In its second annual stewardship report, REI has established a 2009 goal to reduce emissions by one-third from its 2006 baseline in order to achieve its 2020 climate neutral goal. The company says since its planned growth would normally increase its greenhouse gas emissions, achieving an absolute reduction is “challenging.”
To start, the company achieved a reduction in its rate of greenhouse gas emission to 8.1 percent, primarily by addressing its largest source of emissions — REI Adventures travel — through a creative offsets program. Carbon offsets, the company notes, are its last resort, but, since air travel impacts REI Adventures customers, the company does not see other options at this time.
REI has partnered with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to create the largest carbon neutral travel program in the country. The carbon offsets we purchase are certified by the Center for Resource Solutions.
Other elements in REI’s Stewardship Report include an extensive “paper purchasing policy and action plan,” plans to become a zero waste-to-landfill business by 2020, plans to ensure that by 2009 all new locations will meet or exceed U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-certified standards, and plans to make REI’s buildings achieve the lowest energy intensity in their class.
The Center for Resource Solutions certified carbon offset products offered by Bonneville Environmental Foundation and others earlier this year.