REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national outdoor gear and apparel retailer, released its fifth annual stewardship report, detailing the company's progress in calendar year 2010 to address its operational environmental impact, efforts to protect outdoor spaces, and performance in providing an inclusive and rewarding workplace.
REI’s 2010 annual stewardship report is available online at www.rei.com/stewardship. Stewardship is intentionally part of REI’s core purpose to “inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship” and this commitment is reflected across the company. The annual report provides performance metrics and milestones on REI’s efforts against its stated goals and how it incorporates the lens of stewardship into business decisions.
“REI is committed to pursuing environmental sustainability, operating in a socially responsible manner and reporting our progress to employees, members, customers and other stakeholders,” said Kevin Hagen, REI’s director of corporate social responsibility. “We’ve brought additional rigor around our metrics to monitor and report. This includes the addition of environmental metrics to our 2011 planning and budgeting process, which are currently being implemented to help us deliver on both environmental and financial performance.”
The company’s 2010 stewardship report, which outlines efforts across its headquarters, 114 stores and two distribution centers, is divided into three sections: Community, Sustainable Operations and Workplace.
The Community section highlights REI’s efforts to protect natural spaces by mobilizing volunteers through local programs, grants and nonprofit partnerships. Specific highlights include:
- 109,785 volunteer hours committed through 541 REI-hosted conservation projects to plant trees, restore trails, and clean parks and streams
- $3.7 million in grants provided to more than 330 nonprofit partners with a focus on conservation and outdoor recreation
- 23,454 miles of trail maintained and 27,353 acres of land restored to provide future outdoor experiences via REI’s support of its nonprofit partners
- 180,000 youth participated in REI’s Family Adventure Program by receiving an adventures journal via local store outreach efforts
The Sustainable Operations section highlights REI’s progress against five environmental strategies, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable paper usage, reducing waste and optimizing recycling, green building and product stewardship. Among the highlights are:
- REI’s net carbon impact of 7.3 percent was less than REI’s 2010 sales growth of 14 percent
- 2.4 percent less energy used in REI’s facilities, despite adding four new stores and relocating two retail locations to larger spaces
- A CO2 reduction of 2.9 percent in REI’s direct fulfillment, while growth in REI’s direct sales channel grew by 22.9 percent
- 58.4 percent of paper fiber purchases were Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified
- 74 percent of total operational waste was recycled, including more than 95 percent at REI’s two distribution centers
The Workplace section highlights the co-op’s efforts to create a welcoming and diverse workplace that values its employees as contributors to its ongoing success, and to ensure that its products are manufactured and sourced ethically under safe and fair working conditions. Highlights include:
- Ranked in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” list for 14 consecutive years
- REI’s annual survey results showed 87 percent of employees are positively engaged in the company’s work and mission, outperforming global high performing companies
- A 79 percent employee retention rate
- Established relationships with nearly 190 organizations to help REI recruit a diverse candidate pool for new employees
- The creation of a management oversight committee called the Fair Labor Oversight Committee that is accountable to REI’s board of directors’ Audit and Finance committee
REI issued its first report in 2007, which discussed social and environments efforts made during the 2006 calendar year. The co-op’s previous four stewardship reports are archived and maintained with open access for future reference at REI.com.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.