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. We bring you top-quality gear and apparel, expert advice, rental equipment, inspiring stories of life outside and outdoor experiences to enjoy alone or share with your friends and family. And because we have no shareholders, with every purchase you make with REI, you are choosing to steward the outdoors, support sustainable business and help the fight for life outside.
You can learn more about our efforts in our Stewardship Report, at www.rei.com/stewardship.
Eliminating waste is good for our business and good for the planet. For years we have worked to design and scale sustainable packaging standards and minimize waste throughout our operations. We will continue to do so, learning from and sharing openly with others. REI continues to work toward a goal of zero waste (defined by industry as diverting 90% of waste from landfill) across our operations. We achieved this in our distribution centers and are continually raising the bar in our retail stores. Eliminating waste is good for our business and good for the environment. We use a "reduce, reuse, recycle" framework to eliminate waste at the front end of the manufacturing process. And we examine and re-engineer practices causing waste generation throughout our operations, from manufacturing to product placement in our stores, to our work with local waste authorities and haulers.
Our Issaquah, WA store is dedicated to supporting our Zero Waste commitment. The store team has been very active in reducing waste, and were crucial to the facility achieving TRUE Gold certification with a 93.1% diversion rate. Some key programs include:
- Comprehensive education on sortation and effective collection system in the break room
- Donation of expired food to employees to avoid food waste
- New hires learn to sort when they are paired with someone in their department on a shadow shift
- Enthusiastic support of backhaul programs from stores to enable recycling of challenging materials like film and bicycle tubes
Employees are particularly excited about REI eliminating individual polybags on REI-branded apparel and encouraging other brands to do the same.“REI is getting smart about shipping products to stores with the least waste possible,” says Katie Doyle, Issaquah retail department manager. Of the Zero Waste work overall, Katie says: The operations team “loves digging into this. They’ll host huddles to help make sure all the staff know where to put things and how to sort everything as properly as possible.”.