PGI Releases Inaugural Sustainability Report Using Global Reporting Initiative Framework Followed by Leading Companies

Nonwovens Company Sets Green Goals for Environmental Footprint and Innovation

Jan 14, 2010, 16:15 ET from Polymer Group, Inc.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Polymer Group, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: POLGA; POLGB) (PGI) today announced it has released its inaugural 2008 Sustainability Report prepared following the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework used by leading companies. Available online, the first report covers PGI's sustainability initiatives in 2007-08.

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

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

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

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

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

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

PGI Sets Longer-Term Sustainability Goals

In the report, PGI outlined these five corporate-wide sustainability goals that it will set out to achieve by 2014:

  • Commercialize 10 new sustainable initiatives
  • Achieve a 10 percent per square meter reduction in carbon footprint, consumption of water and non-renewable resources, and generation of solid waste
  • Report sustainability results to GRI's highest "A" standard
  • Reduce recordable safety incidents to zero
  • Achieve a " low-risk" employee engagement benchmark

The report can be viewed and downloaded at PGI's corporate Web site. The company is presenting its sustainability approach using modern computer generated imagery with embedded motion graphics to increase the interactivity with the audience. PGI's report also is featured on the GRI Web site.

Polymer Group, Inc., one of the world's leading producers of nonwovens, is a global, technology-driven developer, producer and marketer of engineered materials. With the broadest range of process technologies in the nonwovens industry, PGI is a global supplier to leading consumer and industrial product manufacturers. The company operates 15 manufacturing and converting facilities in nine countries throughout the world.

Safe Harbor Statement

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These forwardlooking statements speak only as of the date of this release.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in such forwardlooking statements include: general economic factors including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, foreign currency translation rates, consumer confidence, trends in disposable income, changes in consumer demand for goods produced, and cyclical or other downturns; cost and availability of raw materials, labor and natural and other resources and the inability to pass raw material cost increases along to customers; changes to selling prices to customers which are based, by contract, on an underlying raw material index; substantial debt levels and potential inability to maintain sufficient liquidity to finance our operations and make necessary capital expenditures; inability to meet existing debt covenants; achievement of objectives for strategic acquisitions and dispositions; inability to achieve successful or timely start-up on new or modified production lines; reliance on major customers and suppliers; domestic and foreign competition; information and technological advances; risks related to operations in foreign jurisdictions; and changes in environmental laws and regulations. Investors and other readers are directed to consider the risks and uncertainties discussed in documents filed by Polymer Group, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

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SOURCE Polymer Group, Inc.