MEC publishes second accountability report

Outdoor retailer will ‘reach’ for new performance goals
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Vancouver – Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Canada's largest co-operative and a recognized sustainability leader, has published its second accountability report. The report, called Reach, details performance across the organization and sets out goals that MEC will strive for over the next three years.

“The 2007 report reflects a big change in MEC's approach to business planning,” said CEO David Labistour. “While the first report provided a picture of ‘where we were at', this one is focused on ‘where we are going.' This report is much more strategic, which will help us meet our goals.”

The report provides a thorough assessment of MEC's 2006 and 2007 performance in nine core areas—from product design and sourcing practices to member satisfaction and community support. Benchmarks of past performance and goals for future improvements are given for each of the nine areas.

“The report is a check on how we are doing and ensures we are accountable to our stakeholders, especially our member-owners and employees,” said Esther Speck, MEC's community and sustainability director. “Yet the value of the report is in driving change within MEC. By setting higher standards of performance in the report, we are building a culture of creative solutions and the will to do more.”

MEC's efforts to green its operations is evident in the 92 per cent waste diversion rate that it achieved in 2007. This exceeds the target of 90 per cent diversion that was set in the 2005 report.

Product sourcing continues to be an area with mixed results. As detailed in the report, 243 incidents of Vendor Code of Conduct violations were reported in the 34 factory audits that MEC conducted in 2007. Almost one-third of the violations involved health and safety infractions. MEC will deepen its efforts to address the violations.

MEC's first accountability report, Marking Our Route, was published in 2006. It was co-winner of the Best First Time Report at the Ceres-ACCA 2006 North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting.

The 2007 report is available as a downloadable pdf at mec.ca/sustainability.

MEC is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment, providing quality products and services for self-propelled activities like hiking, paddling and skiing. Established in 1971, MEC has more than 2.9 million members throughout Canada and around the world. A trusted brand, MEC operates 11 (soon 12) destination stores in central locations across Canada as well as a member service centre and e-commerce web sites, www.mec.ca.
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