heavily on diesel fuel, it also contributed a large amount to the site’s greenhouse gas emissions.   

To find a better alternative, the Regional Manufacturing Director in Shenzhen assembled a multi-discipline team from the engineering, admin and purchasing departments.  They came up with an innovative new system which takes waste water from the dyeing process, still hot from production, and pumps it through a heat exchanger.  The exchanger then heats water which is transferred on to the dormitory.   Whenever the dyehouse is in operation, usually 24 hours per day, there is heat and hot water available for the showers and laundry – not usual in most company dormitories.  Note that to ensure there is no risk of our operators showering in contaminated water (if a heat exchanger got punctured) we have two independent sensors that check colour and conductivity.  If there is any increase in either of these parameters, the system is shut down for checking. 

The new method is not only more reliable, it also saves US$40,000 per year in diesel fuel.  This amounts to annual savings of over 89,000 kilograms of carbon (CO2 equivalent).  This is a great example of innovation that brings environmental improvement, cost savings, time efficiency and greater comfort for our people. 

China team in front of control panel

Here is the team that proposed and implemented the scheme, standing in front of the control panel

China dormitories

Picture of the dormitories, with the solar panels on the roof.  (Not enough energy is generated by the solar panels alone.)

Our Partners

As the leading global manufacturer of threads, zips and related products, Coats plays a key role in the apparel and footwear supply chain. Our success in the marketplace relies on responsible behaviour and good corporate citizenship. We also want to extend this to our customers and suppliers.

In 2015, Coats developed a detailed Supplier Code. The Code describes the standards and values we expect from our suppliers in terms of labour practices, environmental management, responsible sourcing and business conduct.

Coats China programme:

During 2015, Coats China successfully rolled out the Code to 75 of its key suppliers (pictured).  Out of a total of 880 different suppliers, these 75 are strategic to Coats’ business in China because between them they represent over two-thirds of Coats’ purchases of goods and services there. The suppliers were invited to one of four workshops at different sites in Shanghai, Shenzhen (2) and Tianjin.

Global rollout programme

In 2016, following the success in China, the Code was rolled out globally, to all of our suppliers located in our primary markets. The Coats team ran a total of 20 one-day workshops across 15 different countries. In addition to the events that took place in China in 2015, there have been Supplier Code workshops in Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka, India, Hungary, Germany, Italy and the USA.

During the workshops our team presented the Supplier Code and explained the background to the initiative. In breakout sessions the attendees learned how to apply the Code in their own organisations. After the workshop sessions the suppliers were asked to assess their own CR performance and review how closely they currently comply with the Code. If they found any compliance failures, Coats asked suppliers to map out an improvement plan. Coats will provide ongoing support to help them fully comply with the Code and align their CR performance with our values.

Coats representatives from our secondary markets attended those workshops to, in turn, roll out the Code in their own country and any other neighbouring countries. All of the secondary and tertiary markets have now rolled out the Supplier Code to their own suppliers and so far more than 80% have been engaged.

Feedback from the 592 suppliers who attended a workshop was very positive. This was reflected in the high levels of interest and engagement seen throughout the workshops.  Anonymous feedback from the events suggested that 67% of suppliers who attended the event ‘Strongly agreed’ that the Coats Supplier Code will be a useful tool for their organisation to improve in the areas of business ethics, safety, environmental management and labour practices. 71% also ‘Strongly agreed’ that the workshop was a worthwhile use of their time.

Coats is committed to working closely with its partners to develop responsible business practices. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our standards of environmental and ethical supply chain management.

Next steps are to follow up with specific half-day events in certain countries to focus on particular areas of the Supplier Code, where Coats feels that suppliers require more help in their understanding of the Code and compliance to it.

 

Project 24 is an exciting initiative that was launched by a non-profit organization named Planet Water, on World Water Day, to bring clean, safe water to 24,000 people in 24 hours in 24 communities across the world.

In July 2016, as part of Project 24, Coats Phong Phu, together with its joint venture partner Phong Phu Corporation, sponsored the installation of a water tower at a school in an impoverished part of Vietnam. The tower will bring clean water to 2,700 people in My Hiep village in the Ninh Thuan province of South Central Vietnam. This is the second project that Coats has supported in this area.  During 2015, Coats sponsored a water tower at a primary school in Cambodia.

Bill Watson, Managing Director, Coats Phong Phu said ‘We are proud to sponsor this project and make a dramatic improvement to the quality of life and health of this local community. The villagers currently drink untreated water directly from contaminated wells, so the benefits of fresh, clean water provided by the new water tower are immeasurable.’

At Coats, we take our responsibility for employee safety very seriously, and if our work involves driving, that responsibility extends to the roads.

Road accidents are a major cause of occupational death and injury around the world.  The World Health Organization estimates that 1.24 million deaths are caused by road traffic accidents each year, and between 20 and 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries.  90% of the deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, like Indonesia, and a significant proporation occur during working hours.

Early in 2013, Coats Indonesia’s HR department ran two road safety awareness and vehicle maintenance training sessions, in partnership with their rental car supplier, TRAC Astra Rent a Car.  31 company drivers and employees from the Sales Department attended.

The training was very well received and we anticipate the training will reduce the number of accidents and incidents in the future.

TRAC is running regular refresher sessions to ensure Coats employees always drive with caution and maintain their vehicles.

The photographs below show the 2013 training sessions and participants.
 

Road Safety Training  Indonesia

Road Safety Training indonesia

Road Safety Training  Indonesia

At Coats, we strive to build strong, lasting relationships with our customers.  One of the ways we do this is by helping them solve challenging problems.  Satisfied, well-managed customers mean healthly and enduring business partnerships for Coats.

Inaccurate purchasing is one of the key problems in the textile supply chain – it has an impact on the environment and it also erodes profitability.

Coats has discovered that the factories which buy our thread typically order 15% more than they need for their manufacturing.  The excess tends to accumulate in warehouses and is then sold at heavily discounted prices or simply discarded.

To help address this problem, Coats developed a tool called StockMatch.  StockMatch uses a simple to use hand-held device which keeps track of thread volumes held in storage.  It also accurately pinpoints where each type of thread can be found in the warehouse so that if stock exists, it can be located quickly and easily instead of having to order more.

To date customer feedback on the tool has been very positive and in six months we have helped them use over 165,000 cones of excess thread, reducing waste, and saving them money.

Stockmatch tool

Working in partnership on matters that impact our business and the communities where we operate is very important to Coats.  Because we are located in so many different places, it is vital that we connect with local organisations who can help us respond in a way that is best suited for their particular culture.  

In Colombia, Coats Cadena Andina actively supports a programme of crafts training courses across the country.  These courses are set up on a micro-enterprise basis and by covering the cost of instruction Coats has helped people to develop a skill that can improve their livelihood.  In 2012 8,000 people were trained across the country.  

A few years ago, the team decided it could have a greater impact if it worked with the Capullos Foundation of Pereira, a charity that provides support to kidney patients awaiting organ transplants, as well as their families.  Knitting and other craft-making can be very therapeutic and additionally, the new skill can help supplement family income during a difficult time. 

The collaboration with the Capullos Foundation provides craft training courses at number of medical centres in Colombia.  Coats donates all the thread and yarn for the crafts, and since the beginning of the collaboration 1,168 patients and family members have been trained.  In 2012 318 people learned a craft as a part of the programme.

Columbia crafts 1

Columbia crafts 3

 

 

Coats recognises the value of working in partnership on matters that impact our business and the communities where we operate.  We are spread across many geographic locations and teaming up with local organisations can help us respond in a way that is best suited for the local context.  

We see the health of our people and our communities as important because it underpins productivity and happiness.  Health is a necessary starting point for any individual and community to flourish.  

In Pailles, Mauritius, there are on-going gaps in access to information and screening for a range of health concerns.  Therefore, our local team identified an opportunity to partner with JCI Curepipe, a community group seeking to initiate positive change in local people.  Together we have worked on a series of health campaigns covering a range of issues, including:

  • Health Challenges targeting older people and promoting a society in which old people are cared for, respected and valued;
  • Awareness Programmes on Non-Communicable Diseases with a particular focus on heart disease, diabetes and cancer; ·      
  • Awareness Programmes on Communicable Diseases with particular focus on HIV/AIDS;
  • On-going awareness of healthy eating, proper nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet;
  • Promoting the importance of exercise in order to keep fit.  

Coats and JCI have worked together for over two years, organising more than 10 different events.  Examples being:

  • An awareness forum on nutrition and diabetes.  This was followed by an educational seminar on HIV/AIDS, cancer and sexual health, seeking to raise awareness and understanding of these serious health issues.
  • The annual ‘Take Care Lepep Health Day’ (lepep means people in Mauritius) which offered HIV/AIDS and diabetes tests, dental care for young people, demonstrations on exercise and its benefits, tips on nutrition and eating well, a forum on cancer, and a blood donation campaign.

All the activities were well received by the community who really appreciated the access to health facilities and information.

LEPEP day poster

 

Lepep day team

As a leading global thread supplier, Coats is committed to maintaining and promoting world class standards of business integrity.  One way that Coats North America supports these beliefs is through collaboration with its plastic support supplier.  Every day, we collect thousands of used plastic supports from our supply chain and internal processing and send them to the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) for recycling.

The SCVRD centre’s mission is to “enable eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment”.  They operate 24 work training centres located throughout the state and contract with many businesses and industries to do outsource work.

They take the supports and – using their equipment and manpower – process them into small plastic chips suitable for injection moulding.  The chips are then sent to our supplier, who produces thread spools of various sizes for reuse.

In this way, we are keeping thousands of kilograms of plastic out of the landfills each year, whilst at the same time helping those in need in our local community. See more about the work the SCVRD does at their website.

Our Communities

One of the roles that businesses like ours can play in society is to provide work and educational opportunities for young people, this is why we have a global Community Engagement initiative.

As part of the Glasgow team’s ongoing Community Engagement activities at Oakgrove primary school, helping the children with language, reading and grammar skills, some volunteers participated in the school’s celebration of World Book Day in March 2017.

The aim was to inspire the children to get involved in more reading and develop their enthusiasm for literature. Three volunteers from the Coats Pension Office attended this event. Each volunteer read to two different classes between Primary 1 and Primary 7 for 30mins with the hope that the children will want to continue reading the book where they stopped.

Coats engagement with the school should provide the children with improved inspiration, confidence and self-esteem, and enthusiasm for reading & literature. The Glasgow team felt a sense of pride being able to help with the event and see the children’s enthusiasm for learning.

Across all our sites in over 60 different countries we encourage our teams to engage with their communities in ways that best suit them and their circumstances. 

During 2016, Coats Romania actively took part in a project, ‘Run for It’, coordinated by Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation (SzKA). The project was designed to:

  • Build a strong community in the town where Coats operates;
  • Build a strong charity mind set within Coats employees; and
  • Help those in need.

In October 2016, 22 employees from Coats Odorhei supported several foundations mainly engaged to help children and adults with disabilities, by running in total 367.9 km. These employees were not experienced runners; many of them took part in this event just to help people in need.  Apart from the runners there were many other Coats Odorhei team members who attended the event to encourage and support their colleagues.

See the team in action below.

We try to be an active member of the community in which we operate.

Coats Hungary is working closely with the Twist Olivér Public Foundation to have a positive impact on the local community. The Foundation is located next to the Coats factory in Újpest and provides temporary social housing and care for homeless people. Coats Hungary is helping to empower the residents by offering job opportunities in the factory.

During 2016, the Foundation hosted an open communication event where all the social home residents were invited to the factory.  They heard from Coats leaders about the different activities undertaken within the different departments in Coats and learned more about job opportunities in the factory from HR (see picture). This was a great opportunity for Coats employees to answer any questions the residents had regarding the working conditions in the factory (working hours, salary, etc.).

This collaboration has resulted in mutual long term benefits. Indeed, it helped empower the residents by giving them a chance to be self-sustaining and allowed Coats to access a valuable new workforce for some of our operator positions. We are planning to repeat such similar communication forums in the future as well.

From left to right: Coats Hungary dyehouse manager, maintenance coordinator and HR Manager; the Head of social home and 3 applicants.

At Coats we see ourselves as a part of every local community in which we operate and we take an interest in what is happening around us.  Across our sites we encourage our teams to engage with their communities and have a positive impact where they can.

In 2015 our plant in Odorhei, Romania, joined the Earth Day celebrations and organised a rubbish collection event.  Initiated in 1970, Earth Day is held annually to raise awareness of environmental issues all around the world.  Coats Odorhei invited employees and their families to clean a local area including a local playground in nearby Cserehat, and 32 volunteers participated.  Their efforts resulted in a really clean space for local children to play in and residents to enjoy.

At Coats we value the environment and we are committed to looking beyond the boundaries of our factory gates.  Our environmental policies help us manage our impact across our operations and contribute towards a greener environment.

Making safe, clean water widely available is one of the world’s largest sustainable development challenges and Coats has been helping to help tackle water scarcity in Cambodia.

Most of the people in Beng Village, Cambodia, are farmers and earn their living by growing crops and raising livestock. In the past, limited access to clean water forced the nearly 1,000 community members to use water from contaminated wells for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

Coats Phong Phu, the Vietnam business of Coats Group plc, saw an opportunity to improve the situation and sponsored Project 24, a project run by Planet Water on World Water Day. One of the 24 water filtration towers erected during the 24 hour project was at Pong Ro Primary School in Beng Village, which will benefit 367 students and 145 households. On top of the obvious humanitarian benefits, the new fresh water supply will also increase the potential for the social and economic development of the local community.

We are delighted to have supported this worthwhile initiative. For more details, please visit the Project 24 website: http://project24live.org/sponsor/coats

installing the water filtration tower
The water filtration tower became operational in just one day

 

Local children have gained access to clean water for the first time
Local children have gained access to clean water for the first time

The local community saying ‘Thank you Coats’

 

In 2015 we saw an excellent example of philanthropy from our plant in Egypt.  Led by a special committee, the site ran a four day campaign in partnership with the Egyptian charity the Resala Association, to collect and distribute clothing for the poor and orphaned individuals in the local community.

Resala Association collecting the donated clothes

The results were staggering.  Over 100 employees donated almost 3,000 items, providing clothing for some of Egypt’s most vulnerable people.  The project has also helped Coats Egypt build a stronger relationship with the community; improved teamwork and boosted morale; and demonstrated to our employees that everyone can take part and make a difference.

Coats employees organise and repack donated clothes

At Coats, our local business operations are committed to supporting academic attainment in the communities where employees live.  They seek to enhance employability by improving literacy and numeracy levels (and where appropriate English language learning), as well as encouraging greater awareness of health and hygiene issues.

Coats Thailand places a particular importance on supporting children in its local communities.  To coincide with National Children’s Day, the Company Welfare Committee organised special events at local schools near to Coats Thailand’s operations.  This year Coats participated in the official opening ceremony of the ‘Special Education Centre of Samutsongkam’.  The Welfare Committee and employees donated food, snacks and toys, and organised games for the students as well as presenting scholarships to 10 children.  Once a week, teachers and assistants from the school arrange home visits to children with special needs or those who are unable to travel to school.

Coats Thailand has been supporting the local community since 2008 and its Welfare Committee is already making plans for future events.

When children suffer from serious illness, it is a difficult time for everyone involved.  The children and their parents are often overwhelmed with their concerns and feelings.  Arts and crafts therapy has proven to be a good way for children to channel their emotions surrounding their condition.  Through crafting the children can express their thoughts.  This helps them cope with their situation and it can also take their mind off their illness for a while.

To give children with serious illness a chance to have some fun and be creative, a team of Coats employees in Charlotte decided to work with the Levine Children’s Hospital based in the city.  Together they set up different crafting stations and the Coats team helped the children create a wide variety of things.  It was truly a rewarding experience for all involved.

It is important to Coats that we engage with the community we operate in.  Our teams regularly organise events and activities to play a vital part in the local community. 

There are a number of different ways that Coats can have a positive impact on local communities.  We try to be an active member of the community in which we operate, and our concern for our employees extends beyond work, to their personal lives and the well-being of their families.    

Sri Lanka 1

As a part of its community engagement programme, Coats Sri Lanka has partnered with the Council for Business with Britain in Sri Lanka, the British Council, HSBC and Cambridge University.  Together they are sponsoring teachers to take part in an English language teaching programme in schools close to our manufacturing plant in Horana in the Western Province of the country.  

Sri Lanka 2

The main goal is to improve school teachers’ English in Horana and nearby Moragahahena where most of Coats’ employees’ children study.  Coats’ sponsorship has enabled three teachers at schools near the factory to attend the Regional English Support Centre twice a month.  

By investing in the teachers, we invest in the students, and indirectly that benefits their parents who are our employees.  

Coats Sri Lanka is hoping to expand the programme in the coming years.

Bishopshalt SchoolOne of the roles that businesses like ours can play in society is to provide work and educational opportunities for young people.  Stockley Park, our Group head office in the UK, is continuing its support of a local high school, which includes a work experience programme.

As part of that initiative, Group Chief Executive Paul Forman gave a presentation to over 300 students who will soon be moving on to university or the workplace. 

The presentationCareer 1 gave the students an opportunity to learn about Coats – a local employer as well as a market leader and global business – but also to think about the role of business in society.  Paul discussed what is important for success in business and broke down some of the stereotypes that the students may have about manufacturing and the wider commercial world.  He shared his belief that business can be a force for good and provides an environment where you can learn and have fun for your entire life.  He spoke about the skills Coats looks for when recruiting employees and also how it helps stakeholders in local communities all over the world.

Whilst we aim to generate money for our investors, an equally important goal is to make a difference to the lives of all our stakeholders through our responsible actions.  Together, this will help ensure the company is still here in another 250 years’ time!

At Coats, we believe that arts and crafts can be more than just a source of fun.  Taking part in creative activities can be therapeutic and help people express themselves, gain confidence, and develop new skills.  This is especially true for children with learning difficulties for whom arts and crafts are a proven learning aid when conventional teaching styles fail. 

In 2014, Coats Colombia continued supporting a project in Pereira called the Lanitas de Vida Foundation (Yarns of Life).  The initiative supports children with learning difficulties at the Carlos Castro College, by teaching them to knit their own garments, and sell the final products at local fairs. 

Coats Colombia has supported the programme by donating wool and other craft materials and by providing funding for teachers.  Lanitas de Vita is successfully helping the children focus their attention, earn some money, learn a new skill, and stay in school.

Lanitas de Vida  Columbia 1

A second permanent Coats Colombia partnership is with the League Against Cancer.  Coats is teaching patients and relatives in the chemotherapy and renal dialysis units in Pereira to weave garments, to make their treatment sessions more enjoyable and in some cases to boost family income.  In 2014, the project reached 340 patients and relatives, with Coats donating products and helping to fund the teachers.

 

Dialysis patients

Columbia 2

As part of Coats’ global Community Engagement initiative staff at Stockley Park head office in the UK have recently partnered with local schools in the area on a range of educational activities. One such activity was offering a work experience programme with a local secondary school during the summer of 2014.                         

In the UK work placement is compulsory for all students aged 15, so structured programmes of this kind provide students with valuable experience. A total of four students from the school were each assigned to different departments (Digital, IT, Finance and jointly, Communications & Global Services) and they were each allocated a mentor.  The students were integrated into the working day so that they had the chance to experience a ‘taster’ of a real work environment.   Each afternoon a guest speaker from some of the departments not mentoring a student (HR, R&D and Tax) gave a short presentation on their area of the business.  To finish the week the students were asked to give a short presentation on their own work experience and learnings, followed by longer joint presentation on ‘issues facing a global company’.

The feedback from the school was very positive – ‘We are delighted to be working with Coats plc and all our students who undertook work experience with the company had an amazing week and gained a true insight in to how a global company operates……we hope to work and build the relationship to the mutual benefit of all those involved.’

Coats UK schools image

Textiles is one of the two pillars of our global Community Engagement programme and colleagues in Coats Turkey recently launched an initiative called “If you don’t wear it, let someone else wear it” or 'Giymiyorsaniz giydirin' in Turkish. Coats Turkey clothing scheme
The aim of the initiative was to establish a recycling scheme where employees donated old clothes and household textiles which are then recycled through a local charity. The scheme was run in partnership with the local Bursa City Committee.  

Once all the donated clothing was collected, a team of volunteers gave their time to sorting and placing the clothes into boxes so they could be distributed easily to communities in the city. More than 600 items of clothing were distributed the last time the project was run.

The number of volunteers on the project been steadily growing and it is now run twice a year within Coats Turkey.

Coats Turkey recycle team
Volunteers sorted donated clothing into boxes for easy distribution 

In September 2014 a group of Coats employees prepared and served lunch at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.  The group arrived at 10:30 am and prepared a hot meal (consisting of a main course, two side dishes, dessert and drinks) which was served to almost 200 men during lunch time. 

All the men were appreciative and enjoyed the meal – and since they usually only receive a sandwich for lunch, the hot food was well received.

After lunch was served and cleaned up, the group was given a tour of the facility and discussed the various programmes the Shelter offers to get the residents back on their feet and into permanent housing and jobs.  

The experience was rewarding for the group, who appreciated being able to give back to those less fortunate.  Every member of the team agreed that this was a worthwhile project and are on board to hopefully do it again in the near future.

Coats Charlotte team

The textile and apparel industry is one of the largest industries in Sri Lanka, and the revenues from it are key to the country’s prosperity. The cottage textile industry also generates important income for communities across Sri Lanka.  Coats believes in supporting local artisans in traditional crafts and textile production, so they can prosper in the future and provide income for local people.

Since 2011, Coats Sri Lanka has been working with the Sri Lankan Design Festival (SLDF) to support and promote local apparel, craft and design.  We have donated Coats threads and given advice to community projects across the country.  These projects have successfully supported traditional and artisanal crafts and textile production.

Traditional lace-making in southern Sri Lanka

The traditional lace-making community in southern Sri Lanka has long been in need of revivial.  In 2011, Coats started donating thread to several artisans to help rekindle the dying craft of pillow-lace or handmade Beeralu lace.  These artisans have produced a range of exquisite laces for garments and accessories, and the results have been displayed at the SLDF fashion shows.

Traditional lace making

Hand-woven textiles in Divulapitiya village

Coats Sri Lanka has also been supporting artisans in the hand-woven textile industry in Divulapitiya village in Gampaha.  The Divulapitiya village has a unique cottage industry.  While textile weavers across the island used traditional cotton yarn to make fabrics, the artisans in this village use regular machine sewing thread for weaving.  The resulting textiles are fine due to the thin thread and vibrant thanks access to unlimited colours.  Once again, Coats gave these artisans coloured thread that could be incorporated into their textiles.  Many garments made with these fabrics have also been showcased at the SLDF fashion shows.

Hand weaving loom, Sri LankaSri Lanka Fashion show 2012

Coats is committed to being a good corporate citizen and an active member of the local communities in which it operates.  In January 2013, Coats began supporting a project in the Dominican Republic to teach a group of local women how to sew.  The aim was to support local enterprise in the community by providing a way for the group to make money, so they can improve their family situation by selling the items they have learned to make.

Coats donated the thread to support the project, and our partner in the Dominican Republic, ‘Perell’, helpfully organised on-the-ground support such as trucks to deliver the thread.

The training lasted for five days, teaching the group the skills they needed and providing them with patterns to make products.  Feedback to date has been extremely positive – the women involved have expressed delight at their new ability to make textile items, both for sale and for their families.  Coats’ donation has ensured the programme has enough thread to continue for the foreseeable future. 

Coats community sewing project in Dominican Republic

Across our sites in 70 different countries we encourage our teams to engage with their communities in ways that best suit them and their circumstances.  We understand that in each locality cultures and needs vary.  Diversity and inclusion is important to Coats across the company as is the health and well-being of the community.  

About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning[1].  Like a lot of developing countries, Bangladesh has a high proportion of people with disabilities who need care and support.   

CRP is an organisation working across Bangladesh to support people with spinal cord injuries.  They provide comprehensive assistance to patients after an injury, helping them through physical, emotional and economic rehabilitation, as well as integration back into their home and community.   

Coats Bangladesh is proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the work of CRP by donating 10 wheelchairs to their centre.  This is in addition to supporting the on-going work of the rehabilitation centre which offers sewing machine training to patients. 

Coats Bangladesh CRP 1

[1] World Report on Disability , World Bank and World Health Organisation 2011

 

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