Even as Sally has spent the majority of her career outside of Washington -- where, I might add, the majority of our interior is located -- she is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand. She has shown that a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet.It might seem a stretch to call a retail CEO a climate expert.
In 2006, shortly after Sally Jewell became CEO, REI set some goals for itself: Reduce carbon emissions by a third in three years and be carbon-neutral by the year 2020. In other words, the company aimed to reduce, then eliminate, its impact on the global climate.
Since then, REI has meticulously tracked its energy use and climate impact—and made efforts to reduce both. But rather than going down, the company’s carbon emissions have increased by a third.
Air travel associated with REI’s rapidly growing adventure travel business is responsible for most of the growth.
REI buys “carbon offsets” to make up for its increasingly dirty business. Essentially, instead of reducing its own emissions, REI pays somebody else to reduce theirs.
Jewell’s views on energy production and climate are sure to get an airing in her upcoming Senate confirmation hearings. If she does get the job, it will be a huge pay cut. She earns more than $2 million a year as the head of REI. That’s about 10 times what she’d make as Secretary of the Interior...more