At Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived. We believe that it's in the wild, untamed and natural places that we find our best selves, so our purpose is to awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, for all. Since 1938, we have been your local outdoor co-op, working to help you experience the transformational power of nature. As a co-op, we put purpose before profits and act in the long-term interests of our members. You can learn more about our efforts in our Stewardship Report, at www.rei.com/stewardship.
REI is working to become a zero-waste-to-landfill organization by 2020. This aspiration drives us toward more efficient business and environmental practices as we seek ways to reduce solid waste and the costs associated with it, such as packaging, disposal and shipping. Eliminating waste is good for our business and good for the environment. We think beyond the traditional "reduce, reuse, recycle" model to eliminate waste at the front end of the manufacturing process. And we examine and re-engineer practices attached with waste generation throughout our operations, from manufacturing to product placement in our stores, to our work with local waste utilities and haulers.
Our Sumner, WA Distribution Center is an integral part of this, supplying our Pacific Northwest stores with outdoor gear and apparel, and assisting the stores in reducing REI's waste. The DC Green Team has been very active in reducing waste at the DC, and were crucial to the facility achieving TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification with a 97% diversion rate. Some key programs include:
- Highly engaged Green Team with representation from every department to ensure collection and training is customized to each area's unique materials and challenges
- Innovative programs to divert un-sellable inventory to employees while raising money for the local foodbank
- DC and Logistics teams' enthusiastic support of backhaul programs from stores to enable recycling of challenging materials like film and bicycle tubes and chains
- Implementing a comprehensive program in the DC Café to maximize reusables and compostables, and educate employees to ensure all materials are placed in the proper recycling stream.
"In 2006 when REI shared our aspiration to become waste free to landfill by 2020, I admired the lofty goal, but knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. Watching the Sumner DC's dedication to reducing waste and the incredible transformation to the highest certification level, provided by GBCI's TRUE, has been remarkable and inspiring. It's amazing how far we can go together when we have passionate employees leading the way." -Tom Syndor, Director of DC Operations, REI Sumner