Outdoor and equipment co-op REI has started to move in the right direction on its supplier engagement, but still has a long way to go to keep up with its peers Patagonia and Mammut. Its climate targets are ambitious, but it is starting to fall behind other brands by failing to set a timeline for phasing out thermal coal. REI scored highly in the 2023 Scorecard period in the area of renewable energy advocacy, actively engaging in a number of different international advocacy initiatives and taking a proactive stance on energy emissions in the United States. REI should focus on cutting out coal and investing in renewable energy if it wants to keep pace with its competitors.
*2020-2021 change; 2019 data not reported
Key Findings for REI
REI has committed to reduce absolute Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 55% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. This ambitious target is in line with the 55% reduction required.
REI has set a renewable energy target in its own operations of 100%, but it is not clear whether the energy will be additional to the grid.
REI has yet to set a target of 100% renewable energy for its supply chain by 2030, which is an essential step for decarbonising its manufacturing.
Coal phase out:
REI has not publicly set a target to phase out coal-fired boilers from its supply chain by 2030 to reduce air pollution and cut emissions.
REI publicly reports GHG emissions in its own operations, and in its supply chain. The company does provide a full breakdown of its Scope 3 emissions.
REI does publicly report its energy use for its own operations, but does not provide a breakdown of its renewable energy use and how that energy is sourced.
For its supply chain, REI does not publicly report its energy use, a breakdown of its suppliers’ renewable energy use, or how that energy is sourced.
REI provides a partial supplier list to Tier 1 and 2.
REI does not provide its suppliers with training and resources to help them make energy efficiency improvements. REI does not appear to provide its major suppliers with financial incentives for energy efficiency measures, and does not require them to make energy savings as a condition of contract.
REI does not require suppliers to reduce thermal coal demand in their manufacturing processes.
REI does report providing its suppliers with training and resources to help them transition to renewable energy, and encouraging brand partners to do the same with their suppliers. The company does not report providing financial support or incentives to make the energy transition, and it does not require suppliers to use renewable energy as a condition of contract.
REI does require its suppliers to disclose GHG emissions data and does require them to set GHG emissions reduction targets, but it does not require suppliers to provide facility level data via the Higg Index.
REI has not made any commitments to phase out fossil fuel based materials.
REI has not made a public policy to ban the sourcing of leather from the Amazon Biome, but does claim to have policies in place to avoid sourcing leather from deforested regions. For cellulosic materials such as lyocell and modal, REI reports only working with suppliers that formally commit to protecting ancient or endangered forests.
REI has not committed to increasing closed-loop apparel-to-apparel recycling for synthetics and plant-based materials, but it has committed to sustainably sourcing 100% of its polyester by 2030. REI is not acting to reduce the impact of its raw materials sourcing by switching to organic cotton or cotton sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
REI is acting to increase circularity and address overproduction by policies to improve the repairability, resale, durability and recyclability of its products by offering in-house maintenance and repair services for skis, snowboards, and bikes and expanding options for buying back or repairing used gear, and is working to eliminate manufacturing waste.
REI does not publicly report its material mix or its volume of deadstock, but it does report how it manages or disposes of its deadstock to reduce waste.
REI did report its shipping emissions in 2020 and 2021, but not in 2019. It does not provide a breakdown of its transportation methods, and does not have a target to reduce GHG emissions from transportation.
REI does not have a policy to avoid aviation and commit to slower shipping methods such as maritime, rail and land. The company does not report having a near-term plan to ship its cargo via cleaner methods. It reported a 33.2% increase in its upstream transportation and distribution emissions between 2020 and 2021.
REI has committed to transitioning to zero emissions vessels (ZEV) by 2040, as a Cargo owners for Zero Emission Vessels (CoZEV) signatory. This is an important step forward to reduce transportation emissions, but a decade later than the 2030 date brands should be targeting. The company has not used its voice publicly to advocate for Zero Emission Shipping.
REI has not committed to transitioning its last mile delivery to zero emission vehicles.
REI joined 11 other companies in a joint Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI) letter of intent with the Philippines government. CEDI looks to energise private sector investment by leveraging both governmental policy and corporate clean energy commitments that grow renewable energy purchasing. REI also signed a statement of mutual aspiration encouraging the government of Indonesia to accelerate a renewable energy transition to achieve at least 50% RE energy mix by 2045. The company supported the Inflation Reduction Act which included investments related to reducing climate related risks to the economy. REI engaged in significant and proactive renewable energy advocacy within the Scorecard period.
More About REI
EngagementREI responded, but did not provide specific feedback
- “2020 REI Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report,”, https://www.rei.com/assets/stewardship/report-archive/rei-ghg-inventory-report/live.pdf.
- “A Climate Neutral Certified Brand,”, https://www.climateneutral.org/brand/rei.
- “Business Support Statement for the Inflation Reduction Act,”, https://www.ceres.org/sites/default/files/Business%20Support%20Statement%20for%20the%20Inflation%20Reduction%20Act%20(1).pdf.
- “Climate Change & Our Environmental Impact,”, https://www.rei.com/stewardship/climate-change.
- “Global CEDI Statement of Intent.”
- “Joint Statement of Support for High-Ambition Power Development Planning in Vietnam.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, November 17, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/619565dd1cf92a0d50c0013b/1637180894505/CEIA+Vietnam+Joint+Statement+to+GVN_2021.11.17.pdf.
- “REI 2021 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report,”, https://www.rei.com/assets/stewardship/2021/rei-2021-carbon-footprint-methodology/live.pdf.
- “REI Co-op Brands Factory List,” February 2020. https://www.rei.com/stewardship/rei-factory-list.pdf.
- “REI Paper and Forest Products Purchasing Policy,” 2018. https://www.rei.com/assets/stewardship/2018/rei_paper_and_fiber_products_purchasing_policy/live.pdf.
- “REI to Halve Carbon Footprint by 2030,” September 24, 2020. https://www.rei.com/blog/news/reis-climate-commitment-halve-carbon-footprint-by-2030.
- “Statement of Mutual Aspiration: Supporting Renewable Energy Procurement for Commercial and Industrial Sectors in Indonesia.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/6119c1cfc64e0324746bb812/1629077968156/Statement+of+Mutual+Aspiration+-+Indonesia.pdf.
- “Sustainable Packaging & Reducing Waste,”, https://www.rei.com/stewardship/eliminating-waste.
- “Sustainable Product Practices & Standards,”, https://www.rei.com/stewardship/sustainable-product-practices.
- “Target, REI Join Zero Emissions Cargo Scheme,” September 23, 2022. https://sourcingjournal.com/topics/logistics/target-rei-join-cargo-owners-zero-emission-vessels-initiative-aspen-institute-374982/.
- “The Philippines Commits to the Clean Energy Demand Initiative’s Goals with Corporate Partners,” March 15, 2022. https://www.state.gov/the-philippines-commits-to-the-clean-energy-demand-initiatives-goals-with-corporate-partners/.