REI released its third annual stewardship report that provides an evaluation of the co-op’s social and environmental efforts in the 2008 calendar year. The report updates progress toward short and long-term goals, including the co-op’s environmental aspiration of being carbon-neutral and zero-waste-to-landfill by 2020.
The co-op’s Community initiatives included maintaining 14,481 acres of land and 6,520 miles of trail through investment in nonprofits. There was a total of 1.6 million volunteer hours donated by 130,347 individuals through REI’s nonprofit support. REI also helped 182,834 youth through the Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK).
On the environmental front, REI attained LEED Gold certification for REI’s Boulder, Colo. store and a second green building prototype store in Round Rock, Texas, featuring solar panels and special lighting, materials and design strategies. REI purchased 85.1% of all paper from “acceptable sources” according to REI’s paper policy, including 25.6% that was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Finally, 84.8% of the operational waste generated – such as cardboard, wooden pallets, cans and bottles – was recycled.
REI milestone regarding its People included an 86% employee engagement score through the company-wide annual survey, underscoring REI’s ranking as #12 on the FORTUNE magazine “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list. The company also created a new recruiting strategy to ensure REI’s staff is reflective of the diversity of its communities. 95% of the dollar value of REI-brand products had a third-party factory audit under the co-op's compliance program to ensure factories manufacturing REI products provide appropriate working environments.