Today, specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op announces that the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) has approved the co-op’s net-zero targets. To work toward these goals, REI is expanding the ambitions of its climate leadership, enabling the deployment of renewable energy for both its own operations and partners in the U.S. while joining international coalitions of concerned businesses working across borders and deep into supply chains to combat the climate crisis.
The Science Based Target initiative, a global body focused on enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions goals in line with the latest climate science, has approved these targets:
- In the near-term, REI has committed to reducing the absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 47% by 2030 from a 2019 base year, while further committing 41% of suppliers by emissions will have science-based targets by 2025.
- In the long-term, REI has committed to reduce absolute scopes 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2050 from a 2019 base year.
- Overall, REI has committed to reach net-zero GHG emissions across its value chain by 2050.
The co-op has engaged its brand partners throughout 2023 by hosting workshops that provide guidance on how to measure emissions, set science-aligned reduction targets and put in place action plans to reduce emissions. REI has also partnered with Climate Neutral to provide select brand partners—including all 15 appropriately-staged brands participating in its Path Ahead Ventures programs—with complimentary access to their Business Emissions Evaluator, which allows brands to measure their impact in a straightforward and efficient way.
“We believe businesses have an urgent responsibility to address the climate crisis and invest in the communities in which they operate,” said Chris Speyer, Chief Merchandising Officer, REI. “The co-op is proud to retail a huge number of brands that share this sense of responsibility, and we will continue collaborating with our partners to reduce our collective impacts.”
REI is committed to procuring more local and more accessible renewable energy for both its own operations and those of its partners as it works to reduce emissions across its operations. To that end, the co-op signed a three-year clean energy agreement with Sol Systems alongside Nester Hosiery, one of REI’s largest manufacturers in the U.S. Nester has been providing socks to the co-op since 1999.
“Purchasing clean energy to make our electricity consumption 100% renewable sends a strong message to our employees, customers, suppliers, investors and local community about our priorities,” said Kelly Nester, CEO of Nester Hosiery LLC. “We’re acknowledging our impact and—with the help of REI—investing in a more sustainable operation.”
The agreement provides REI and Nester Hosiery with over 11,000 renewable energy credits (RECs) per year, all sourced from recently built solar in North Carolina. These RECs are local for both REI and Nester and represent a big step forward, as they ensure one of the co-op’s key suppliers gets 100% renewable electricity.
“We are honored to partner with REI and its supply chain partner Nester Hosiery to craft an innovative renewable energy procurement solution that enables both companies to meet critical climate goals over the next three years,” said Susanne Fratzscher, Vice President of Strategic Solutions. “This partnership is tailored to address REI and Nester’s electricity load in North Carolina with local solar projects and is crafted as a scalable solution across other supply chain partners.”
At the international level, REI is focused on expanding its reach and influence so that it can bring more renewable energy to bear on not just its own supply chain, but that of the broader retail industry. The co-op has finalized the purchase of a four-year strip of 25,000 RECs from distributed renewable energy projects in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines through Powertrust
The purchase represents the next step in the co-op’s journey to decarbonize product manufacturing. Revenue from this sale directly supports the new build and operation of clean energy projects in Southeast Asia, catalyzing the development of new community-oriented renewable energy projects in the region and reducing manufacturing emissions in the same countries where it is occurring alongside the co-op’s own carbon footprint.
The co-op has also joined a collection of organizations advocating for clean energy public policy:
- As of August 1, REI is an Associate Member of the Asia Clean Energy Coalition. This organization convenes buyers, sellers and financiers to strategically shift policy in key Asian markets with the goal of accelerating the adoption of renewable energy across Asia. It is REI’s primary avenue for clean energy public policy advocacy in the Asia-Pacific (APAC).
- REI has joined CERES, a nonprofit coalition of businesses and investors, in calling for the passage of landmark climate disclosure legislation in California.
- REI has partnered with the Electrification Coalition and CERES in calling for stronger clean transportation programs, including the successful passage of Nevada’s clean trucks program, and Washington’s clean trucks incentive program.
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 184 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.