Our aspiration is to be a zero-waste-to-landfill organization by 2020. Metrics against our ability to achieve this goal have been set as a key performance indicator (KPI) within REI’s business divisions and included with other business metrics, such as sales and financial performance. Progress against our KPIs is assessed by our leadership throughout the year.
Reducing our waste contributions requires steady innovation and a commitment by teams across our company. Our progress is also linked to our product stewardship efforts and involvement with the Outdoor Industry Association’s packaging guidelines that are part of the Eco Index.
For more information on our strategy and plans to achieve our 2020 zero waste goal, visit the stewardship and REI-brand sections of our website. Specifics on how we measure our waste are included in the methodology appendix of our report.
In previous stewardship reports we provided results for the amounts of recycled waste in the context of tons and percentage recycled. These data points have been omitted in the 2011 report because our KPI is focused on the metric of tons of waste. Recycling and diversion remain important and help REI reduce our overall construction and operational waste-to-landfill KPI.
Construction waste from new store openings and our Madison, Wis. remodel increased our waste to landfill by 100 tons from 2010. However, the total amount of our operational waste was offset by absolute reductions of 182 tons, resulting in a decrease of 2.1 percent.
Our distribution centers continue to divert the majority of their operational waste from the landfill. The Bedford, Pa., facility reduced its waste to 27 tons in 2011, down from 32 tons in 2010. The Sumner, Wash. distribution center reduced its 2011 waste to 36 tons, from 69 tons in 2010. This decrease is attributed to optimizing waste hauling and adding composting to the facility.