- Energy Impact
- Employee Commuting & Travel
- REI Adventures Travel
- Product Transportation
Energy use is one of the largest contributors to REI's climate impact. By actively managing our energy consumption and expenses, we gain insight into fundamental risks and opportunities, and minimize our exposure to financial and business continuity risks. The energy choices we make now will have impacts for decades to come.
Renewable energy powers REI. We're committed to increasing our energy efficiency and switching to new renewable power sources wherever possible. We also invest in self-generation options, such as solar technology.
Here's more about some of the ways we're managing our energy use and increasing our efficiency:
- Solar technology in many of our stores
- Green power contracts
- Energy efficiencies
- Data Center Retrofit
- Elimination of all incandescent bulbs from our retail stores
- Installation of highly energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures
- Greater reliance on skylights and natural lighting
- Heating & cooling (HVAC)
- Aggressive retrofitting and replacement of outdated HVAC equipment with sophisticated new models
- Centralized monitoring
- Energy-saving techniques such as on-demand ventilation and airflow
- Measurement of our stores' energy efficiency against similar buildings nationwide with the ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool
- Data Center Retrofit
Employee commuting and corporate travel—to stores, distribution centers, headquarters and industry meetings and events—are business realities for REI. By creating programs to help diminish the environmental impacts of commuting, we aim to support both employees and our economic bottom line.
Our approach is to first understand and measure our employees' commuting and travel footprint. Armed with solid information, we then develop methods to reduce car commuting and inspire employees to use alternative means.
REI provides meaningful incentives for our employees to reduce the environmental impacts of commuting and corporate travel. These include:
- A 50 percent transit subsidy
- Bike storage and showers at many locations
- Telecommuting options at our headquarters location
- Web conferencing and other technology tools
Our travel company, REI Adventures, offers global trips that maintain the highest standards of responsible travel. We believe that the places we visit are most valuable as intact resources. We also recognize that air travel and other forms of transportation are primary sources of GHG emissions.
As we introduce travelers to inspiring places, people and cultures, we seek to both create advocates for those places and to minimize the impact of our travel.
In 2011, we partnered with The Nature Conservancy to implement an afforestation project on the Bayou Bartholomew property in Louisiana, which will restore forest continuity with the adjacent Chemin-a-Haut State Park. Funding provided voluntarily by REI Adventures will finance the future retirement of carbon offsets from this project. Through this effort, we supported The Nature Conservancy's restoration of this forest ecosystem, as well as the design of a carbon project.
This carbon project has been validated and registered through a credible third-party certification system (the Verified Carbon Standard). The effort will contribute to long-term systemic change, benefitting the atmosphere and the forest ecosystem, and has been designed to produce verifiable carbon offsets in the future.
REI's success depends on moving products manufactured around the world into our distribution centers, stores and to our customers. As we grow, our shipping volumes will increase. The question is clear: How can we transport products more effectively and keep our greenhouse gas emissions in check?
We strive to make our packaging and shipping operations as efficient as possible. We work with vendors, shipping companies and industry colleagues to pioneer new approaches to this complex puzzle.
We helped create the Outdoor Industry Association Eco-Index to define a methodology for measuring the environmental impacts of our packaging and shipping operations. We're also implementing new processes to optimize and consolidate our ordering and shipping processes.