Outdoor Retailer REI Goes Green
Outdoor retail giant Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), has announced a partnership with an environmental foundation to offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by all its adventure trips and school outings. The deal was struck with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), an organization that markets green power products and funds new renewable energy projects.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top renewable energy purchasers, the agreement would place REI among the 20 largest purchasers nationally.
Starting in 2007, REI Adventures will purchase BEF Green Tags, or renewable energy credits, to offset the greenhouse gas impacts of air, water and ground travel associated with all excursions. BEF Green Tags are created when renewable energy such as solar and wind power are substituted to local utilities for energy generated by burning fossil fuels which are linked to global warming.
Each BEF Green Tag offsets the carbon produced by 1,030 miles of air travel, and is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy.
REI Adventures–the company’s travel arm–expects to purchase more than 52,000 BEF Green Tags in the coming year, offsetting more than 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
“In the growing field of sustainable travel, REI Adventures stands out for its level of commitment. Some travel providers are offering green travel at a more modest level, or as an optional purchase, but REI Adventures is the first to automatically offset the global warming impacts of its entire catalog of trips – including air travel to and from the trip destination,” said Tom Starrs, vice president of marketing and sales for BEF. “In addition, REI Adventures’ pioneering initiative will increase awareness of the environmental impacts of travel and tourism, encouraging others – individuals and businesses alike – to follow its lead. This program really is a different, deeper shade of green.”
Beyond travel, BEF is offering REI customers the opportunity to purchase BEF Green Tags to offset the environmental impacts of the energy they use in their homes and for commuting. In return, customers will receive a $20 REI Gift Card from BEF for a Green Tag purchase of $120 or more, and a $40 REI Gift Card for a purchase of $200 or more.
As part of the REI Adventures partnership, beginning next year BEF will donate 10 percent of its revenue from REI Adventures and all REI customer purchases to annually fund a renewable energy project – including the development of a local infrastructure for ongoing maintenance and support – in a country where REI Adventures leads trips.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.