REI Releases Inaugural Stewardship Report

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced at its annual membership meeting the release of its first stewardship report.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced at its annual membership meeting the release of its first stewardship report. The report, available online at www.rei.com/stewardship, provides a review of the co-op's social and environmental priorities and efforts for 2006, and includes short and long-term aspirations for improvement.

“Our 2006 stewardship report represents an effort to provide a comprehensive look at many areas of our business such as cooperative giving and volunteerism, employee benefits, environmental impacts and responsible sourcing,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. “Through the process of developing our report, we committed to establishing baseline metrics and setting ambitious goals. We look forward to providing updates to our employees, members, communities and others on our progress.”

The full report is being published online for convenience and in consideration of the required resources in printing a full report. To supplement the online content, a brochure that summarizes the co-op's actions will be available in REI stores starting April 2. The brochure can also be downloaded from REI's website, or requested by emailing stewardship@rei.com.

Highlights from REI's 2006 stewardship report include:

· Giving back – Distributing more than $4 million dollars to nonprofit organizations in support of conservation, recreation and youth programs.

· Volunteering – Inspiring nearly 24,000 volunteers in REI-sponsored and supported service projects, and caring for 4,395 miles of trails – approximately the distance between REI's Anchorage and Atlanta stores.

· Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – Purchasing renewable energy for 20 percent of the co-op's total electricity usage, reducing GHG emissions from electricity by more than 30 percent. The co-op is targeting a reduction of one third in total GHG emissions from its 2006 baseline level by the end of 2009, and has the aspiration to be climate-neutral by 2020.

· Green building – Earning U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® LEED-CI Silver certification for REI's Pittsburgh store. The co-op is committed to building stores and a distribution center with this standard.

· Paper sourcing and purchasing – Introducing a new paper purchasing policy and tracking the origin of REI's paper through the adoption of a full “chain of custody” model.

· Managing waste – Recycling an estimated 67 percent of the company's retail waste by volume – or 82 percent by weight. REI aspires to be a zero waste company by 2009.

· Ethical sourcing and manufacturing – Auditing more than 50 percent of REI's contract factories representing 94 percent of the dollar value of the REI branded products. REI also collaborated with outdoor industry peers to develop and introduce a toolkit to help companies pursue factory sourcing in consideration of appropriate standards for workers and working conditions.

· Workplace excellence – Extending healthcare benefits to all part-time employees regardless of the number of hours worked. The co-op was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” for the tenth consecutive year.

The report also offers an opportunity to provide feedback on the report and the company's progress.

REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates 90 retail stores in 26 states, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, outdoor fitness, paddling, snowsports and travel, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.


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