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

Our company values and standards are core to our CR programme.

Coats operates to the highest business and employment standards across our entire global operations, and maintaining a working environment that we can be proud of 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.

To promote this understanding, in 2013, we repeated our ethics training courses for all 4,000+ of our senior employees and all those with customer or supplier facing roles. We plan to refresh the training content in 2014, and we will continue to repeat the courses on a periodic basis.

The programme, developed in 2011 in partnership with the international law firm Eversheds, consists of three online courses, which cover:

1. Ethics in general including:

  • Fraud
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Environmental
  • Health and Safety
  • Employment

2. Bribery and Corruption

3. Competition Law

To complete the training, all employees have to pass a test on each subject. This confirms that they have read and understood the relevant Group policies. The courses have been translated into the 18 most common languages across Coats, and have been included in the on-boarding process for new recruits.

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

Our People

We employ over 20,000 people worldwide and we value our workforce highly.  

With employees from so many different cultures based in over 70 countries, it is vital that we listen to what they think about Coats.  This helps us create an excellent working environment and retain and motivate our people across the company.

We do this through our annual employee engagement surveys, and once again this year we achieved a high participation rate – 95% 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 2013 overall engagement score (which shows how proud people are to work at Coats and how willing they are to work towards common goals) rose by three percentage points to 80%.  This outstanding result places us in the upper quartile of the global database of Kenexa, a leading specialist survey company, and is testimony to the efforts of the many employees and managers who strive to make Coats a great place to work.   

In 2013, we also increased our scores in all other areas of the survey including:

  • Performance enablement index (up three percentage points on 2012) which reflects how well employees think the company enables them to perform in their role
  • Management effectiveness index (up three percentage points) which reflects what employees think of their manager’s strengths and how they impact on the team
  • Growth and development (up four percentage points)
  • Recognition (up three percentage points) and
  • Teamwork (up four percentage points)

We are particularly proud of our performance on Corporate Responsibility.  90% of our employees feel that Coats is socially and environmentally responsible (up three percentage points), 94% believe that we are committed to employee safety (up three percentage points), and 87% feel that our senior leadership are committed to ethical business practices (up four percentage points).  

This is very good news at the group level, but we know that there will be areas which need improvement when we analyse the results in more detail.  Throughout 2014, more detailed results will be shared with individual teams so they can begin developing action plans.

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

At Coats, we value our employees and we are dedicated to supporting them and their families.

For example, in the United States the Coats North America Educational Scholarship Foundation has granted over 200 scholarships since 1965, to assist and support children of our employees into higher education across the country.

Each scholarship comprises an award which goes toward paying for tuition fees and provides a tremendous benefit to each recipient, helping give them the opportunity to further their education, grow and develop.

This year, scholarships were awarded to four outstanding candidates who demonstrated leadership, exemplary character, a background of community service, strong academic performance, and financial need.  They will be going on to pursue courses in areas such as civil engineering, information technology and nursing.

We are proud to be able to continue to support the growth and education of families within Coats.

2013 Education Scholarship recpients

Education Scholarship Foundation recipients

Improving employees’ access to information is very important throughout the Coats organisation and our units all around the world are constantly seeking to improve in this area.

One example of this is our factory in Nagyatad, Hungary, which has taken steps to link individual efforts to plant-wide results.  

A number of initiatives form part of its employee engagement action plan and to reach employees, different methods of communications are being used and improved:

  • Monthly meeting agendas have been expanded so more topics can be discussed.
  • The entire plant meets every six months to hear performance results.
  • Bulletin boards and large monitors are kept up to date weekly with internal plant and Coats information.

The plant is also developing an internal website for its employees and has been installing kiosks in production areas and in the warehouse to allow employees who do not have computers to access information.

Employees in Hungary looking at communal computer screen

 

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

As a manufacturing business it is important that we keep our employees safe and we rely on the co-operation of all our employees to achieve success.  Over the past year we have been rolling out Behaviour Based Safety programmes around the world.  As a result we have observed increased levels of health and safety awareness and changes in behaviour have been noticeable.    

Here are four success stories from across the world:

  • Last year Bangladesh recorded 1 million accident-free work hours, rewarding all employees with a special key ring;
  • Coats Thailand recorded 1.5 million accident-free man hours in March and all employees received a celebratory hat in recognition of their contribution;
  • The Greer distribution centre, in the US, hosted a cookout to celebrate a whole year of accident-free operations;
  • The thread and zip manufacturing operations in our Shenzhen, China plant recently passed the milestone of 20 million working hours without an accident.

Accident Free Working Hours

 

 

The Coats Crafts plant in Nagyatad, Hungary recognises the value of its employees in a variety of ways.  Each quarter, employees are empowered to choose the most outstanding employee – with the award presented by the department manager.  Each year, one employee from the quarterly winners is chosen as employee of the year and receives an award at the plant-wide family day.

Understanding the importance of experienced and dedicated teams, Nagyatad employees are recognised when they reach five years of service, and every five years after that is acknowledged as another service milestone.  A meal is held for all employees reaching a milestone and everyone is recognised by his or her manager.

During the year, employees are invited to meals to celebrate outstanding group results or significant events.  Often, management shows its appreciation by serving the meal to the employees.

In 2012, a recognition meal was introduced for employees participating in group volunteering activities.  Their families were invited and everyone’s efforts were acknowledged.

Hungary Image 1

Creating an atmosphere of team spirit at the Nagyatad plant improves morale by creating a supportive workplace environment, and in many cases supports the local community as well.  Team activities include a knitting club, sports days, fishing competitions, volunteer activities, family days, and flower garden building.

Hungary Image 2

Ensuring the safety of our employees is a top priority for Coats. We have a robust approach to minimising the risks to our employees and visitors to our business.

Chart illustrating the OSHA and Coats Turkey's Recordable Rate for US Textile Mills

Driven by the efforts of local management, Coats factory in Bursa, Turkey, achieved remarkable improvement in its Health & Safety (H&S) performance from 2007 to 2009.  The “Recordable Rate” (reportable health and safety incidents per hundred full time employees) dropped from 3.29 in 2007 to 1.23 in 2009.  However, to secure further improvement, we recognised that a different strategy would be required.  Based on previous positive experience from across the group, we decided to implement a tool called Behaviour Based Safety (BBS), which Coats Turkey launched in July 2010.

The BBS road map is built upon the following ‘pillars’:

  • Training the workforce to be safety conscious, to use safe work methods and embrace BBS principles
  • Communication of H&S news / statistics / documents through billboards, posters and LCD screens
  • Observation Teams consisting of volunteer employees (mostly from the factory floor) to carry out daily observations of co-workers against a checklist of items
  • H&S Suggestion (“Red Tag”) System to encourage the workforce to report anything they might consider as a risk to safety
  • Accident / Near Miss Investigation & Reporting to analyse all incidents for root causes and take preventive actions
  • Recognition given to the employees and departments with high safety standards and performance, to encourage safe behaviour in others

In the relatively short time since Coats Turkey started its BBS journey towards a safer workplace, positive results have been achieved, with the Recordable Rate now at 1.10.

To ensure that we are meeting the expectations of our stakeholders, including our customers and the brands we supply, we have introduced a programme of auditing at our operations in China.  This helps us to make sure that we are adhering to our robust CR standards, as well as offering us opportunities to improve the way we operate. Starting in mid-2011, we introduced a training programme for employees that would help us do this.  The initiative progressed through two phases:

Employees that participated in training programme in China

Certified CR Lead Auditor Training Programme

This external training programme (conducted by the Intertek testing agency) is designed to equip attendees with the skill sets, capabilities and up-to-date intelligence on environmental issues, practices and effective performance management.  It provides participants with a systematic and holistic approach to managing social compliance audits, covering the essential key topics, such as audit criteria/standards, typical codes of conduct, auditor professionalism, obtaining objective evidence, overall audit workflow, on-site audit processes, audit tools, writing corrective action plans, writing audit reports, etc.

Coats China’s Shenzhen unit sent participants from different functions (CR, HR, H&S, Procurement) to attend, and after five days comprehensive training, they all passed the training exam and were officially recognised as “CPI Certified CSR Auditors” by the Compliance Practitioners Initiative (CPI) and City & Guilds.

CR Internal Auditor Training Programme

In order to expand the CR Auditor Team within Coats China, the accredited Lead Auditors developed our own CR Internal Auditor Training Programme using the CPI materials, sharing their experience and knowledge by playing the trainer’s role.  A number of individuals from three business units and different departments were selected to participate in the training.  Following the classroom training participants underwent an assessment which they had to pass in order to become qualified Coats CR Internal Auditors.  So far 21 trainees have completed the programme and more training is planned.

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 8th year.  This list is drawn from all current regulations and directives in the countries in which we operate, as well as our customers’ own restricted substances lists.  The CRSL now extends to some 680 chemicals and 150 banned dyes.  We are proud of the fact that our CRSL is one of the most exacting in the industry and all of our suppliers are required to sign compliance to our CRSL.

Coats has 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 adidas, Nike, Puma, Li Ning, C&A and H&M.  The target set by this group was to have 11 ‘priority chemicals’ eliminated from the apparel and footwear supply chain by 2020.  In our version 8 of the CRSL, we placed a ‘Usage ban’ on all of these 11 hazardous chemicals and have systematically worked them out of our supply chain.  For example, in June 2012 we detected low levels of one of these ‘priority chemicals’ - an alkyl phenol ethoxylate (APEO) - in one of our thread products.  APEOs, although commonly found in washing and cleaning products, are being banned more and more as they are endocrine disruptors in humans and animals.  Although the measured amount of this APEO in our thread was well below the current industry limits, we immediately tracked down the source of the APEO and worked with the raw material supplier to replace the non-compliant spin finish with an APEO-free alternative.  Now all of our thread and zip products are completely APEO-free.  There will be no APEO on our products and neither will there be any APEO in our effluent.

M&S ChinosConsumers are increasingly considering the environment in their buying decisions and brands such as Marks & Spencer (M&S) are responding by setting challenging sustainability goals for their products.  By 2020, M&S intends that all its products will have “Plan A” sustainability attributes and the company is working with their suppliers to help it meet this goal.    

Coats is committed to sustainable product development and has a reputation in the marketplace as a trusted global supply partner.  As a result, Coats EcoVerde zips and threads have been chosen for the new M&S sustainable garment range focusing on some of their key “Iconic” products.  The range is made in the most sustainable way possible and relies on close collaboration and commitment from key supply chain partners, such as Coats.  The “Iconic” suit, the first of the range, was launched by M&S in 2012.

As a part of this project, the Coats Opti team in China created a 100% recycled zip which is believed to be the only one of its kind on the market.  A range of recycled materials is used in manufacturing these zips, all supported by traceability documentation and proof of recycling.  The brass is sourced from household electronics such as switches and contacts, the copper comes from recycling electrical wires, and the plastic is derived from recycled bottles.

 

Rowan Purelife collection

Recycling is becoming increasingly important in a world coming to terms with the challenges of environmental and climatic 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 both our Crafts and Industrial divisions.

Rowan Purelife Recycled Handknitting Yarns

Under our Rowan handknitting brand we have introduced the Purelife collection of yarns made from recycled garments.   The first stage of the process is to sort the garments - these may be old and used, faulty, or even new - by colour and quality.  After being sterilised, the garments are then sorted by fibre composition (e.g. put all the 100% cotton ones together, all the 100% silk garments together etc.).  It is at this stage that superfluous parts such as any linings, buttons, ribbons, seams and trims are removed.  The sorted garments are then cut into pieces and introduced into a fabric shredder that reduces them to loose fibres.  These are then processed to make regenerated fibre, which is then spun into the cotton, silk and viscose yarns of high quality. 

In this way we not only recycle materials which might otherwise end up in a landfill, but we also produce yarns which can be made into fashionable garments with a vintage allure. Since launching the Purelife Revive and Renew brands three years ago, we have sold over 27 tonnes of yarn.

EcoVerde Industrial Sewing & Embroidery Threads

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 was the first of these products to be launched and 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.

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

Coats EcoVerde organic cotton sewing thread

In addition to the recycled polyester range, Coats has its EcoVerde organic cotton sewing thread, made from the best quality Giza organic cotton staple fibre.  This is available in an undyed state (for sewing post-dyed garments), or in a wide selection of colours using only dyestuffs certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

Our Manufacturing

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 two 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 4.6 million cones, saving over 100 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

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

 

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.

As part of our commitment to minimise our impact on the environment, we seek to use materials in the most efficient way that we can.

Coats cones on a weighing scale

By re-engineering the standard two degree cone – as used for Epic, Astra, and other popular industrial thread brands – Coats India has been able to reduce plastic (polypropylene) usage by over 30%.

The initial challenge faced by our cone manufacturer was the modification of the moulds to produce the reduced weight cone, without affecting its strength or any other performance characteristics.  Coats India has three different types of cone winding machines and this made the initial trials and developments all the more complex.  Extensive trials were conducted using all these winding machines for different thread products, and samples were tested and evaluated by the Marketing team.  Following the successful completion of the trials, the new, lighter cone was introduced in all Coats India’s manufacturing locations over the course of six months.

In 2011 – the first full year of using the lighter cone – Coats India consumed 22 million of them across all of its manufacturing locations, representing a reduction in plastic usage of 110 tonnes.

Water is a key resource for us. We recognise that it is scarce in many parts of the world, including in some of the countries in which we operate.

Coats plant in Turkey

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a membrane-technology filtration method that removes salts and other impurities from solutions, and can produce water that meets the demanding specifications that are required for accurate dyeing. RO is achieved by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the contaminant is retained on the pressurised side of the membrane and the pure water is allowed to pass to the other side.

At our plant in Turkey, effluent used to be directly discharged to the Bursa Organised Industrial District Management (BOID)'s Waste Water Treatment Plant without any treatment. However, in July 2011 we installed an RO system to re-use some of this effluent water instead of it all going to waste. In terms of efficiency, the RO system manages to convert nearly 70% of the effluent into clean water for use in the dyeing process, the rest is discharged to the BOID's Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Coats Turkey is looking forward to a significant reduction in total water consumption with the RO system's first full year of operation in 2012.

Our Environment

We recognise that the Earth’s climate is changing, and as a significant 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.  Since 2000, we have focused on reducing our energy consumption and have seen a dramatic reduction in our carbon footprint.

In 2013, the carbon footprint of our operations (excluding transport) was just under 362 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), down 4% compared to the previous year, and nearly 50% less than 2000 levels.  In terms of the products we manufacture, we have brought down our greenhouse gas emissions per unit of dyed product from 5.6 kg CO2e in 2012 to 5.3 kg in 2013. 

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. 

With a further 4% reduction in 2013, our carbon footprint has nearly halved since 2000.

Global GHG Emissions 2013

* Based on 2013 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 from our global operations include those arising from our businesses and exclude fugitive emissions from refrigerants, which represent less than 0.5% of GHG emissions from our business operations.

 

During 2013 we saw an increase in the amount of energy taken from renewable sources, particularly wind power, and also an increase in the amount of energy produced at our sites – for example through biomass generation.  During 2013, we installed a new biomass steam generation plant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which has been in operation since August, a heat recovery system in Hanoi, and a firewood boiler in India.

Last year we used 916 million kWh of energy in total which is a reduction of over 5% versus 2012.  In 2000, the overall figure was 1.7 billion kWh.

We have made good progress over the past 13 years and will continue to drive down our energy consumption and reduce emissions from our business.

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

 

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

In an effort to help improve our planet, in 2013 the Coats team in Indonesia created a ‘Go Green’ programme for all its efforts in this area. These range from plant and operational efficiencies through to community action and employee engagement.

As part of its ‘Go Green’ programme of activities, the Indonesian team has started assessing its resource use, both in the office and as part of product distribution. 

One example of this is in the area of Consolidated deliveries

By reviewing how deliveries were made to our customers, the team realised that many shipments could be consolidated.  In some cases we were not taking full advantage of customer lead times and deliveries were being rushed unnecessarily. 

As a result fuel use has been reduced, helping to lower our carbon emissions.  In addition, less paper is being used by the invoicing and warehouse departments to create invoices and delivery notes.  All of this has been achieved while maintaining high customer satisfaction. 

At Coats, we value the natural world and do what we can to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment.  We monitor our energy use, carbon emissions, waste and effluent water, and make reductions where we can.  Respecting our planet is much more than just a management concern.

For many employees, ensuring there is green space in our communities is important to improve the quality of life for them and their families, now and in the future.  In Indonesia, protecting green space - particularly inside cities - is a priority, and a National Tree Planting Day was organised by the Environment Minster and the Mayor of Bogor (where one of our plants is located, about 40 miles south of the capital Jakarta).

Our local team in Bogor recognised the importance of additional green space for the city and donated funds for the event.  In addition, Coats employees gave their time to the cause by helping to plant trees in Bogor Park. 

Coats team in Bogor, Indonesia planting trees

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.)

Water is a key resource for us. We recognise that it is scarce in many parts of the world, including in some of the countries in which we operate.

Coats plant in Turkey

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a membrane-technology filtration method that removes salts and other impurities from solutions, and can produce water that meets the demanding specifications that are required for accurate dyeing. RO is achieved by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the contaminant is retained on the pressurised side of the membrane and the pure water is allowed to pass to the other side.

At our plant in Turkey, effluent used to be directly discharged to the Bursa Organised Industrial District Management (BOID)'s Waste Water Treatment Plant without any treatment. However, in July 2011 we installed an RO system to re-use some of this effluent water instead of it all going to waste. In terms of efficiency, the RO system manages to convert nearly 70% of the effluent into clean water for use in the dyeing process, the rest is discharged to the BOID's Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Coats Turkey is looking forward to a significant reduction in total water consumption with the RO system's first full year of operation in 2012.

Our Partners

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

Sometimes the way to maximise our social and environmental impact is by partnering with established organisations that have experience in tackling social issues.  

An example of this is our partnership in Portugal where we joined forces with CAIS, a not-for-profit organisation, whose mission is to contribute to the overall improvement of living conditions for the homeless and economically vulnerable in the country.

Coats supported ‘CAIS Recicla’, a fashion-based recycling initiative, that takes Coats craft materials that would otherwise have gone to to waste and ‘upcycles’ them to create new fashion accessories. These items are all produced, marketed and sold by homeless people employed by CAIS with all the proceeds used to provide them with a livelihood and support the project’s continued growth.

Images below show key members of the Coats and CAIS teams and pieces created for the CAIS Recicla collection.

Portugal team

CAIS recyled collection

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

To ensure that we are meeting the expectations of our stakeholders, including our customers and the brands we supply, we have introduced a programme of auditing at our operations in China.  This helps us to make sure that we are adhering to our robust CR standards, as well as offering us opportunities to improve the way we operate. Starting in mid-2011, we introduced a training programme for employees that would help us do this.  The initiative progressed through two phases:

Participants of training programme in China

Certified CR Lead Auditor Training Programme

This external training programme (conducted by the Intertek testing agency) is designed to equip attendees with the skill sets, capabilities and up-to-date intelligence on environmental issues, practices and effective performance management.  It provides participants with a systematic and holistic approach to managing social compliance audits, covering the essential key topics, such as audit criteria/standards, typical codes of conduct, auditor professionalism, obtaining objective evidence, overall audit workflow, on-site audit processes, audit tools, writing corrective action plans, writing audit reports, etc.

Coats China’s Shenzhen unit sent participants from different functions (CR, HR, H&S, Procurement) to attend, and after five days comprehensive training, they all passed the training exam and were officially recognised as “CPI Certified CSR Auditors” by the Compliance Practitioners Initiative (CPI) and City & Guilds.

CR Internal Auditor Training Programme

In order to expand the CR Auditor Team within Coats China, the accredited Lead Auditors developed our own CR Internal Auditor Training Programme using the CPI materials, sharing their experience and knowledge by playing the trainer’s role.  A number of individuals from three business units and different departments were selected to participate in the training.  Following the classroom training participants underwent an assessment which they had to pass in order to become qualified Coats CR Internal Auditors.  So far 21 trainees have completed the programme and more training is planned.

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

Coats takes great pride in the number and variety of community projects we have around the world.

In April 2013, Coats Odorhei in Romania took part in global Earth Day initiatives.   Earth Day, initated by the European Climate Foundation, is an annual event celebrated in more than 192 countries, to raise awareness of environmental protection.

A team of Coats employees and their families cleaned and collected rubbish at 10 playgrounds in Ordorhei and along the Küküllõ riverside.  The original aim was to only clean one playgound in Odorhei, but the enthusiatic team grasped the challenge with both hands, managing a total of 10!

Overall the teams collected 250 litres of rubbish and the event was such a success that it will be repeated again in 2014.

Coats Romania cleans up on Earth Day

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

Coats is a global company and has a presence in many countries all around the world.  When a tragedy strikes one of our communities, we empathise with their suffering and feel it is our duty to help.  These communities are where our employees live and the relationships we have with them are important.  

In 2012, two tragic earthquakes hit the Emilia Romagna region in Northern Italy, killing 26 people, injuring dozens, and causing widespread damage to domestic, commercial and historic buildings.

Damaged building during 2012 earthquake in Emilia Romagna

In response, the local knitters association, ‘Cuore di Maglia’, sent items of clothing and blankets to the families that lost their homes and were forced to live temporarily in tents.   This initiative caught the attention of our colleagues at Coats Cucirini, who sponsored the programme by donating hand-knitted pieces of children’s clothing to the affected families.  

The garments were knitted by the skilled members of the ‘Madama Knit’ handknitting workshop sponsored by Coats, using Rowan and Schachenmayr yarns.  The photograph below shows samples of the clothes that were donated.

Childrens clothing knitted by the Madam Knit workshop for affected families

 

Due to our global presence, when a disaster strikes somewhere in the world Coats is rarely far from the impacted areas.  In August 2012 the Philippines were hit with severe weather as a tropical storm combined with monsoon rainfall to cause severe flooding.

Coats Manila Bay saw waters rise on site but luckily they did not reach our buildings.  All employees remained safe and unharmed and we reported no damage or loss.  The team was credited for their efforts and commitment which resulted in minimal interruption to operations and distribution.

However, although no one was injured, many employees’ homes were affected.  We responded by distributing emergency relief bags to all our people (272 in total).  In addition we made loan assistance available so those who suffered losses could recover quickly.

Flood Philippines 1

Flood Philippines 2

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

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

With operations around the world we are proud of the way our local teams develop relationships with members of their communities.  Health, something often taken for granted, is a necessary starting point for any individual and community to flourish.  We see the health of our people and our communities as important because it underpins productivity and happiness.  

In Turkey, our team took the opportunity to support a local charity, LÖSEV - The Foundation for Children with Leukaemia, as part of its annual New Year’s gift-giving tradition.  Before the start of 2013, each of our key business partners in Turkey received a certificate signed by the Chairman of LÖSEV thanking them for the donation we made on their behalf.  Nearly US$3,000 was given to support LÖSEV.  

The charity supports families as they cope with the heavy burden of caring for a sick child, which is often in large part financial.  The first priority for LÖSEV is that the children receive the treatment they need.  This helps families avoid difficult trade-offs in providing healthcare by offering financial assistance.  In addition, emotional support and information is given to help them through the difficult time.

Turkey Leukemia

Recently, Coats Cadena Peru helped create the Largest Sweater in the World – officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records!  With the participation of more than 1,500 volunteer knitters, over 6,000 squares (each measuring 40 cm by 40 cm) were made using Coats Cadena’s acrylic knitting yarn, which was donated by the company. 

These were then sewn together to form a sweater with a chest measurement of over 10 metres, body length of nearly 14 metres, and sleeves each over 6 metres long!  This massive garment was then lifted up on a huge structure in the car park of the Plaza San Miguel mall in Lima.

Children wearing ponchos

However, all these efforts were not simply aimed at getting into the record books.  After the raising ceremony, the gigantic sweater was taken to pieces and over 1,500 children’s ponchos were made with volunteers’ support. 

Volunteers making the knitted garment in Peru

The first donation helped 930 children in the community of Huancavelica, one of the poorest parts of Peru, located in the Andes.  Every year many children die in this area because of the harsh temperatures and lack of shelter from the cold.  The rest of the ponchos were given to children in the “Ticlio Chico” community, just outside Lima.

Helping the Coats Thailand ‘Family’

The recent flood crisis in Thailand has had a devastating effect on many Thai families.  Millions were displaced, agricultural land was swamped and factories flooded.  While our factory was lucky enough to remain unscathed, many of our employees’ homes were flooded, some to depths of up to two metres.  As a result many staff had to relocate their families to alternative accommodation in unaffected areas.  Coats Thailand’s Welfare Committee swiftly implemented the following package:

A Coat employee affected by flood

  1. We provided a hardship allowance for 40 employees and families who had to evacuate their homes but were still coming to work on a daily basis.
  2. As a preventative measure against rising flood levels, we relocated our finished goods warehouse to another part of Bangkok.  Staff who were forced to move to the new site were given a relocation allowance.
  3. Special leave was granted for those who needed extra time to relocate and/or clean up.

This was very well received by all the affected employees and was a real demonstration of positive teamwork within the Coats Thailand family.

The photos show some of Coats employees affected by flooding.

A Coat employee holding an umbrella

Helping Others

In addition, Coats Thailand set up a 'Flood Relief Volunteer Team' to support the Thai Red Cross Society.  Thai Red Cross relief volunteers produced on average 5,000 Red Cross Relief Kits per day with drinking water and other necessities which were distributed to flood victims in 32 provinces.

Thai Red Cross relief volunteers helping flood victims

We were proud that we did something on behalf of the Company to help flood victims in Thailand and we were very happy to greet and pay respect to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society) when she paid a surprise visit to the Thai Red Cross Society while the Coats team was volunteering.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

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 hroughout 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.

 

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