Sustainable metrics at REI and associated insights

An article by Kevin Hagen (http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/articles/what-i-learned-about-sustainability-rei-part-2-metrics-over-intuition?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=businessweekly&utm_campaign=may20) describes REI’s tracking of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011. The company realized that while 10 % of these emissions were caused by transportation of its products, 15 % were the result of employee commutes to work at the company and its stores. This caused a realization that increased gas prices would play a role in employee retention and that moves to reduce individual commutes had to be framed more as a risk management strategy rather than just as something that would be good to do. Do you expect similar results for other retailers (grocery, apparel etc) ? If so, would it suggest a greater investment in public transportation by companies as they seek to reduce their collective carbon footprints ?

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Professor
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3 Responses to Sustainable metrics at REI and associated insights

  1. deepakregu says:

    There is opportunity for firms using frequent milk runs like retailers, fashion industries etc. to consolidate their transport batches using a continuously running truck-train which would allow clubbing of consignments. Obtaining of bulk transport passes for employees and greater deployment of virtual meetings will bring reduction in local and regional commuting of employees.

  2. Rohit Singh says:

    Truck trains is a good solution as it enables aggregation and reduces distance travelled overall.

  3. Dhruv Vashistha says:

    Certainly the fact that employee commute leaves more carbon footprint than transportation of goods by company, is a shocking fact. This insight can be used by most firms committed to environmental protection in designing the transportation facilities for employees. Currently most organizations give the money allocated for CSR to NGOs without even keeping track on how it is being used. When companies provide public transportation facility rather than promoting usage of own vehicle, they can ensure contribution to society at one hand and happier employee on the other. Only issue with this approach is convincing some people in top management to use shared vehicle than individual cars.

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