Despite Company Growth, REI Achieves Absolute Reduction in Operational CO2 Emissions

New stewardship report details environmental performance, community partnerships and employee engagement
May 15, 2013 12:00 PM ET

SEATTLE, May 15, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Each day, REI takes actions to decrease its impact on the planet, partner in the community to ensure the availability of natural spaces, and provide a rewarding workplace. In its 2012 stewardship report the leading outdoor retailer updates customers, members, employees and other stakeholders on its social responsibility work for the year. 

The 2012 report includes metrics and highlights in the categories of Sustainable Operations, Community, Product Stewardship and Workplace.

Sustainable Operations
While REI grew by 7.4 percent last year, the company made progress in decreasing its environmental footprint in several areas, including an absolute reduction of operational CO2 by 7.6 percent and a 53 ton decrease in its waste to landfill contributions. While electricity is the largest share of its greenhouse gas impact, REI’s total energy use was essentially flat despite adding five new stores during the year.

Since 2008, the company has opened 31 stores while total energy consumption increased by only 2 percent. Limiting the increase is attributed to efforts such as renewable resources, energy efficiency projects and self-generation investments such as solar technology.

Community Partnerships
REI works with local and national nonprofit organizations that protect and maintain trails, waterways, parks and backcountry destinations where communities enjoy the outdoors. Last year, REI granted nearly $4 million to more than 300 local and national nonprofits. The funding led to 396,000 volunteers caring for natural places and 54,000 miles of trail maintained and 94,000 acres of land restored.

Product Stewardship
For its branded products, REI is actively working to implement the HiGG Index, an indicator-based tool that allows clothing and footwear companies to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choices.

Engaging Workplace
For 16 consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has recognized REI as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.”  Through the company’s annual anonymous employee engagement survey, results showed that 86 percent of its employees are engaged. Additionally, the company works to ensure factories making REI-brand gear and apparel offer safe, fair and non-discriminatory workplaces. Last year, the company completed audits representing 27 percent of its supply chain.

REI annually publishes a stewardship report to provide visibly to its social and environmental efforts.  To read the 2012 report visit An infograph highlighting REI’s results is at The co-op’s previous six stewardship reports are archived and maintained with open access for future reference at

About REI
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 129 stores in 32 states, as well as and This year REI will invest $3 million in local communities to help care for outdoor spaces.