After graduating from Bainbridge Graduate Institute with an MBA in Sustainable Business, Sarah Will spent her summer at REI, a national outdoor gear and apparel retailer. REI runs more than 110 retail locations across the country, two distribution centers, a fixture shop, and a headquarters campus. Sarah's assignment for the summer was to identify as many energy efficiency projects as possible for the company.
Identifying and navigating the barriers to energy efficiency at REI was the biggest and most rewarding challenge for Sarah during her fellowship. She found that the greatest opportunities for energy efficiency at REI included lighting sensors and bulb replacements, retrocommissioning, cool roofs at retail buildings in warm climates, and computer, kiosk, and point of sale power management at retail locations.
If REI were to invest in all identified projects, the company could save over 6.5 million kWh, 2,700 metric tons of CO2, and almost $900,000 annually.
With aggressive goals to cut its carbon in absolute terms despite growth, REI is currently piloting some of Sarah's recommended projects, which are proving to be instrumental vehicles toward meeting these goals. The in-depth analysis and practical, actionable plans Sarah created for REI have proved that the projects are feasible and worth investing in.