Adventure Travel Company Goes 100% Renewable

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) expects to purchase more than 52,000 Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Green Tags starting in 2007. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top renewable energy purchasers, the announcement would place REI among the 20 largest purchasers nationally.

REI and its adventure travel company, REI Adventures, will purchase the BEF Green Tags, or renewable energy credits, to offset the greenhouse gas impacts of air, water and ground travel associated with all of its travel excursions — at no additional cost to the consumer. With each BEF Green Tag, equivalent to 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy, REI will have a total of 52,000 MWh, enough to offset more than 36,000 tons of carbon. “REI Adventures has recognized that its customers want to balance their passion for traveling to exciting, exotic locations with their desire to reduce their contribution to global warming pollution. With its new carbon-neutral travel program, REI Adventures is making it easy to travel without worrying about the climate-related impacts,” said Dan Lieberman, the Green-e program manager for the Center for Resource Solutions. “This is a significant step for any company, even one with REI’s tradition of environmental stewardship,” added Lieberman. As part of the 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. REI and BEF will collaborate on each project, which is expected to help bring electricity to classrooms, health clinics, and other public facilities in developing countries. 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. “REI Adventures is a long-time proponent of responsible travel and our partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation supports REI’s commitment to environmental stewardship to reduce our overall impact on the planet,” said John Sheppard, REI Adventures general manager.” All BEF Green Tags are 100 percent Green-e certified by the Center for Resource Solutions. This independent, non-profit, third-party organization administers the Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program, ensuring that the products it certifies meet specific product and quality standards.
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