REI Co-op Climate Policy Platform
Updated August 2022
Aug 12, 2022
At REI, our mission is to connect every person to the power of the outdoors and engage them in the fight to protect it. We believe climate change poses an existential risk to our co-op, society, and planet and disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.
We’ve put the planet first for over 80 years. We’ve actively worked to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions since 2006 and have been climate neutral in our operations since 2020. We’ve been a leader in green buildings, renewable energy, industry-wide sustainability standards, carbon sequestration, and outdoor stewardship. We’ve been an early and outspoken advocate within the recreation industry for climate action.
But we know this is still not enough.
As the nation suffers increasingly severe weather events – disrupting lives, livelihoods and our ability to enjoy time outside -- we are redoubling our work to reduce our own impact and pushing harder than ever for government policies that move the entire economy. Keeping global average temperatures within 1.5*C of pre-industrial levels will take a society-wide effort. REI is collaborating with other business and community leaders to set bold goals to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We are taking action in four areas:
- Regreening our Urban and Suburban Areas: Planting trees in urban and suburban communities helps mitigate urban heat islands, increases carbon sequestration, and improves health and quality of life – especially in communities that have been traditionally left behind.
- Investing in Natural Climate Solutions: We cannot only rely on technical solutions to natural problems. We must also take advantage of the benefits nature can provide. This includes reforestation, improved forest and wetland management, and carbon sequestration.
- Offering More Low-Carbon Transportation Alternatives: Investing in cleaner, alternative modes of transportation, including bicycling, walking, mass transit, and electrification of vehicles will decrease emissions and make our communities better, healthier places to live.
- Supporting Green Buildings & Low-Carbon Energy Solutions: Building green infrastructure, including fully electric buildings, carbon-free grid electricity, and using public lands for renewable energy.
This work must directly involve and prioritize the needs of low-income and minority communities who are disproportionally affected by the impacts of climate change.
We have crafted this agenda to intentionally drive multiple co-benefits. In addition to taking on climate change, these policies will create jobs, increase opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, improve public health and community well-being, and counteract longstanding inequities.
By 2030, we aim to reduce our emissions 55% from a 2019 baseline. This science-based target is aligned with the UN and International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) guidance on what is required for society to remain on a 1.5 degree pathway and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
While the headlines on climate may sometimes feel dire, we at REI feel cause for hope. Elected officials, community leaders, and businesses like REI are joining together more than ever to speak with one voice for bold action that puts communities and the planet first. Momentum is clearly growing with more companies, state, local and federal governments making commitments and taking actions to secure the future health of our planet. We hope you will join us in this fight.
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.