Recreational Equipment Inc. announced at its annual meeting that it will purchase 10 million kilowatt hours of green power, or 20% of the company's national electricity usage. The purchase of wind, landfill gas and solar generated electricity will provide 100% of the power for 17 of REI's 82 retail stores, and is equivalent to the annual use of more than 1,000 average homes. The switch to renewable resources eliminates over 5,500 tons of CO2, equivalent to removing more than 1,000 average cars from the road.

“Snow in the mountains and clean water in streams and lakes are essential to REI's mission of helping people enjoy the outdoors,” said REI President and CEO Sally Jewell.

“This is a significant addition to REI's commitment to being good stewards for the environment,” Jewell said. “While our grants program supports the work of thousands of volunteers caring for public lands and introducing young people to outdoor recreation, we also are taking a close look at our business practices to reduce our environmental footprint.”

REI has joined the Green Power Partnership, a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and organizations interested in buying green power. REI's purchase of 10 million kilowatts hours will place the company among the top 10 retailers in the country purchasing green power.

REI also has announced that it will be a founding member of the Seattle Climate Partnership, a group of Seattle employers working together on climate issues. The new partnership was announced Friday by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.

REI selected qualifying, Green-e certified, renewable energy contracts. In addition to reducing green house gas emission, in most cases these contracts also reduce the company's exposure to fossil fuel surcharges. Purchases include the following stores and suppliers:

Brookfield, Wis.; WE Energies; sources: wind, landfill gas and solar

Madison, Wis.; Alliant Energy/WP&L; sources: wind, landfill gas and solar

Eugene, Ore. ; Eugene Water & Electric; source: wind

Denver, Englewood, Boulder, Grand Junction and Lakewood, Colo.; XCEL Energy; source: wind

Colorado Springs, Colo.; Community Energy; source: wind

Fort Collins, Colo.; Fort Collins Utilities; source: wind

Bloomington and Roseville, Minn.; XCEL Energy; sources: wind

Dallas, Houston (two stores) and Plano, Texas; Green Mountain Energy; source: wind

Pittsburgh; Community Energy; source: wind