REI Releases Second Annual Stewardship Report - SNEWS

REI Releases Second Annual Stewardship Report

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, has released its second annual stewardship report.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, has released its second annual stewardship report, providing a review of the co-op's social and environmental priorities and efforts in 2007. Available online at www.rei.com/stewardship, the report also recognizes opportunities for improvement against short and long-term aspirations.

Highlights from REI's 2007 stewardship report include:

Community Connections
Investing in stewardship – Distributing $3.5 million dollars to local and national nonprofit organizations in support of conservation and recreation, with an emphasis on engaging youth.

Encouraging community involvement – Committing more than 2.1 million hours of volunteer service through REI's support of nonprofits. This includes employees hosting 688 REI-sponsored service projects and inspiring nearly 33,000 volunteers in communities across the country.

Inspiring the next generation – Teaching 142,435 children how to recreate responsibly in shared outdoor spaces through the Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK) program presented by REI employees and Leave No Trace volunteers.

Environmental and Social Performance
Building green – Receiving the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver® certification for New Construction for the co-op's new 525,000-square-foot distribution center in Bedford, Penn, and opening an award-winning green building prototype store in Boulder, Colo. that is part of the council's LEED for Retail pilot.

Offering REI-brand ecoSensitive apparel – Launching an educational web site and introducing a special logo on more than 40 REI-brand products that designates the item contains a high percentage of recycled, rapidly renewable and/or organic fibers.

Addressing climate change – Holding REI's greenhouse gas emissions rate of growth to 8.1 percent through operational efficiencies and renewable energy purchases. By offsetting the travel associated with REI Adventures via certified offsets, the company has reduced its total climate impact by 24 percent from 2006.

Paper sourcing and purchasing – Ensuring the co-op's paper fiber purchases come from acceptable sources and endorsing the Forest Stewardship Council as the standard for responsible stewardship practices.

Managing waste – Recycling 78.8 percent of operational waste by weight. REI aspires to be a zero-waste company by 2020.

Ethical sourcing and manufacturing – Receiving third-party factory audits for 95 percent of the dollar value of REI-brand products. This step helps ensure factories manufacturing REI products provide appropriate working environments.

Creating a welcoming and inclusive workforce – Receiving a 90 percent favorable rating from REI employees in the companywide survey. The score indicates individuals believe the co-op's workplace is welcoming and inclusive. The co-op was also named by FORTUNE magazine as one of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” for the eleventh consecutive year.

To supplement the online content, a brochure that highlights the co-op's actions can be downloaded from www.rei.com/stewardship or picked up in any REI retail store. An online survey offers readers the opportunity to provide feedback on the report and the company's progress.

REI's 2007 stewardship report is the co-op's second annual report. The co-op's first report, which highlighted efforts during the 2006 calendar year, established a process of milestones, metrics and data, and storytelling surrounding the company's stewardship commitments in its headquarters, retail locations, distribution center and supply chain manufacturing. The 2007 stewardship report provides an update on REI's progress toward the goals communicated last year.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. 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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