REI’s Eastern Region Distribution Center Certified LEED-Silver

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), today announced that its new building in Bedford, Pa. received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for New Construction.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the national outdoor gear and clothing retail cooperative, today announced that its new 525,000 square-foot building in Bedford, Pa. received the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for New Construction. The 43-acre distribution center is one of the largest green buildings and properties in the country.

The U.S. Green Building Council created the LEED rating system in 1993 to encourage the development of sustainable buildings that take into consideration the environmental issues of materials and emphasize water conservation, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. When done well, resulting buildings can have lower operating costs and are more comfortable and healthier to be in for employees and guests. For the construction of all new REI buildings, the company uses the LEED point system to measure success, looking to meet or exceed the standards whenever possible.

“When we set out to design and construct our new distribution center, our priority was to highlight our company-wide commitment to minimize our impact on the planet,” said Brian Unmacht, REI's senior vice president of sales, store development and logistics. “We are very proud of what we have accomplished, in addition to enabling us to significantly reduce the transit times to our customers and existing stores in the Eastern United States.”

“REI is to be congratulated for achieving LEED Silver certification on their second distribution center,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “REI has demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment and by achieving certification they also demonstrate a commitment to their employees' health, comfort and well-being.”

Highlights of the property's green features include:

• Donating an existing house previously located on the property to Habitat for Humanity

• Reducing construction carbon emissions through heavy construction equipment vehicles powered by B20 bio-diesel and hosting an on-site concrete and mixing plant that kept hundreds of truckloads of concrete off local roads

• Purchasing 12 additional acres to create a natural wetland for local wildlife and manage storm water runoff

• Positioning the building to take advantage of sun and wind direction during warm summer months and icy winter months

• Installing more than 360 windows and skylights to allow natural daylight throughout the building, helping REI to reduce its energy use by more than 33 percent

• Operating half of the six miles of conveyor belts when boxes are on a given section, and reducing energy use and noise throughout the building

• Reducing water use by installing native landscaping that does not require irrigation, dual-flush toilets, low-flow sinks and showers, and waterless urinals

• Providing 30 preferred parking spaces for carpoolers and fuel-efficient vehicles, and 20 bike stalls and six employee showers to accommodate bike commuters

• Contracting with a private recycling vendor to recycle glass, office paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, packaging and shrink-wrap. (The community currently does not offer a pick–up program for businesses and residents)

Fully operational in the coming months, the eastern region distribution center will employ 350 professionals at the peak of its operations. The center will support approximately 50 percent of the co-op's direct-to-customer business and approximately 1.2 million active co-op members that reside east of the Mississippi. REI's Bedford distribution center complements the company's other facility in Sumner, Wash. In 2006, the Washington-based facility underwent a lighting retrofit project that resulted in saving approximately one million kilowatt hours (enough to operate three REI stores) and improving the quality of lighting for employees. The effort also saved REI approximately $100,000 per year.

REI has been active in green building design and construction for more than 10 years. In 1993, REI designed and constructed its Seattle flagship store, which opened three years later. Many of the store's green design features were eventually included in the LEED evaluation criteria. In 2004, REI's Portland, Ore. location became the first retail store in the country to earn a LEED Gold rating for Commercial Interiors, followed by REI's Pittsburgh store with LEED Silver for Commercial Interiors in 2006. Last fall the company opened its first prototype store in Boulder, Colo. through its initiative that tests retail design and green building concepts, while complementing the co-op's commitment to community involvement, environmental stewardship and serving as a gateway to the outdoors. The REI Boulder store is anticipating a LEED Silver rating under U.S. Green Building Council's Retail – Commercial Interiors pilot program. The second prototype location is scheduled to open in Round Rock, Texas in the fall of 2008. The Round Rock store is being built to achieve a LEED Silver rating for the Retail – Commercial Interiors in U.S. Green Building Council's pilot program.

Information on REI's comprehensive environmental initiatives is available at www.rei.com/stewardship, including its focus on carbon footprint reduction, green building design and construction, responsible paper purchases and usage, waste reduction, and the design and manufacturing of more sustainable products and packaging. The co-op will release its second annual stewardship report, a review of the company's social and environmental impacts, in the spring.

About REI
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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