Backcountry.com said it will offset 100% of its electricity use by purchasing 1,500,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy credits (RECs) from Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy.
This move (which, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculators, cancels out the same amount of CO2 emissions produced by 190 cars during the course of a year) was initiated by a group of Backcountry employees who volunteered to serve on the companys Green Team an environmental task force charged with identifying and implementing policies and solutions to reduce the companys carbon footprint.
The Green Team not only negotiated the purchase of wind power RECs on behalf of Backcountry.com, but also: facilitated a third-party energy audit of all Backcountry facilities and actualized recommended energy consumption reduction solutions; Implemented an internal recycling program 300% more thorough and effective than the one previously in place; Established a three-van commuter-pool in cooperation with the Utah Transportation Authority, accommodating 40 employees who commute to the Park City, Utah headquarters from Salt Lake City (and taking 37 vehicles off the road in the process).
The eco-operations initiatives build on Backcountry.coms year-old Green Goat program. The Green Goat is a shop within the site featuring the brands that refuse to compromise their environmentally oriented principles in pursuit of the next great piece of gear. Companies are given Green Goat status if their products are made of organic materials and renewable resources, or if they implement sustainable, environmentally sound production techniques.
“Its taken us a while, but we had to do this right, on way more than just a marketing level,” the companys president, John Bresee. “What were doing isnt greenwashing. Were taking deliberate action, focusing on our business operations first. Giving props on the Green Goat to our eco-conscious vendors doesnt make us green and were not about to say were green if were not so we rallied and made it happen.”
RECs allow consumers to access, use, and pay for renewable energy making its generation more cost competitive with fossil-fueled electricity.
Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy is a full-service provider of renewable energy and carbon offsets. Founded in 2001, Renewable Choices clients include Whole Foods Market, Vail Resorts, hundreds of businesses and organizations, and thousands of individuals across the country.