Yakima Unveils "Planet Payback," 100% Carbon Neutral Initiative, Today

Program Spans All Products, Product Distribution and Field Marketing Team, Entire Company to Comply by 3rd Quarter 2007


Program Spans All Products, Product Distribution and Field Marketing Team,
Entire Company to Comply by 3rd Quarter 2007

BEAVERTON, Ore. (March 8, 2007) – Leading the outdoor industry's vehicle rack category, Yakima, an innovator in vehicle rack solutions for boats, bikes, winter sports gear, home storage and cargo options, today unveiled “Planet Payback,” a company-wide initiative focused on offsetting the carbon footprint (reducing carbon dioxide emissions) of all operations, products and their distribution, as well as Yakima's field marketing team, “Road Warriors.” Yakima has partnered with the Carbonfund.org Foundation as its offset provider for this business initiative. The remaining corporate activities of the company will become carbon neutral by third quarter 2007. Yakima will launch “Planet Payback” tomorrow at Canoecopia (www.rutabaga.com/canoecopia), the world's largest consumer paddlesport expo in Madison, Wisc., March 9-11, 2007.

To begin this process, Carbonfund.org calculated Yakima's annual energy usage and determined its associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emission footprint. Yakima will make donations to Carbonfund.org and completely offset its carbon footprint with support for carbon reducing, climate-friendly programs. The donated dollars will support Yakima's choice of three different types of carbon offset projects including: renewable energy (wind, solar, and biomass energy), energy efficiency (reduction of energy use through improved technology), or reforestation (planting trees). Yakima will begin making donations after the program launches and will continue donating to Carbonfund.org on a regular timetable. On a yearly basis, Carbonfund.org's project portfolio is audited by Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), one of the leading green house gas assessment and verification group in the United States.

“The outdoor playground is critically important to all of us, and it is not replaceable”, said Jerry Heinlen, CEO of Yakima. “Our Planet Payback initiative not only gives us a clear sustainability plan, but also, enables our associates, consumers and channel partners to team up with Yakima to support the very important goals of carbon reduction and sustainability. We want to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, minimize our impact on the environment, and engage others to do the same. Carbonfund.org has an excellent track record and we believe they will be a strong partner in Yakima's Planet Payback initiative.”

Yakima will offset the carbon footprint of all products sold into retail and will offer consumers the opportunity to designate which types of carbon offset programs they would like Yakima to support, by registering their purchases online at www.yakimapayback.com. This stand-alone website provides information, tips on how consumers can reduce their personal carbon footprint and a carbon calculator for figuring out their own daily/annual carbon emissions. Additional marketing support includes Yakima “Carbon Neutral” stickers on all packaging, as well as a variety of point-of-purchase materials for retailers' in-store use. The program will be supported with advertising in Backpacker, Bicycling and Outside magazines.

In conjunction with “Planet Payback,” Yakima's environmental efforts already include: using up to 100% recycled paper and water-based dies to prevent pollution; not using white cardboard, which contaminates water processing facilities with chlorine; and recycling lock core packages sent back by customers. In addition, Yakima's cargo boxes are made of up to 80% recycled ABS plastic. Unused plastic from the cargo boxes, the boxes themselves and the aluminum and steel parts are all recyclable, as well as the steel tubing and plastic fairings on Yakima's cargo baskets and the plastic and steel parts on all hitch products.

“Carbonfund.org was a logical choice based on their selection of different types of certified offset projects and strength in validation by respected third party auditors,” said Mike Steck, senior director of marketing at Yakima. “It is important for Yakima's donation to benefit a genuine carbon dioxide reduction effort, where we can illustrate significant benefits at the end of each year. Due to Carbonfund.org's non-profit status, 93% of our donations will go directly toward Carbonfund.org's mission, including offset projects.”

After introducing “Planet Payback” for its products, Yakima will prepare for the third quarter when the entire company plans to go carbon neutral by offsetting emissions from corporate office electricity usage, employee travel expenses, etc. Yakima's long-term plans incorporate further evaluation of processes and materials to determine how to continue to reduce carbon emissions into the environment.

About Yakima
Yakima is a world leader in the design and manufacture of destination hardware and gear management solutions. Yakima's products include: vehicle racks for bikes, boats, ski equipment and gear; a line of cargo boxes and bags for a variety of needs; and Ground Control, an integrated gear management system for the home. Yakima Products is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. For more information, visit www.yakima.com.

About Carbonfund.org
Carbonfund.org is the country's leading carbon reduction and offset organization with offices in the Washington DC area and San Francisco. Carbonfund.org educates the public about the dangers of climate change and makes it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact. Carbonfund.org is reducing the threat of climate change by promoting cost-effective carbon reductions and supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects globally that reduce and offset carbon dioxide emissions. Carbonfund.org works with over 150 corporate and non-profit partners including the Earth Day Network, National Wildlife Federation, Dell Computers, Lancôme Cosmetics, and Working Assets. Learn more at www.carbonfund.org.



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