Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the national outdoor gear and clothing retail cooperative, today announced that it received a 2009 Social Innovation Award by the Financial Times and JustMeans, in recognition of its social and environmental efforts.
The Social Innovation Awards honor companies demonstrating progressive thinking in weaving social and environmental innovation throughout their core business strategies. Ninety-four public and private companies were considered by an eight-member judging panel representing public companies, think tanks, authors, thought leaders and consultants.
“Our stewardship efforts align our business strategies with our mission of getting people outdoors, enjoying a healthy lifestyle and being good stewards of the environment ,” said Kevin Hagen, REI’s director of corporate social responsibility. “We’re just getting started, but we are showing that innovative business solutions that address environmental and social performance are delivering financial results.”
REI’s stewardship is embedded into the co-op’s core purpose, business model and long-term vision. Examples of the company’s commitment include lessening the environmental impact of building operations and addressing the lifecycle of its branded gear and apparel; grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting shared natural spaces and increasing outdoor recreation participation, especially among today’s youth; engaging employee volunteerism to teach today’s younger generations how to protect the outdoors; and working alongside co-op members and community partners to make public lands, parks, trails and waterways more inviting and accessible.
The inaugural awards recognized REI in the large company category. The co-op joins three additional winners that demonstrate deep commitments to social responsibility and set a standard in their market space. The other recipients of the awards were Procter & Gamble, joining REI in the la rge category with revenue over $500 million ; Equal Exchange, small to medium company category with revenue between $5 million and $500 million; and Clear Standards, a start-up company category with revenue between $500,000 and $5 million.
For more information about REI’s stewardship efforts or to access the co-op’s annual stewardship report, visit http://www.rei.com/stewardship.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.